27 years ago….
The scene is a party I hosted for my brother who’d accepted a physician position at George Washington University Hospital. He and his family would be leaving Sudbury, Massachusetts.
We in the family all chipped in to give him this party. Only problem? My fiancée (with whom I’d bought this house seen in background) had just died. Boxes of packed items sat all about, in the home. We hadn’t even unpacked everything yet, when he’d suffered a heart attack. He lived only two days.
The irony was: The first party in this new home was supposed to be our wedding reception.
Now, I had to pick up the considerable pieces of my shattered life….
I didn’t feel I could cancel my brother’s party. People were coming from out of town and there’d be no time for our family to get another venue.
Instead, I threw myself into getting the yard and the house ready and baking 5 calzones (they ALL went, even before the caterer’s offerings, a caterer my older brother, sister, mother and I hired.)
That’s me in the swimming pool, wearing a turquoise bathing suit and a smile (contrasting with my true state.) This picture—and what it portrays–is testament to the reality that one can’t know what’s going on, in another, by outer appearance, for this was the year that almost broke me.
I’d already gone through terrible crises—a divorce from first husband, raising my first child alone, a second difficult marriage, culminating in a two-year terminal illness with that husband.
The death of my fiancee became my 3rd. crisis.
My world (and that of my children) reverberated with terrible challenges.
But if you see this “happy pic” you’d never know it…….And I say: A snapshot of any one of us at a certain time will never tell the true nature of our well-being, for I hung onto sanity in the months ahead, by my fingernails.
From my future book, “In the Shadow of Princes.”
***And if you want to be alerted to new postings or future books (first one to come out this year will be “The Asheville Experiment,” in 2017, about Paul’s and my many year search for the perfect retirement town.) We found it but we left it, too, after 9 years. My book is a cautionary tale (with a lot of really good realtor tips, since I did that career, too) for all who consider buying and/or selling a home anywhere (yep–not just out of state.) And it’ll contain my trademark humor. If interested, pls. sign up, at top right hand corner. Your email will go nowhere else–promise.
Kathleen Monahan of Leisure Learning, St. Luke’s, East Greenwich, says: “Thank you for the outstanding talk.You positively affect the lives of your audience (that was the talk from the group at lunch.) You gave us energy and courage. We laughed out loud. No one fell asleep. You connected! A good quality, very hard to achieve.You are the best. I am so grateful that our paths have crossed.”
Janet Noke at Leisure Learning, says: Speaker Colleen Kelly Mellor demonstrates ‘professionalism, quality, timeliness.’ She’s ‘very entertaining and enlightening.’ “
“I knew who you were (from my columns in the Journal) but I never realized how funny you are, in person. I loved your talk!” another said.
‘Inspiring’….’Moving”.…were other observations.
As a freelance journalist, I write Op-Ed articles (mostly on educational issues) that appear regularly in the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Providence Journal. But my work’s also appeared in Wall St. Journal, Asheville, North Carolina’s Mountain Xpress, Scripps-Howard, World News, etc.
Now I guest-speak before audiences, encouraging them to take their life experiences and ‘go higher’ on a plane of self-discovery. My talks are spirited, humor-laced, and by all accounts, ‘rollicking good fun.’
My Grandpa and the Truck children’s books have been heralded by the top international truckers’ association (OOIDA) and Women in Trucking WIT). Teachers, librarians, parents and children love them, too. The trucker/hero and I have gone before audiences of 200 children to present our lively show. My childrens’ book website is www.grandpaandthetruck.com.
Along with guest-speaking and freelance writing, I complete “Boomerrrang,” about my husband’s and my move to Asheville, NC , an artist enclave in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a town consistently on lists of “Most Popular Retirement Towns in America.”
Our story will be a cautionary tale for all those considering leaving their native state and a “must-get” for any who consider purchase/sale of a home—anywhere.
Prior to being a freelance writer, I was a 30-year secondary teacher of English and Journalism and a highly successful realtor. I’m a 15-year breast cancer survivor whose experience with that dread disease became the Cover Story in Providence Journal “Lifestyles” Sunday magazine in 2002. Widowed twice by the time I was 45, I raised two daughters as single parent.
All this makes me the perfect vehicle for engendering hope in audiences to meet and harness the crises of their lives, as growth opportunities.
Now, in workshops and guest-talks, I address how to make the senior years the most productive of one’s life, for I am true embodiment of my beliefs.
I welcome your contact, regarding how I might give my hopeful message to your group.
Colleen Kelly Mellor
***Please subscribe in top right hand of this site, to get future posts and alerts as to when “Boomerrrang” is ready (a humor-laced book for home purchase/sale anywhere, all the more for those going out-of-state.) Children’s books are ready now. Guest-speaking dates open. Let’s have fun!