Archive for Inspiration Posts

published in Beauty, Gratitude, Inspiration, Photos, Travel by Maryanne | January 30, 2019 | 6 Comments

Here Today, Gone To…

 

Maui, Hawaii

“The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.”

– Mary Davis

Aloha!

I hope 2019 is off to a great start for you! I am so grateful to have been able to spend a week in Maui…relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, sightseeing and much eating, of course. I had never been to the island before but was wowed at first sight. I went with my friend, Alison, and then my friend, Nina, came over from the Big Island to join us for a few days.

Here are some snaps from our adventures:

Alison & MA, Day One

 

Maui sunset on “Kam 2” beach

 

Cool shot of sharks at the Maui Ocean Centre

 

Waves crashing on rocks at edge of “Kam 2”

 

MA, Alison & Nina beachin’ it

 

Another stunning sunset

Check out the breaching whale on the far right!

 

Other sunset admirers

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, by brother, George, his wife, Donna, and their eldest daughter, Laura, were on Sadie-duty.

George giving Sadie a tummy scratch 🙂

Sadie injured her shoulder very badly in mid-January (in a big bark-off with dogs on the other side of a fence) and underwent “platelet replacement therapy” three days before I left for Maui. So no kennel for her! Thank goodness my family was able to care for her while I was away. Unfortunately, Sadie is still in pretty rough shape 🙁

We have now left Okotoks, AB and are heading back to Vancouver Island…very slowly!

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.

Calling All Librarians: Why “A Widow’s Awakening” Needs to be in Your Library

 

“My heart is beating harder and my breathing shorter. I am hugging my husband tighter and kissing him longer. I have burnt supper while reading A Widow’s Awakening. I have read books until wee hours of the night but I have not felt this much about a book before. You are an incredibly gifted writer…I feel like I am right beside you and that I am getting to know your husband and your relationship together. I love how he loved you. I love your writing style, how brilliantly you tie everything together and how you authentically share your soul.”

– Kim Williamson, Cochrane, Alberta

A Widow’s Awakening is touching the heart & soul of readers

After Constable John Petropoulos fell to his death in 2000 while investigating a break and enter complaint, his widow, Maryanne Pope, fell into a free-fall of her own into the depths of grief. Her debut novel, A Widow’s Awakening (BHC Press, 2018) captures her candid journey of learning to accept the unacceptable while transforming loss into positive change.

Engaging, heartbreaking, humorous and brutally honest, this story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and an important addition to any library collection.

Order the e-book through OverDrive until Jan 31st, 2019

Until Jan 31st, the e-book can be ordered through Rakuten OverDrive as part of their Holiday Spectacular Sale.

What readers are saying… 

“Based on a true story, A Widow’s Awakening, is a hauntingly beautiful story of enduring love, overwhelming heartache and discovering resiliency.  With descriptions that are heartfelt, painful and often humorous, author Maryanne Pope artfully paints a picture of what it is like to have your entire world pulled out from under you.” 

– Sharon Ehlers, Grief Reiki

“A Widow’s Awakening expresses the gripping pain of losing someone you love, tragically and unexpectedly. Yes, it’s a novel….but the candid truth of this widow’s suffering is real. It’s Maryanne’s personal story, but it’s more than her story. It’s for anyone who has suffered a tragic loss…she captures the essence of a grieving soul. In a strange way you may feel relief because you’ve had some of those same feelings as she did that others often judge. You realize you are not alone.”

– Robin Chodak, Grief Coach

“I started reading A Widow’s Awakening on Sunday and finished it Monday. The first third of your book touched me in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I cried so hard, my eyes became swollen; the pain was so real. I haven’t cried that hard in a long, long time. The grief you expressed was so real to me, as I experienced my own grief in a similar way. Reading your book has been healing for me.” 

– Cristy Hayden, Calgary, Alberta

“I’ve read a lot of books this past year on grief. A Widow’s Awakening was the closest description of my thoughts and feelings. I almost found myself cheering in some places. Finally…someone understands.”

– Karen Adkins

“This fictionalized account of Maryanne’s story is by turns raw and gangly and then elegant and profound.  She leaves her ego at the door and just lays it out bare—she is not precious with herself and gives the reader the whole spectrum of her response, from grandiose delusions to suicidal despair.  The rollercoaster ride of early grief is accounted for with complete candor; her unflinching approach makes for a compelling, although sometimes uncomfortable, tale.”

– Kara Post-Kennedy

“A Widow’s Awakening provides a vivid, heartbreaking reality of the consequences of an unsafe workplace and the personal costs of a workplace fatality. It brings home the message that we must ensure our workplaces are safe, not only for the workers, managers and public on a daily basis but also the Emergency First Responders who may be called there to help. One life lost is one too many.” 

– Laura Synyard

“I just finished “A Widow’s Awakening.” I laughed, I cried, I laughed when I was crying. Reading your touching work has realigned my thinking in a way that Tony Robbins’ “Awaken the Giant Within” and Stephen R. Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and Deepak Chopra’s “The Book of Secrets” all have. You’ve shone a light on many of the same issues I have been wrestling with in terms of writing and making a difference. Thank you!”

– Tim Reynolds, Calgary, Alberta

“Your book, A Widow’s Awakening, arrived Friday afternoon and I spent all of Friday evening reading it. It has been a very long time since I have done that, reading a book cover to cover, crying most of the time. You told your story so well and with such passion that I felt that I was in the room with you…I realize now that I have a great deal of hurt that I haven’t dealt with over the years and how it is my responsibility, like you, to find my true mission/purpose in life.”

– Kathleen Specht

“I am choosing A Widow’s Awakening as our first book club choice. I chose it because it had a deep impact on me. It deals with grief but it also forces us to face many difficult questions, such as the dilemma of mourning someone close to us, while at the same time becoming financially secure as the result of that loss…this is a powerful story that challenges many of our assumptions about grief.”

– Nina Steele, Nonparents.com

Niche Markets & Further Details

There are several key niche markets suitable for A Widow’s Awakening:

#1) Grief, loss, death, dying, widows & widowers

#2) Workplace safety

#3) Police, emergency responders

#4) Self-help, inspirational, empowerment, general reader

#5) Spirituality, Christianity, Feminism

#6) Romance

#7) Memoir

For further information about A Widow’s Awakening, please visit Maryanne’s website, Pink Gazelle Productions Inc and/or BHC Press.

All proceeds go to John Petropoulos Memorial Fund

100% of the proceeds from the first 1000 books sold go to the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund (JPMF), a charity set up in memory of the author’s husband. The JPMF raises public awareness about why and how to ensure workplaces are safe for everyone, including emergency responders.

published in Christmas, Death, Gratitude, Grief, Humour, Inspiration, Life After Loss, Widowhood by Maryanne | December 13, 2018 | 2 Comments

This the 4th blog in the Fall 2018 Life After Loss blog series:

The Gift of Happy Memories – May a Memory of Your Loved One Make You Smile This Holiday Season

 

John & MA (to right) at rehearsal dinner, prior to their wedding, July 1997

“Memories are perhaps the best gifts of all.”

– Gloria Gaither

A couple of weeks ago, I had a table selling my wares at a Christmas market in my hometown of Calgary, Alberta. I had a lot of fun over those four days, meeting new people, visiting with dear friends and reconnecting with some old friends I hadn’t seen in a very long time.

One of those people was Cheryl. She’d seen a Facebook post about my table at the Christmas market so brought one of her daughters, Dani, to come by and say hi.

MA & Cheryl

Cheryl and I go way back. Cheryl’s husband, Brian, is an old friend of my husband, John (they met in Junior High). Although I hadn’t seen Cheryl in years, we’d kept in touch via e-mail and social media. But seeing her in person was different, of course. It was like no time at all had passed and the fun memories of our party-days came flooding back.

One memory in particular stood out, so I thought I’d share that with you…partly because it is a funny story 😊 but also because it is a great example of the gift of a happy memory.

The Glass of Water

Brian was the first in John’s group of buddies (“The Boyz”) to get married. John and I were in early twenties at the time and I can remember the two of us dancing at Brian & Cheryl’s wedding like it was yesterday. But it was what happened after the wedding (ahem) that really sticks in my mind.

John’s older sister, Stacey, had her own apartment but she was out of town that weekend, so John and I crashed at her place the night of Brian & Cheryl’s wedding.

I won’t divulge details but let’s just say that when Stacey came home to her apartment complex the next day (John and I, of course, were long gone), she ran into her downstairs neighbor in the stairwell. The neighbor was an older woman who stopped Stacey and said something to the effect of, “Oh my…what a night YOU had! After listening to you & whoever you were with, I had to get up and get a glass of water.”

Stacey (who, I should mention, was also the Resident Manager of the apartment complex) was mortified…and puzzled. But she quickly figured out what had happened. “That was NOT me you heard,” she said to the woman. “That was my BROTHER and his damn girlfriend.”

When Stacey later told John the story, he roared with laughter. So did I. Eventually, so did she.

MA & Stacey in Paris, Apr 2018

Now that 18 years have passed since John’s death, more often than not when I think of him, I find myself smiling or laughing at the wonderful times we shared as a young couple. For so many years, when I thought of him, I tended to focus on his death 🙁 or, when I did recall a happy memory, it often made me feel sad because I knew it could never be again.

And although that is true, that doesn’t have to be sad. Memories are a portal to the past…we can go for a quick visit any time we want. We don’t have stay long/stuck. But when we do go, WE get to decide what we are going to take from that memory…and perhaps even how we are going to feel.

The older I get, the more I choose to feel happiness when I think of all the fun & goofy things I’ve experienced with the people I have loved. For I have also learned that how I feel in this moment seems to play a role in how the future unfolds…almost as if the energy of joy and laughter attracts more of those types of experiences.

May you, too, experience the gift of a happy memory this holiday season.

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. To subscribe to the Life After Loss blog series, please sign up here