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Sharon’s Annual Letter – a Little Late

Posted on Jan 7, 2018 in Blog |

Dearest Friends and Family, As I prepare to write each year’s letter, I reread the previous year’s letters. Rereading my 2016 letter was like reopening a fresh wound and rubbing salt in it. My grief has “improved,” lessening in intensity and frequency, but it remains constant. I have always believed that even our worst moments offer gifts, if not immediately, eventually. I know God is always with me, guiding me to my next growth opportunity. Work Jeff is continuing with Home Equity Builders ( We are readying for a big master bath renovation. I am continuing with Gifts At the end of February, I was dreading the first anniversary of Dad’s admission to the hospital and the 26 days that followed. That same week, I started dreaming in images, something I have never done before in 54 years. It became so intense and obsessive, I bought some paint and brushes and try to paint what I saw in my dreams. I had never painted, drawn, or done anything artistic before that week. The entire month of March, through the first anniversary of Dad’s death, I painted. And I have not stopped. Nor have the images in dreams and visions. A friend saw my work and encouraged me to join our local Artist Studio. I did and then I participated in my debut show in the local art tour. I sold my three largest pieces and did very well. It was a fantastic start to a new passion. I have also completed commission works for individuals as far as Las Vegas, Nevada. You can see some of my pieces at I had two more successful art sales/shows in December. In the meanwhile, Jeff started perfecting his work with the camera lens. His favorite subject is a pair of bald eagles near our cabin in Maggie, VA. Though, honestly, I love his scenic pieces more so. He can capture birds in flight and sunsets on the pond. I think I have talked him into joining the local Artist group as well and participating in local events. Entertainment In September, Jeff and I saw Sting in concert at Wolftrap. Score...

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Who I Am and What I Value

Posted on Nov 11, 2016 in Blog |

An acquaintance sat across the table from another woman. They are both life coaches. They had previously chatted on the phone and were now meeting IRL. One asked the other to tell her about herself – sometimes the hardest and most pointless question ever. She gave her an off the cuff list of what she values in a way to describe who she is. You can read her post here. And she challenged others to do the same. Here are mine (Sharon Elaine Williams Rainey): I am a feeler – I feel my own emotions intensely, unceasingly, and without organization. I feel them as they come, big, small, trivial, life changing. I am an empath – I feel everyone else’s feelings too. With no filter, no order, and no directions. I am writer – I have an incessant need to process my feelings through writing. And I have an incessant need to share my writing with others. The words swirl in my head endlessly until I write them down. I think in words. Pictures are hard for me. Auditory processing is almost nil, so if you want me to remember it, you better write it down and send it to me in an email – because my memory is also shitty. I am a connector. I never seem to know THE some one or thing, but I usually know someone who knows THE some one or thing. I despise conflict. I want everyone to get along. We don’t have to agree, but I demand everyone around me be respectful. If we don’t have respect, we don’t have much else. I am a recovering addict – I have 28 years’ experience of living life on life’s terms, which is still a challenge for me. So I still attend 12 Step meetings to help me remember that the only person, place or thing I can control is ME. I am a learner – I am always looking for the lesson in my daily life. I like to try to learn things the first time around so I don’t have to review them over and over in new situations. I believe that...

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My Play List During Dad’s Final 26 Days – Part 1 – The Instrumentals

Posted on Aug 1, 2016 in Blog |

PART 1 – The Instrumentals During Dad’s 26 days and nights in the hospital, I listened to particular songs depending on what I needed. The music helped close out the hospital noises, helped me calm my breathing and anxiety, and it gave me a place for my emotions to connect and feel safe. This music transcended me at times. It felt as though I was talking to Dad in some of the songs, giving words to emotions that were so strong, I wasn’t sure I could survive the pain. Some of the songs were significant in their melodic tone, some were because of the specific lyrics, and some, because they allowed my tears to flow more easily. And some were my simple prayers to God, pleading for Him to heal Dad. Some of us connect through words, some through deeds and others through music. In my pain, when I couldn’t find my words, these songs found them for me. I probably should have researched what each of these songs meant to the songwriters, but at the time I was choosing them, it didn’t matter. What mattered was how I could maintain hope, a sense of balance, and my connection to Dad. These are the songs that ended up on my list. The Instrumentals A Change in Circumstance – Secret Story by Pat Metheny The name of this song is what intrigued me originally. It was my ironic understatement for what was transpiring. The entire family always thought Mom would die before Dad solely based on her extensive medical history of strokes. The first two weeks of Dad’s medical crisis, we were all in shock and disbelief that this was actually happening. Cathedral in a Suitcase – Secret Story by Pat Metheny This song is what Heaven looks like: grand, opulent, vibrant, joyous. Epilogue: Writing in the Darkness II – Spiritland by Andrey Cachelero I found this song a few years ago when I had writer’s block. It took me to that dark place and let me walk around in it instead of just being afraid of and intimidated by it. And then it brought me to the light. And...

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Dad’s Words – My Eulogy for Earle C. Williams

Posted on Apr 1, 2016 in Blog |

I think I knew Dad wasn’t going to survive on the second day of his hospitalization. He was having so much trouble breathing. I was rubbing his head and trying to comfort him. The most frequent question we asked was, “What do you need Dad?” And this one time he replied with, “I just need to REST.” The finality of his statement loomed heavily in the room that night. I started this eulogy two weeks ago when we first learned of Dad’s terminal diagnosis. It started out as “Dad’s Words” – some things Dad wanted to make sure were said in a particular, articulate manner. I believe that if he had the energy to prepare for his Judgment Day with God, Dad probably would have written his own eulogy. It wasn’t about bragging on himself. Rather, it was important for Dad to make certain that each of you understand why he did what he did in life. And he asked me to explain it for him. There is nothing quite like having to a write a eulogy for someone as superstar as my father. And, when he asked me to read him my rough draft just 24 hours after being given the assignment, I was intimidated. The best way I know to honor my father on this day, is to not only relay the words he wanted me to share with you, but to also tell you how he responded at certain points when I read him his own eulogy. Just two months prior to his death he was parasailing in Turks and Caicos with two of his granddaughters. Mom and Dad had gifted all 17 family members with the vacation of a lifetime, which was a life changing, healing event for everyone. When Dad was initially pondering the safety and sanity of parasailing at age 86, Heather responded, “Granddaddy, if you died while parasailing, that would make you such a badass.” To which he chuckled and agreed and said, “Let’s do it.” On Monday, February 29th, our lives changed forever. Dad was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for pneumonia and sepsis. Dad fought with every cell in...

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Keeping My Dreams

Posted on Jan 5, 2016 in Blog |

My day started out so awesome. I came into Katie’s Coffeehouse at 9 am to start working on the final Lyme Savvy manuscript. I sipped on my vanilla chai and relished in the moment of finally have the entire manuscript back in my hands to finish up. A friend met me at ten am, as planned. She’s a painter and we have found that we have more life events and heart events in common than most. She proposed the possibility of being able to go to Taos, NM for 1-3 months just to paint. The house is in Arroyo Hondo, where I rented a house my first time in Taos. The magic was happening again. I could barely contain my breath. When I attended my first writers’ conference eight years ago, that’s where I finally realized I AM a writer. I AM an author. My excitement was tangible once again on this cold winter morning as it was on that summer day after writing for many hours. My friend then encouraged me to take a painting course. I have always wanted to take one, but have been too afraid. I confessed, “Every time I have tried to paint, I have ended up painting words.” I felt as though I was letting her down before we had even started. She immediately retorted with, “Well, what’s wrong with that? You can still paint using words!” Permission granted. In a few weeks, we will meet in her basement and she will begin this intimate process of teaching painting. I came away from our time excited about learning a new talent, about the deepening of our friendship, and about the possibility of making a dream come true to go out to Taos to write for an extended period of time. I arrived at work and was immediately met with circumstances that created stress, frustration, and disappointment. Then someone hurt my heart. And I am not sure they even know it. “To dream about writing in Taos for an extended time is simply ridiculous.” And it went on from there. So, my wild dream of being somewhere remote surrounded by fascinating culture and magical...

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