I grew up in Steubenville, a gloomy Ohio Valley steel town on the banks of the Ohio River and as a young woman realized my dream of leaving the industrial grime and smoke that I grew to hate.
Attending college far away from home was not only a way out, but also during my years at school, life afforded me a break. I was asked to audition for Bert Claster, the creator of a popular children’s television show, Romper Room, syndicated throughout the world. This occurrence changed my life forever and I began on a whirlwind of life-changing events that caused me to eventually lead a double life. My public persona was that of a successful anchorwoman, but my private life was one of personal pain and constant terror.
My mind was occupied with a stalker that had threatened my life and in searching for the truth, I discovered that it was my husband, who eventually was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. In 1980 he disappeared from the face of the Earth, never to be heard from again.
It took me eleven years to sort out the mystery of my husband’s disappearance and to also sort out my feelings when I discovered the truth.
When the ball dropped in New York’s Times Square on the Millennium and we all survived while entering the next century, I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer. I had to tell my story.
My initial plan was to combine a journal that I kept traveling the Nile River in 1984 with the story of my life and the investigation I started thereafter involving Jennings’ disappearance.
I wasn’t too sure that anyone but me would be interested in my emotional evolution during that prior journey to Egypt, so I gave my journal to several of my family and good friends to read. They encouraged me to go ahead and begin telling my story using my journal, but I decided to put it aside and just start telling my story right from the beginning as it was lived.
After years of trying not to think about my life with my husband and his death, I thought that if and when I made the decision to validate my pain and let go of the anger that there would be a great emotional healing that would release me. That there would be a great catharsis that would set me free.
So then why was I sitting there trying to fight back not tears of joy, but of emptiness. Why was there no feeling of an end for me? An end to my life with him, a severing of the cord for once and for all. He was gone and now I could get on with my life.
But as I sat there I knew there would be no end for me, and no end for my children. How could I not have seen it before? Knowledge gives us power, but it would never give us complete closure. We can never erase the days and years he was a part of our lives. Those memories we will carry forever.
So I have traveled this long journey to discover that in the end to find answers is just part of the closure. And it is not the most important in the trilogy of finding peace within. It is the confronting of truths and the forgiveness of trespasses against us that brings final peace and closure.
So that is my story. That is part of who I am. The answers I had looking for closure had released me to another journey that begins for me everyday my feet hit the floor. I can’t wait to see what is around the next bend in my after-fifty road. And I thank all of you who are willing to travel with me as I experience life and living here on this planet we all are lucky enough to share together.
What words plea
Upon the page
To tell my tale
Expose my soul
So I can feel
So you can see
What I know?
©Sandra Hart 2012