Overcoming Obstacles to Be the Best you Can Be

A friend sent me this poem this morning and another found its author. I don’t know who took the picture, where they took it, or when, but the two resonated in me today. There are things that happen in life that seem insurmountable, but if we’re determined and look to the future, anything is possible.


by Becky Helmsley

“She sat at the back and they said she was shy,

She led from the front and they hated her pride,

They asked her advice and then questioned her guidance,

They branded her loud, then were shocked by her silence,

When she shared no ambition they said it was sad,

So she told them her dreams and they said she was mad,

They told her they’d listen, then covered their ears,

And gave her a hug while they laughed at her fears,

And she listened to all of it thinking she should,

Be the girl they told her to be best as she could,

But one day she asked what was best for herself,

Instead of trying to please everyone else,

So she walked to the forest and stood with the trees,

She heard the wind whisper and dance with the leaves,

She spoke to the willow, the elm and the pine,

And she told them what she’d been told time after time,

She told them she felt she was never enough,

She was either too little or far far too much,

Too loud or too quiet, too fierce or too weak,

Too wise or too foolish, too bold or too meek,

Then she found a small clearing surrounded by firs,

And she stopped…and she heard what the trees said to her,

And she sat there for hours not wanting to leave,

For the forest said nothing, it just let her breathe”

 Becky Hemsley

Sometimes, all we can do is sit, breathe, and hope.

Life isn’t easy, nor is it fair. People do judge you, and most of the time someone will question your choices. The key is to find a way to rise above it all and keep doing what you do best. To me, the perfect example of this kind of dedication, determination, and perseverance is found in my daughter.

My grandchildren lost their father eight years ago, two weeks before Christmas. Since he and my daughter had been estranged for four years prior to that, his family refused to allow her to attend the funeral service, but they wanted the children there. N was 9, E 8, G 7, and A was 5. Losing a father, even one who might not be the best, is really hard on kids, and at that time of the year–brutal comes to mind.

My daughter vowed that her children would never lack for anything. That she would raise them to be the best they could be, and that Christmas and Santa would still be there that year for them. She made sure they had everything they needed over the years–food, clothing, a home, sports, other activities, and education. Now that N is 17, E 16, G 15, and A 13 she can see how well her hard work, sacrifice and efforts have paid off. As grandparents, we did what we could to support her, but when I say she did it on her own, I’m not kidding.

She instilled in her children a work ethic similar to hers. The three oldest, in addition to being on the honor roll at school, have parttime jobs. The youngest, also an honor student, earns money cutting grass and intends to get a job as soon as he’s of age. While G plays basketball on a girl’s traveling team, the other three are army cadets. My father was a veteran and while he didn’t see any action oversees because of his age, he did defend the home borders. He passed away three and a half years ago, and while I miss him still, I know he would’ve been proud of his great-grandchildren.

At the annual cadet review last night, N got the trophy for best Senior Cadet and marksmanship. E was given charge of the color party and the honor of carrying the Canadian flag, and A was part of the party as well, carrying a rifle. Next week, there will be a second round of promotions.at cadets. I couldn’t be prouder.

It’s important in life to persevere. Getting to be the best you can be takes sacrifice and hard work. Don’t let your circumstances define you. If you want it, go for it.

Don’t forget to check out this month’s great deals from the ABB.

Among them is Atonement, my paranormal psychic romance thriller, on sale this month for $2.99 USD

Although she was raised in an alleged haunted house by a Wiccan priestess, Anca Cole, a bartender with a degree in psychology, refuses to believe in magic, demons, ghosts, curses, or anything remotely supernatural. There’s a logical explanation for everything.
When her aunt has an accident, Anca rushes back to Salem, arriving home to realize that things aren’t what she expected. The family ghost exists and insists it’s time for Anca to accept and fulfill her destiny.
With help from Dr. Walt Tanner, the man who broke her heart, a couple of unusual cats, and an ancient parrot, Anca sets out to discover the truth about Cole Cottage and find the key to saving the future. This fight may have started more than three hundred and fifty years ago, but the war ends now.
Unless she and Walt can find what was lost, evil will prevail and destroy any chance they may have at a future together. Can their love overcome centuries of hatred, jealousy, envy, and greed, or will they be doomed to stay apart forever?

Also, check out Irresistible Accidental Heroes, featuring my novel, Finding Melinda, a novel about a woman’s search for her roots. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0C1F1JWGB

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About Susanne Matthews

I'm a retired high school English teacher turned author. I'm Canadian. My husband and I have been married 48 years and have 3 children and 5 grandchildren, as well as 2 step-grandchildren.  I enjoy traveling, especially somewhere warm in winter.

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