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Monday, September 20, 2010

Contest is over! ...I may not have traveled a racetrack like Penny Chenery from "Secretariat", but...

This is a sponsored post from Disney and BlogHer.

...I traveled the road to recovery after my husband of sixteen years committed suicide...

Photobucket

The true story of Secretariat is an inspiration to so many because it depicts the seemingly insurmountable struggles a young woman faces before accomplishing one of the most amazing feats ever recorded in horse-racing history. Learning about and internalizing stories like hers can inspire us to reach for something greater, to be proactive and not reactive, and to dream of something better, and make it happen.

This is one of the reasons I have written my story. I hope to inspire those who have had to endure tragedy and remind them that faith, love, charity, and time can heal even the deepest wounds.

I remember sitting close to my husband on my mother's couch the evening before it happened. We had recently moved in with her and my father due to circumstances related to the cause of his suicide. It was late, and he had fallen asleep. Some of our six children were sitting on the couch as well, enjoying the conversation that had earlier ensued, and as I looked at him, I said to my mother, "He looks like an angel when he's sleeping."

She laughed, realizing that that comment was usually reserved for sleeping babies. I laughed, too. He didn't laugh, though, and that's how I knew he was asleep; either that or he didn't think it was funny and was just closing his eyes. What I didn't realize was that he would indeed be an angel just a few short hours later.

I've written about how I found him and some of the events that occurred surrounding his suicide HERE, so I won't recap them in this writing, but what I would like to share today is how I went on; how I mustered the strength to drag myself out of bed each day and survive; and not only survive, but live.

The very first help I got was from acquaintances, friends, family and other loved ones who had heard the heart-sickening news. The visits and meals began pouring in only minutes after the suicide became known. My children, mother, brother, and father were all given priesthood blessings of comfort only hours after I found my husband's body, and it helped. The women's leader at my church printed out and hand-delivered scripture and other writings by prophets that inspired me more than almost anything could that day. My phone rang off the hook with calls from well-wishers who just wanted to express their sorrow, that they cared, and that they would do anything for me and the children, and I knew they would.

And the food..... so much food was brought over that it became impossible to refrigerate it and keep it fresh. We actually got to the point where we had to start giving it away to those who came to offer support and sympathy. People brought casseroles, of course, and cheese platters, and dishes we could freeze for later, and cakes and cookies, and individually-wrapped popcorn balls for each child, and fruit and vegetable platters and shrimp platters and all manner of any other kind of platter the mind can imagine. One dear friend brought over an entire breakfast for the whole family the morning of the funeral. I had never felt so loved as I did as I welcomed what seemed like hundreds of well-wishers into our home those first few days after my husband's suicide.

Then the letters and packages began arriving. Some were messages of love and sympathy, others were anonymous, and included hard-back books on how to find peace after suicide. Many had cash or checks folded within the cards. Some had gift certificates to McDonald's for the kids, and others had gift certificates to massage therapy studios for me. Cards came from the 4th-grade students at the elementary school where my mother teaches, many telling of the friends and loved ones they had lost.

Then there were the twelve days before Christmas (which arrived quickly after his death, which occurred the last week in November), when a large sturdy box was placed at our doorstep with a note attached telling us that each night before Christmas, at exactly 9:00 PM, a package would be placed in the box. We were to make sure we were nowhere to be seen or to see who would drop off the package, as the deliverers were to remain anonymous. We were obedient, and every night, between 9:30 and 10:00, to make sure we gave enough time for the late deliverers to remain anonymous, my mother, the kids and I would go outside and peek into the box to have a look at our new gift. Sometimes the box would contain six gifts, one for each child, from someone who knew them well, as each gift would be tailor-chosen for each child's hobbies, talents, or interests. Other times the box would contain something for me in particular, such as Bath and Body lotion and body spray. And one time, to my utter shock, left in the box was a 42" TV and DVD player.

Those hundreds of acts of kindness I will never forget. And people all over the world, people in congregations of other faiths, in other states, but who had connections to friends and family who knew us, prayed for us. And you know what? I could feel it. I felt so much peace and comfort during those first few days after my husband's suicide that it was almost as if I were under the influence of some form of anesthesia. I only wanted to love and serve others and God and The Spirit were so strong inside me. I know it was because of the prayers that were offered on my behalf.

As visits and calls from friends and acquaintances gradually began to decrease, my family continued to be a rock to me as I emerged from the cloud of shock and disbelief, to the horrendous realization that I was now a widow with six children... at the age of thirty-four. There is one particular incident I remember so vividly, as if I lived it yesterday, in which my family's love pierced so deep into my heart that I know this memory will stay with me for the rest of eternity. It's HERE if you would like to read it. Just the fact that my family ALWAYS, 100% of the time, made themselves available for me to talk to, and sometimes even initiated difficult, but necessary conversations with me and my children, and encouraged me to get out of bed and keep living, were nudges on the road to recovery more than almost anything else. I remember lying in bed six days after he died, listening to the sounds of my mother making Sunday breakfast for the kids, knowing that if I didn't attend church just this one Sunday that people would understand. I stayed in bed as the kids finished breakfast and I listened to the dishes clink as she rinsed them and put them into the dishwasher. Then I heard her walk towards my bedroom. She entered, sat on my bed, and said it was time to get up, that I was going to be late. I told her that I didn't want to go to church, I didn't want to face the sympathetic faces of hundreds of people who felt so sorry for me, and surely they would understand. My mother said, "Jennifer, you are going to church. Church is where we need to be and you know it. Now get dressed. We're going." She was right, and I did.

Christmas came and went, and January arrived. I was still walking through every day as if I was in a dirty haze, caring for the children, because I had to, but zombie-like. One day my mother stood in the doorway of the bathroom as I was fixing my hair and said, "Jennifer, it's time to get some help. You need to call the therapist." She was right, and I did.

Going to therapy was one of the most life-changing experiences I have ever had. Not only did a compassionate man help me get through a horrific tragedy, but he helped me realize that I had some other problems, too, and that fixing these issues would help in raising my children alone. I would highly recommend therapy for anyone who has problems of any kind with any relationship. Yes, that means you.

And so I went to therapy every week, and I moved out of my mother's home into a quaint little four-bedroom rental only four houses down the road. I got up every morning at 5:45 and drove my teen-aged daughter to seminary, then came home and got the other five children up for home school. I cooked, I cleaned, I tried to be the mom and the dad, and because my therapist told me to, I cried in front of my family, because he said they needed to know my pain, and that I needed to stop hiding it. I lay in bed awake at night and imagined how it would be to be alone for years to come, for surely no one would want to marry a woman with six kids. I yearned to be touched, have my shoulders rubbed, kissed, and to press next to someone as we were sleeping. I felt this was not to be, though, so each night, instead of going to bed early, I would do puzzles. Yes, I had decided that I would do puzzles to keep my mind busy and focused on things other than my loneliness. While I worked on my first puzzle I listened to all of my favorite music, and momentarily forgot that I would never get a break from disciplining the kids, that I would be the mom and the dad for the rest of their growing-up years.

And I decided that we would travel. When summer came, we would all seven hop in the van and go any place we wanted. We would stop wherever we wanted to and never rush to get there, and shop and eat and watch movies in hotel rooms.

But God had different plans. Before I was even able to finish one puzzle, John came into my life only five months after my husband died. We fell in love immediately, as if we'd known each other before we were born. If you want to read a bit of how it happened, you can go to the aforementioned link HERE. Long story short, we are now married...

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...and in the five years we've been together, we have added four rambunctious boys to our already large family.

I remember once driving down the road about two weeks after my husband died. I was in such emotional agony, my stomach turning every time I thought of what had happened, and I wondered how I would feel five weeks after he had died, or five months, or five years. What I didn't know was that at the five-month mark, I would be madly in love with my soul mate, and that at the five-year mark, I would be remarried and have four more sons, including a set of identical twins, something I'd dreamed of all my life.

The story of Secretariat reminds me of my own challenges because just as Penny could not have succeeded without the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin, I could not have overcome the tragedy I was asked to endure without the love, support, and kindness of my family and friends.

Secretariat stars Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Dylan Walsh, and James Cromwell and will be released in theaters Friday, October 8th. To learn more, check out Secretariat via the following venues...


For more information:


Like on Facebook.

Follow on Twitter.

Watch on YouTube.

And guess what? If you would like a little help in realizing your dream of overcoming a challenge, why not enter the $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway Sponsored by BlogHer.

There are 3 ways to enter (2 valid entries per person only, US resident, must be 18+ to enter):

1. Leave a comment on this post.

2. Tweet about the post & leave a direct url to the tweet as an additional comment on this post.

3. Blog about the post & leave a direct url to the blog mention as an additional comment on this post.


For the official rules, click HERE, and good luck on winning and realizing your dreams!

Thanks for listening.

286 comments:

Karen said...

What a beautiful tribute to love and hope. I enjoyed reading this immensely and look forward to watching the movie.

kyroberthl said...

What a great story , I can't wait to see the movie. Thank you very much for the contest!!!

Elliott Mom said...

Thank you for sharing your story - I think the movie looks great, too.

peg42 said...

Your story is so touching..thanks for sharing.
This movie really sounds like it's going to be wonderful.
Thanks
rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

agordon10 said...

that is a great story.

Christine said...

You've lived the true life story of adversity and have come out on top. You continually amaze me.

mkjmc said...

I can not wait to see this movie. Have a date night already planned

mkjmc said...

http://twitter.com/mkjmc/status/25717155386 tweeted
kathypersons@yahoo.com

Stephanie said...

Biggest challenge is now - just diagnoed with cancer and fighting with everything I got.
tvollowitz at aol dot com

AbstractRose said...

That was soooo beautiful!! There just isn't the right words to say. Thank you for sharing this!!

Barbarawr said...

Wow - what a wonderful story - maybe YOU should keep the $100 :-)

I've seen previews for the movie and it looks great!

bsw529 at gmail dot com

Barbarawr said...

I tweeted - http://twitter.com/bsw529/status/25722241777

bsw529 at gmail dot com

crboyd said...

I can't wait to take the family to see this movie. :)

MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...

beautiful and inspirational post- thankyou

Pets and their people said...

I can relate to so much of what you said, for a different reason, but the emotions and the struggles are what I feel all too often with my situation. Thank you for sharing your story, so inspirational.

Pets and their people said...

I tweeted http://twitter.com/eyzofblu63/status/25729343699

sodahoney said...

Mom's do what is needed. We overcome and persevere. Thank you foryour story

sodahoney said...

http://twitter.com/sodahoney/status/25731077960

Anonymous said...

That is a very beautiful tale of God's great grace - he provides what we need ALWAYS. For the visa card, here is my email (don't have a blog) bonbon100ev@yahoo.com

Jerri said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us.

And thank you for the giveaway.

Princess Golden Hair said...

What an amazing story you have about life, faith, and most importantly love

Muliebrity said...

I have started an email to you 3 different times, but I have never been able to get finish it.

Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog for awhile now but I am again touched by how much you and yours have gone through - and you continue to shine daily! Thank you for this contest also!
Kim T (jstkat0711@aol.com)

emma said...

Thanks for sharing

mickeyfan said...

Best wishes to you and your husband for a long and happy life together!

Joy said...

That is quite the life story. I'm so glad that God brought you through such a terrible time and brought new love to you.

Super Frugalette said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I would like to see a movie about your life.

Sara said...

What a life story... what a journey this life is... thank you for sharing... the movie looks great!
Sara

Rebecca Graham said...

That is a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing.

rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

Pati @ A Crafty Escape said...

You are a wonderful writer, thanks for sharing that to help others. It's a story that I'm sure gives many people hope.

nightowl said...

Wow, You have a quite a story to tell. You are a survivor and an inspiration!

winit6 at hotmail dot com

nightowl said...

tweeted
http://twitter.com/winsome6/status/25770170290

winit6 at hotmail dot com

Cindy said...

What a heartwarming story. The movie looks great!

hale2005 said...

I have overcome my fear of heights.

hellrzr(at)juno(dot)com

Mami2jcn said...

What an amazing story! Congratulations to you!

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

sweepmom said...

Your story is amazing and speaks to the power of prayer and for good friends and family, not to mention the kidness of strangers.

April said...

This story was so amazing.

teenytig@sbcglobal.net

JC said...

Such an amazing and inspiring story, thank you for sharing with us.

JC said...

http://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/25780355695

ashleymclure said...

Wow! Thanks so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

HORTON111@AOL.COM

I REMEMBER WATCHING THIS HORSE RUN ON TV....SOMETIME AGO

EyeBeeLeaveEweHoney said...

This looks like a well made movie about a truly inspiring true story.

EyeBeeLeaveEweHoney said...

I tweeted. http://twitter.com/SewIntoEwe/status/25783451257

marthajane said...

What a beautiful and inspiring story.

Kelly said...

Thank you for sharing. It's not everyday you read such touching stories on a blog.

lldenton said...

Wow. I've read your story before but it continues to be touching and inspirational. Many blessings for you and your family.

Cassi said...

I just found your blog from InCourage. What a tribute to God's faithful love.

Laura H said...

Thank you so much for your sincerity and honesty. your strength and hope are so inspiring. thank you for sharing you story and reminding me that there is alway hope.

aajacques said...

Beautfiul story, thanks for sharing

Trisha said...

I had read this post a few months back and was very touched. I am thrilled that your past has brought a happy future. We love having you and your family in our little town.

turleybenson said...

I love when you share your story. It gives everything perspective.

The movie sounds great. I could use a little inspiration.

M.A. said...

Thank you for making this a great day!

buzzd said...

What a great story. I am glad you are happy. Life is full of so many challenges it is great when we finally get some happiness.

buzzd said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/buzz8/status/25805040665

JoAnn said...

What an amazing story. God does work in great ways.

Catharine said...

Read through your archives, I am amazed by your strength!

I'm old enough to have grown up when Secretariet was racing. Such a great story!

Catharine said...

Tweet!
http://twitter.com/norcalgal52/status/25806357042

Anonymous said...

I've overcome breaking my back in the middle of college to still finish strong and keep up good grades!

scg00387 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

http://twitter.com/DesMoinesDealin/status/25806985827 scg00387 at yahoo dot com

The Zany Housewife said...

Wow, what a touching story. I cannot begin to imagine what you and your children went through. It sounds like you have found happiness.
levalor@yahoo.com

Shelle and Dan said...

Thank you for sharing your story. shelle.lenssen(at)live(dot)com

wigget said...

thank you for sharing your story

ellie said...

What a moving story. I just don't know If I could have overcome that as well as you have. Very inspiring!
eswright18 at gmail.com

ellie said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/eswright18/status/25811994768
eswright18 at gmail.com

AK :) said...

Amazing story Jen! So glad you have your happily ever after.

Mariah said...

This was a truly inspiring story.
Thank you.

Carrie White said...

thanks for sharing your story. whitecarrie69@yahoo.com

Carrie White said...

i also tweeted http://twitter.com/whitecarrie69/status/25816708248 whitecarrie69@yahoo.com

bdiane34 said...

What a great and trully inspiring story!!! Thank you for sharing!
sweokgrl@gmail.com

bdiane34 said...

tweeted
sweokgrl@gmail.com
http://twitter.com/bdiane34/status/25816943596

lisa said...

Sounds great! I'll have to see the movie. msmith572@yahoo.com

lisa said...

Tweet: http://twitter.com/samasam/status/25817169850

msmith572@yahoo.com

sksweeps said...

What an inspiring story! Nice to know that there are still soulmates and love matches around!

sksweeps (at) earthlink (dot) net

Caroline said...

That sounds like a wonderful story!

Im4Christ2@msn.com

The Sunshyn said...

My current challenge is that I am still mostly bedridden due to a long ago injury, and my husband has been laid-off for over a year now. We do our best to get by, and in fact are looking toward the future Once finances become stable again, we've decided to sell the house and move to an area where I can get better medical care and be closer to our loved ones.
chainmail(at) iwon(dot)com

The Sunshyn said...

I tweeted
http://twitter.com/The_Sunshyn/status/25819573430

Lynn said...

The Lord truly does know what he is doing. THanks for sharing.

Can't wait to see this movie too.

fostertam said...

You have definitely run your on race on life's treacherous track. Can't wait to take my grandson to see the movie.

fostertam said...

http://twitter.com/fostertam/status/25820729657

llinda29 said...

makes me ready to see the movie

gmissycat said...

Thank God for such wonderful giveaways. Bless anyone and everyone who wins!
gmissycat@yahoo.com

gmissycat said...

Tweeted your giveaway!
http://twitter.com/gmissycat/status/25834112279
gmissycat@yahoo.com

Lis said...

What an amazing road you've gone down and that you've been able to survive and find happiness. Suicide of a loved one has always been one of my greatest fears, and I'm glad there are those out there who find ways to go on and live the lives they've always wanted.

Very cool giveaway also! :)

elizabeth p said...

Being a wife to a disabled Army Veteran I had to read your story. How touching that God brought John into your life when you needed him. I am queenesperfect at yahoo.com

Eileen (Books R Us) said...

What a touching story and the movie is going to be wonderful

eileen at booksrusonline.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing your
story. I can not wait to see the
movie. Thanks
Cathy Truman
kbtruman@aol.com

Jenndiggy said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie! Thanks for the giveaway!

jenndiggy at gmail dot com

her5boys said...

Thank you for sharing your sweet story! I will for sure see the movie!

her5boys said...

Tweet!! http://twitter.com/her5boys480/status/25851350000

clc408 said...

Your story is inspiring and the movie looks great. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

Bree said...

Very touching!!! Thanks...

gina parker, PPRO said...

What an amazing story of love and faith and hope and destiny.

sy said...

thank you for sharing your story, i can't believe how you pulled through, it's truly inspiring.
songyueyu at gmail

sy said...

i tweeted http://twitter.com/syytta/status/25916908606

Nancy said...

Great post.... thanks for sharing your story. I look forward to seeing the movie.

Nancy said...

My tweet: http://twitter.com/njhhb/statuses/25920905570

Amy said...

Thank you for the giveaway.
abehles88 at gmail dot com

mmentor said...

sign me up

Laura Darling said...

What a story! Inspiring.

LauraSchwarz6@gmail.com

Charity Donovan said...

How to raise quadruplets & a singleton and give everyone the attention & love they deserve as individuals.

charityd AT centurytel DOT net

sarah said...

I'm glad you managed to find love again. I can't imagine going through the suicide of a husband!

Brooke said...

My deaf dog is constantly a challenge. She can be such a handful but other times is just a dog. I am happy that she grabbed my heartstrings - if the Humane Society knew she was deaf before we adopted her, she probably would have be euthanized.
shutterboo at gmail dot com

Leah @ A Butterfly In My Stomach said...

My obstacle to overcome was my health. I have had chronic tmj for a span of 6 months for the past four years...I am only 35! I wasn't able to eat or talk. It was a true trial.

leahforlove(at)aol(dot)com

3 Boys and an Old Lady said...

I saw previews of this movie a couple of weeks ago and this is definitely on our radar.

Thanks for sharing your story also.

tatertot374 said...

Thank you for sharing
thank you
tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

Lorie said...

What a great story! And it is a great movie! I took my kids to the screening and my 9 year old son said it was the best Disney movie he had ever seen!

Just call me b said...

What a great post!
And, I can't WAIT to see the movie!

doozercries said...

I sometimes think about were I would be years from now. I just give up and let life take me where ever I need to be.

doozercries said...

tweeted here:

https://twitter.com/#!/doozercries/statuses/26040445808

Angel Jacklyn said...

I CAN SO RELATE TO YOU! kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

TWEET http://twitter.com/kytah00/status/26046003917 kytah00@yahoo.com

Janna @ Feed Your Pig said...

Awesome contest! Thanks for entering me!
Janna Johnson
jannajanna@hotmail.com
Janna@Feedyourpigblog.com
www.feedyourpigblog.com

Kelly Massman said...

I don’t know that I’ve completely overcome it, but I have lupus! I try to make the best of it even though I have alot of pain and fatigue with it! Thanks for a chance to win!
kmassman gmail

Kerry said...

Lovely story!
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

Kerry said...

tweeted:http://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/26126804282
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dotnet)

Nanci said...

Would love to see the movie with my husband.

jakiesmom said...

your children are very lucky
nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

Timbo said...

You know, I'll be very honest, I know NOTHING about Secretariat and would be curious to find out more :D

Timbo said...

I shared this giveaway on Facebook :D

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000628770520&v=wall&story_fbid=157738607589677

Timbo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Deb said...

tweeted http://twitter.com/tnshadylady/status/26184927585

Deb said...

blog post http://tnshadylady.blogspot.com/2010/10/secretariat-and-blogher-giveaway.html

lswalton9 said...

I loved reading your beautiful story and some of the others here. I can't wait to see the movie!

lswalton9 said...

Tweeted!

http://twitter.com/nobimbo1/status/26202991619

Shel said...

I just saw a commercial for the movie and am looking forward to seeing it with my daughter.

Your story touched my heart, thank you for sharing it...I had to go back and read the whole story and while you and your children have my utmost sympathy, your after-story inspires great hope. You have incredible courage and strength.

shel704 at aol dot com

Shel said...

Tweeted:
http://twitter.com/auntiethesis/status/26212756936

shel704 at aol dot com

quitecontrary1977 said...

What a beautiful, poignant story! I knew this couple, the husband comitted suicide 3 years ago,and on the first anniversary of his death, his widow went on a cruise, just to have some spiritual healing time, and on that cruise she met the man she is now married to. I think it shows God wants us to be happy. And I'm very glad that God has given you so much joy!
quitecontrary1977@hotmail.com

allysmama said...

Thanks for sharing your story! It was very inspiring! Thanks for the chance to win! I can't wait to see the movie!
bleatham*at*gmail.com

allysmama said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/sleatham1/status/26234425749
bleatham*at*gmail.com

CathyB said...

Your post made me realize that my chronic headaches are not near as bad as I thought they were. It can always be worse. Thanks for the giveaway.

dancejamboree at gmail dot com

Elaine said...

This was a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing and thank you for this opportunity!

CLOTHED MUCH, a modest fashion blog

Carole said...

Life is remarkable--we are presented with challenges, losses, sadness, and joy. I'm glad that you found joy in your life.

carolspod AT gmail DOT com

Carole said...

I tweeted your giveaway: http://twitter.com/cspod/statuses/26278268894

carolspod AT gmail DOT com

COURTNEYSTOFFEL said...

Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

hebert024 at aol dot com

JoeyfromSC said...

Thanks for sharing your great story!

The biggest challenge I have had to overcome, was raising two brothers after my Mom died(of leukemia at age 44)..it wasn’t always easy but they are successful adults today and I’m SO proud of them!

Thank you for the chance to win!

ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

JoeyfromSC said...

Tweeted

http://twitter.com/JoeyfromSC/status/26298043155

ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

LAMusing said...

Thank you for sharing your story. So glad you have found happiness again.
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

Norma said...

The resiliency of the human spirit is amazing.
bingomamanorma(at)gmail(dot)com

LAMusing said...

Tweet!
http://twitter.com/LAMusing/status/26317201756
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

smilekisses said...

Very much enjoyed your story and so sorry to hear of such a tragic loss. Stay strong.
dolniaks[at]consolidated[dot]net

Mom2anutball said...

What an amazing story.
I'd love to see that movie too!
Thanks for the giveaway too!
fineinsanity {at} live {dot} com

clynsg said...

It is always good to learn that whatever burdens one has had, others have had the same, or more, to bear. It is good to learn that you were able to come out of your pain into a new and happy life.

cgclynsg0 at gmail dot com

racergirl1313 said...

Thank you for sharing your touching story.

racergirl1313 said...

Tweet- http://twitter.com/racergirl1313/status/26383166775

amandawk said...

Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

amandawk said...

Tweeted http://twitter.com/amandawk/status/26384495399

dawns41 said...

Anyone involved in the racing industry faces numerous challenges with thier horses.
dawns_horizen@yahoo.com

rkerster@gmail.com said...

Really inspiring and a triumph of the human spirit.

Sheila said...

What an amazing story~ I cant imagaine what your life was like then and so very thankful that it is what you have now. God bless you and your family!

I am like all the other in saying, I can not wait to watch the movie.

Thank you

Chacoy said...

Wow, what a very inspirational woman you are. You brought a few tears to my eye. I am happy to know that you and your family are doing well.
I like the others can not wait to see the movie;}

Chacoy said...

Tweet:
http://twitter.com/Ma21cuteboy/status/26408010887

Melanie said...

You story is beautiful and I am so glad that God was thankful in his blessings to you.

I personally have been touched by suicide and while it was not on the same level, the pain still lingers.

floating said...

I am looking forward to seeing this movie
floatingonabiscuit@gmail.com

Susan said...

My husband was the only one in our family that worked, until he hurt himself. He couldn't work, the bills were piling up, and I was unskilled. It was heartbreaking to go to one job interview after another and never hear back or to find out I didn't get the job.

Finally, I used some skills I had (hobbies) and was able to make a meager living so we could at least get food for the family.

After my husband's second surgery, he was finally able to go back to work. It is amazing how one day everything is fine, then the next, it is not.

rsmstahley @ adelphia dot net

Susan said...

Tweet http://twitter.com/rsmstahley/status/26423972775

rsmstahley @ adelphia dot net

singlemormonchick said...

amazing story. i know its been an inspiration to so many people, thank you for sharing it.

bepoia said...

Thank you for hosting this giveaway I've had more than one challenge in my life
bepoia(at)hotmail(dot)com

Ravzie said...

I was the victim of constant bullying as a child and I am still struggling to get over it. I'm glad that now people realize bullying is not just childhood fun.

Tracy R said...

wow, touching story.

sodahoney said...
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Tabathia said...

that was a very inspirational story
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Tabathia said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/26509851329
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Debbie C said...

Your story and Penny's are good things for many women to hear. Thanks.

Debbie C said...

Tweeted
http://twitter.com/DchrisG3/status/26528091203

Anonymous said...

Beautiful story of love. You deserve the wonderful life you have now.
bonbon100ev@yahoo.com

Custom Comforts said...

What an amazing story. Thanks for being so open and honest. We all need to know we are not alone in our struggles and you showed us that.
Being a horseracing fan, I can hardly wait for the movie. I still remember vividly when Secretariat won The Belmont and it still sends chills up my body.
Cindy

Amy said...

A lovely and moving story. I think I'll like the movie.

susan1215 said...

Such and inspiring story. I have overcome an challenging childhood growing up with an alcoholic father.

s2s2 at comcast dot net

susan1215 said...

http://twitter.com/susan1215/status/26592372846

Janice said...

Thanks for sharing part of you!
jltreasure at gmail

JeanineMB said...

Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

jeaninemb at aol dot com

Danielle said...

This looks like such a good movie.. I can't wait to see it.. And thanks for sharing your story and such a wonderful giveaway!
dgoodridge84@yahoo.com

crystalf said...

What a beautiful story! thanks for the giveaway!

the johnson's said...

Wonderful giveaway. Thank you!

won said...

My heart goes out to yours...and feels a part of yours too.

won said...

http://twitter.com/#!/won2x/status/26664250535

Thank you!

Nita said...

I love hearing inspiring stories. Thanks for sharing yours.

Tammy said...

Great story!

Tristan said...

Please enter me in this giveaway.

I'm grateful to read your story as well, and the movie is one my oldest daughter hopes to see.

loni said...

truly amazing!

trippyjanet at hotmail dot com

Chisum's Crew said...

What an amazing story! Thank you for reminding me that life does go on as everything around you seems to be crumbling. trinitygsd at yahoo do tcom

chlorinebrain said...

What a fantastic story , I can't wait to see the movie. Thank you for offering such a great giveaway!

Julieh said...

Your story has given me hope about my own struggles. Thanks for the inspiration. honeypie411 at yahoo dot com

Giant Sis said...

Thank you for taking the time to share such a personal story.

thorney said...

Your story is both tragic and beautiful. I would love to write a screenplay for you.

mrssquigg said...

Having a large family and being a "no" person is super challenging. But it works for me and I'm happy.


mrssquigg @ comcast.net

mrssquigg said...

Tweet: https://twitter.com/mrssquigg/status/26717875369


mrssquigg @ comcast.net

iplaytrack1224 said...

Awesome blog and thanks for the giveaway!
Would love, love, LOVE to win this!
=]

Christine C. said...

Thank you for sharing your story.

pattycake said...

thanks for telling your story--we all need hope to overcome problems

pattycake said...

tweeted Latest: http://11thheavensreviews.blogspot.com/2010/09/i-may-not-have-traveled-racetrack-like.html less than 5 seconds ago

Laura said...

The strength we all have inside us, and the desire to better ourselves nevers fails to inspire me.

ckfrrt said...

Thank you for the wonderful touching story.
carolkfoster@comcast.net

coriwestphal said...

What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing!

coriwestphal at msn dot com

coriwestphal said...

Tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/coriwestphal/status/26769935968

coriwestphal at msn dot com

Susan C. said...

Your story is absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing it!

Erica C. said...

Thanks for sharing!

pixie13 said...

Very touching story. Thank you for sharing

gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com