“My Life is a Challenge” by Nancy L. Owen

Nancy L. Owen

I have been on some what of a vacation for the past few weeks as my mother has been here from Florida with me for her annual summer visit. She divides her summer between her five children in three states. Despite the inconvenience of the record breaking heat we’ve been having, it has been a most interesting and enjoyable visit. She is now on to her visit with my siblings in Michigan and I am “back to work.”

Today’s posting is from my mother, Nancy L. Owen. She wrote the following a few years ago, prior to her developing Alzheimer difficulties. Despite this condition, she is still very active in most of the following community efforts that she is involved in. She refuses to allow this to diminish her, though she is aware that it is slowly changing her life. I am saddened and challenged in trying to help this remarkable woman. We of her family are attempting to help her decide if it may indeed be time for her to return to us here where we can be of help to her in continuing to live as productive of a life as she can and remain happy. Much of what she enjoys doing for and with others can be done wherever she resides; with help, care, and understanding. She is greatly loved by many.

With her permission, I have edited and present here, her story. Meet this remarkable woman! ~ Virginia Lee

“My Life is a Challenge” by Nancy L. Owen

I was born July 20, 1928. I am physically healthy, capable, and active with few limitations. Though I am now developing memory difficulties, I participate in my life in many ways with many people.

Currently ~

I am an active member of the First Congregational Church of Interlachen, Florida. I have served on all boards and have been a Church Clerk and Financial Secretary. I also sing “alto” in the choir.

I have 51 years of sobriety in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I attend at least 5 meetings of A.A. each week. I share my “experience, strength, and hope” with many friends. I firmly believe in and practice the principles of this program for my life and recovery.

WHO am I? (My identity)

My name is Nancy. I am an alcoholic. I am the widow of an alcoholic. We had 56 years of marriage. I am the mother of 5, ages 55 to 64. I am a grandmother of 11 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

WHY am I? (My purpose)

I believe that I am to serve God, as I understand Him, and to follow His guidance; to serve others; and to share my experiences, strengths, and hopes with others.

HOW am I achieving this? (The way I am serving)

I am actively involved in life and in living that life to the best of my abilities. I participate in many activities, community groups, and church. In the past, in addition to what I have already written of, I have served 20 years as a member of the Interlachen Lions Club; I’ve been Secretary and President there and have received high awards in District L of Florida for my services.

WHAT am I?

I have worked hard to be a good Christian woman and mother, a participating leader in the community, and an example to others.

My Education and Employment ~

I met my husband in college, we married, and I began living my life as a wife and mother. That and our subsequent alcoholism and then recovery, made further education a difficult prospect for many years.

In time, I was able to go to work outside of the home and was employed for 9 years as an Intake Worker for the Michigan Department of Social Services.

I returned to college part time and went on to receive my “Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Resources Development” from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan at the age of 52.

I then went on to be a licensed social worker for over 15 years. I have been employed as a Family Counselor by an Alcoholism Treatment Program called “Little House” for teenagers and later, as a counselor for “Bridge House” (adults) in a related treatment program. Both were in Gainsville, Florida.

My Hobby ~

Apart from having an active life involved in helping and serving others, I am a “Genealogist.”

I have compiled proven information through my research of both my own family history and that of my husband’s, as far back as 450 A.D. I have completed 12 books of this history.

I have been a Regent of my D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution) Chapter in Putnam County, Florida. I helped to organize the “William Bertram Chapter” of D.A.R.. I am a descendant of 7 men who served in the Revolutionary War. All were from the New England area; Connecticut and Massachusetts. One of these gentlemen, Elder John Leland (a Baptist minister), participated in the wording of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, insisting that its intent be specific to protect our rights for the “Freedom of Our Beliefs.”

I am also a Descendant of the Mayflower.

One Day at a Time, I Walk with God ~

In this day, today, I pray to continue to learn, to grow, to gain further wisdom in my recovery, and to be worthy of my place here on this earth with others. I examine my thoughts, my purposes in life, and my goals to keep me ever going forwards. I love and care for others. I wish to continue to help others by sharing the experience, strength, and hope that I have learned. I continue to draw upon my faith in a Power greater than myself, which I choose to call God. This source of power, my God, provides for me the strength and guidance I need to face all of the adversities that may come my way as my life continues. I am sheltered in His loving grace and mercy. There are many good days, though sometimes problems, trials, and stresses must be faced.  My own strength and courage may get shaky, yet I know that through prayer and faith, I will be enabled to go through even the darkest hour to find joy, success, and happiness in spite of what may be happening to me or to others with their own troubles. Acceptance of persons, places, and situations can be difficult, but these can be faced when we have “serenity and peace of mind.” I have this through my faith in God in all things.

My life can be a drama in which I am the main character among many. I feel that the more people in my life, the better, versus being alone and lonely. I approach my life today with an attitude of gratitude and responsibility. I respond to others with love and caring. I share of myself what I have learned throughout my life. I live the principles of the 12 steps of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I love life through my faith which I have gained through Jesus Christ.

Nancy L. Owen ~ July 20, 1928 ~ “Happy Birthday Mom!”

The following poem reminds me of my mother’s grace and strength. Yes, she is a most stubborn Lady!

But Not Today

I shall grow old perhaps, but not today, not while my hopes are young, my spirit strong, my vision clear, because life has a way of smoothing out the wrinkles with a song.

I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, not while my dreams remain a shining shield, my faith a lance, and ‘neath a sky of gray, my colors wave upon the battlefield.

I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, not while this pen can write upon a page, and memories turn Winter into May, shall this stout heart be brought to terms by age’

I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, and scorning Time who would enlist my tears, I stand convinced there is a better way, of occupying all the coming years.

I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, in my own style and in my own sweet time, no night so dark there does not fall a ray of light along the pathway that I climb.

Just say of me, when my last hour slips like one bright leaf to softly rest among the others…
“Life was Summer to the heart, of one who died believing she was young.”

– Grace E. Easley

John Leland ~ http://tinyurl.com/csa2fq4


About dagonsblood

Virginia Lee enriches her writing with her experiences of the human spirit, sharing the same in her work of helping others. Enjoy the journey!
This entry was posted in Enjoy the Journey! Life's Lessons, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to “My Life is a Challenge” by Nancy L. Owen

  1. Cari says:

    What a phenomenal story of a truly phenomenal woman, Ginny. Nancy’s tale of courage, faith, strength, & perseverance is inspiring. This should come as no surprise, though, to those of us who have had the privilege of getting to know you, Ginny, for you, too, are a beautiful pillar of inspiration. 🙂

    Thank you, Nancy, for writing your amazing story down so that Ginny could share it with all of us. Much love & many blessings to your entire family.

    Blessed Be,


  2. Dan says:

    Virginia has a beautiful and wonderful mother. I know many in a 12 step program that have changed not only their lives, but attitudes as well. Nancy’s story is very unique in the things that happend to and around her. I am so glad she shared her story. What an inspiration Nancy is to everyone.

  3. danniehill says:

    I can say this without embarrassment– I love your Mom, Virginia. What a woman. She has strength and commitment we could all strive for. And her faith will carry her through the hardest times. Blssings to Nancy!

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