Destroying a very important relationship in my early adulthood and consequently, having to deal with the realities that followed, was the first time in my life I experienced total emotional devastation. I felt an intense achy emptiness in what is often referred to as the heartspace, that space in our chest and upper abdominal cavities where we feel our soul to be. So devastating was that break-up, the feeling lasted, not for days or weeks, but months and years. I took 100 percent blame and could not seem to let go of the blame. A relentless gnawing feeling took hold and persisted, threatening to destroy my life and any future happiness I might find, if there should be any out there for me. Thankfully, I’d met an awesome woman who I consider my good friend and mentor.

thank u

Capturing Faith
In order to survive, I knew I had to gather up my heartspace and try to move on, it was a task I wasn’t really sure I was up to, and I look back fondly at a time when my good friend and mentor, Ethelyn Mosher, used much of her Faith to encourage my ability to make a new life, in a new place. I believe Ethelyn’s strong Faith in God and her belief in me made me see possibilities that could be there, even though life as I knew it (or even wanted to know it) was gone forever. I secured a new job, found a new apartment, made new friends and started a new life, the very thing I thought I couldn’t possibly do. Eventually, I found someone who filled my newly-repaired heartspace with love and laughter again. That, too, I thought was impossible. As long as it remained crumbled and broken, my heartspace couldn’t be open to the possibilities of happiness that lay ahead! Making new friends and allowing them to share my life, and sharing in my dear friend’s awesome faith, allowed possibilities to open up to me.

Relentless Gnawing Lessens
I came to realize that faith in others and faith in a higher power (whatever your higher power is) creates a faith in yourself that allows you to put your heartspace in order. That relentless gnawing feeling inside you lessens a little each day, so you can finally see a new life beginning to take shape. I suppose it is another form of standing tall, although, at the time, it certainly didn’t feel like I was standing tall. I did find a new life; and it was an exciting and fulfilling life.

More Heartspace Aches
I drew on Ethelyn’s example of Faith once again (I often called it “piggy-backing” on her Faith) some 26 years later when a stroke wracked my body my brain and my life, tearing through me like a bolt of lightning, rendering me completely left-side paralyzed. I continued to believe all would be right in the end; that everything happens for a reason, even though we can’t see the reason immediately. Using that, I believed I would get better, even as the medical professionals said I wouldn’t walk and would likely spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. I believed, I fought hard for what I felt strongly to be true and that was that I’d not only walk, but I’d also get my life back. I draw on everything Ethelyn has taught me, especially now, following the death of my best friend and life partner, who, over the course of 28 years had become the center of my whole life. The feeling in my heartspace aches as it did in my early 20’s and again just 4 1/2 years ago, after I thought I lost myself to the stroke.
Even as I sit here writing this, I feel a tear sting this toomy eye and hot liquid moving down my cheek. I feel, too, that same gnawing in my heartspace, I remember my life will get better again. My heartspace will repair. There will be love and laughter once more.
As each day goes by, I’m drawing on the faith Ethelyn showed to me, and in me. all those years ago to help me gather up the pieces of my heart space and put things back in order so that the gnawing feelings start to dissipate. It is happening, the hollowness is becoming less and that relentless gnawing is coming slowly to an end.

I had no way of knowing when I met this very incredible woman so many, many years ago exactly how great an impact she would have on my life. It has been as incredible as the woman herself. I’m grateful every day that I did meet her, for where would my heartspace have been without her? How would I have weathered those emotionally-devastating times in my life without having experienced her tremendous love and Faith? I don’t think I really want to know the answer to that question! I can only imagine how the members of her family feel.
I stand tall now with gratitude for everything she has given me. It’s been a redefining of what I otherwise might have known as “standing tall”.

Sandra M. Meers



About sandrastandingtall

I was the little, curly-haired redhead who dreamed of a pair of red shoes… shiny, red, patent leather slip-ons with a small black heel and a gleaming gold buckle on top. The shoes caught my eye from the window of the shoe store our family frequented and were a huge departure from the requisite, dull, ugly, brown, lace-up Bobby Browns my sister and I were made to wear because “they are good for your feet”. I finally won the red shoes battle which would became a sort-of metaphor for the many battles I would fight in my life. The battle to find a job after graduating high school in an over-crowded employment market led me to study for, and receive, my Real Estate license, resulting in a sponsorship and job with a local broker. Following three years of University, the job market had improved little. However, a close friend and editor saw some talent in my writing and offered me a position with her newspaper, as junior reporter, which I parlayed into ad sales and promotion writing and learning every aspect of the pre- desktop publishing industry. The twists and turns of young adult life did not see me married with eight children, living a “back-to-the-earth” life in Canada’s North as I had anticipated in the many years previous. Instead, I found myself following my mentor’s lead, making a career in the community newspaper industry, taking on the Editorship of two of the same company’s small-town papers. That brings my life to present-day, living a quiet life in a small, rural farming community on Canada’s Atlantic coast, playing Grandmother to three amazing little boys, having battled a severe stroke which ended concurrent careers as an Election Returning officer, and as a Customer Service Rep for a large communications company. That battle, close to complete, has lead me back to my first love – writing.
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  1. Lisbie says:

    I’ve read this post over and over again with recognition and awe. I am struck by how a wise woman was able to inspire a hurting younger woman to find the “eternal summer” in herself during the “dark winter” of her pain, and how those lessons learned continue to keep her afloat through loss and trial so many years later in the glorious adventure of living. Oh, for the wisdom and the mindfulness to beneficially impact on the lives with which I make contact. And kudos to you, Sandra, for being attentive and living the message so powerfully.
    Thank you for enriching my life through sharing.
    Lisbie oxo

  2. Darlene says:

    Wow as I read standing tall really hits me in a way you could never understand, I’m 46 years old and I thought I was on top of the world and would always stand tall with my smile as I truly loved life until I got hit with a bad torn.I love making people happy Suddenly I could see my smile slowly slip away,as I had to endure to see my boss slowly slip away from his battle of cancer after his passing I was left with a large load to look after,then suddenly realize I couldn’t cope with many things I thankfully reached for help after realizing I had a burn out. I just want you to know that my issue was mild compared to what you had to indure.I was fortunate to have the support of my loving husband and a very dear friend in wish I call my fairy God Mother and I believe she is a follower of yours she is to me an Angel so with the support I kept Believing that things would one day be back to where I was and thankfully I have my smile back and can stand tall again. That friend had a huge part of regaining my confidence and the only real friend who made an impact on me when I needed her the most so to find a friend that can positively impact your life in such a way are a rare find and one that can never be broken no matter what. We share that part!!!!! So happy that you where able to overcome the unfortunate things life true your way cause you certainly didn’t deserve to endure such pain,but it’s amazing want a true friend can do for someone and I’m thankful she came in your life and I know she will continue to watch over you and give you the strength you need to carry true each day and appreciate life thanks for such an inspiring story.Wishing you all the best. God Bless xo. Dar :)!!!!!

  3. Nita says:

    Lisbie said it all for me with her amazing ability to express herself with words – as you do as well………..all I know is that never having met you in person, Sandra, you inspire me. Keep writing, I believe it’s your destiny – to shine a positive light on the world for all of us. Nita xoxo

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