I was born Rosemary Jeannette Hazen Adkins and spent most of my childhood in Houston, Texas. When I left Texas with my family, we moved to Las Vegas where I graduated from Bishop Gorman High School in 1965. After graduation, my family moved to Redding, California where we resided for about six months before I fled the state and family home, just weeks prior to becoming the legal age of eighteen. From there on, I seemed to be restless and moved around until I found a happy place to be in Eugene, Oregon.
My childhood was not the happiest as I dealt with the challenges of abuse that would impact my life for decades to come. I found great peace walking the ocean’s beaches or swimming in the Gulf. In fact, the beach is where I worked through my devastating issues of self-doubt, fear and loneliness and where I often returned to help me through the process of resurrecting my most painful memories to share with you in this book. It was where I drew the strength to defeat the monsters that haunted my soul…a special place where I would always find peace.
Although I had gained my independence, abuse continued to follow me wherever I went, only now it was because of my own bad choices. Ever in search of the love and security that I had never known, it took many failed relationships and two bad marriages before I learned the lessons that life was trying to teach me.
My blessing finally arrived when I met and married my wonderful husband, Douglas Earl Adkins. Kecia, who I had adopted earlier, became the light of his life and we are still enjoying peace and happiness today, after twenty-five years of wedded bliss.
Now I had the picture perfect life that I had always hoped for but serious health issues would intervene to disrupt my serenity. I have faced the raging challenges of Diabetes for the past twenty-seven years and have survived at least two life and death experiences. At its worst, Diabetes can be a form of abuse in its own right and one that is not always easy to control. I have been fortunate to have the devoted help of my husband and daughter who keep me on the straight and narrow when it comes to taking good care of my health.
For many years, I had dreamt of writing this book so that I might help others to learn from my experience, but is was far easier said than done. Many of my memories were too painful to relive and others were buried so deep that my memory was fraught with vast voids that I was unable to fill. It didn’t help that my Mother’s abuse continued to the end of her life, leaving my self-confidence in tatters. As I write this, her words still echo in my ears, “Mamie, you’re too stupid to get anywhere with your writing.” Now that Mother has passed on to wherever she ended up, I chose to write my story anyway.
What a wonderful surprise it was to discover that music could free my soul to get my words onto paper. I had met Charles Suniga, the pianist and composer of some of the world’s most enchanting music. His album ‘Moments of Peace’ played softly in the background, while allowing me to reach deep inside to reveal the true ‘Reflections of Mamie’. “Thank you Charles.”
Now that I’ve finally emptied my soul of a lifetime of pain, I’ve been able to put those tragic memories back in my past where they belong. That dark hole that was my past has given up the last of its secrets and I am no longer held prisoner by it. I am free at last to live my life fully, unencumbered by sad memories. Now, if I can help at least one person with my story, it will all have been worth it.
I am a mother, wife, sister and a friend to many people. In addition, I have, with the help of my husband and daughter, organized and established an American Diabetes Association Chapter in our state and advocated for Diabetics worldwide. A story I wrote about how my family and friends had impacted my life led to winning a trip to Washington DC for myself and my husband. There, in the presence of several leaders in the US government, I was presented with an award at the Kennedy Center during a special concert by Gladys Knight. I was also presented with the ‘Unsung Hero’ award by our local newspaper, the Kitsap Sun, for my volunteer work in the area we live in. That celebration was held in The Admiral Theater before family and an audience of well-wishers.
Now in my senior years, my dream of writing my first book became a reality in 2011. ‘Extraordinary Dreams of An Ireland Traveler’ is an invaluable account of our personal travels throughout Ireland, complete with a wealth of historic detail and an in-depth guide to savings for the tourist. The rest is history. I gained tremendous insight into the world of publishing and the courage to complete ‘Reflections of Mamie’ which had been sixteen years in the making. This, my second book, will be distributed by summer 2013.
My dear friends, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to read my memoirs, and share an inside account of the abuse I suffered behind closed doors. My fondest wish is that other abuse victims will prevail over their own tragic pasts by learning to make life choices that will stop the pattern of abuse in its tracks. It can be done. My story reveals how I made it happen for me. You will find your true destiny if you never give up.