I started Joyously Hopeful in 2011. My original intent was to share my experiences parenting children on the autism spectrum. However, I wasn’t comfortable with having to divulge as much of their private lives as that seemed to require. I am still an autism advocate. After all I am a mom with two children with autism spectrum disorder. It is the mother in me that fiercely advocates each and every day on their behalf. But there is more to me than that. There is more to my story than just parenting autism. I am also a survivor.
When I lost my husband I became more than a widow. I also became a PTSD suicide loss survivor. As a result, advocating on behalf of suicide prevention, and eliminating the stigma of mental illness became important issues to me.
I have learned the hard way, life doesn’t always go as planned. Bad things can and do happen to good faith filled people. My faith in God may not have prevented negative things from happening. But this I know, my faith in God has seen me through each difficult experience. It is how I have patiently endured life’s bitter afflictions. It is why I am a survivor. Because of my faith, I sincerely believe that a higher purpose can be found in pain. I also believed an inner healing would have to come first.
I decided to purposely pursue a joyously hopeful life. In 2012 I relocated my family to the mountains of Southwest Virginia. It is a secluded, mountainous dream come true. We had moved within close proximity to the beautiful and iconic Appalachian Trail. There is so much beauty to behold. I was surrounded by it. I had simplified my life and found my spiritual retreat. My respite of choice was right outside my door My home was becoming a place of quiet reflection. The peaceful refuge my children and I needed to complete the process of grieving and healing. Neglected passions were rediscovered. Spare moments were filled with photography, crafting, art and enjoying the natural beauty around us.
In 2016 I rearranged my home. I ended up tucking a small desk near a window. I placed the desk chair in it’s proper place and I sat down for a bit. I happened to glance out of the window. I had seen the view many times just not quite from this perspective. This view alone is capable of inspiring creativity. It was the kind of view I had always imagined a writer should have. This indeed was a writer’s view. So I sat there and I once again began to write.
My name is Cheri. I am a Christian. I am also someone’s daughter, the mother of four and the grandmother to one beautiful little girl. I am an autism advocate, part-time chauffeur, cook, maid, and nurse for the two special children that still reside at home. I am a hobbyist gardener, crafter, seamstress and photographer. Dare I say I am also a writer who is no longer afraid to share the story she survived. Welcome to my joyously hopeful blog.