A tribute to the contributing authors celebrities in their own right.
You'll be immersed in the power of voice, choice and challenges.
You'll embrace their determination and purpose.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll rejoice in their victorious achievements!
What you can learn from 'CHOICES.'
***You can fulfill your Dreams...
"It's never too late!"
***You can overcome adversity and succeed...
***You can live your life in Paradise...
The contributing authors and I wish you the best life has to offer and remember it's your choice to share your dreams. Choose to make now the best of the rest of your life!
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.26(d)|
Read an Excerpt
CHOICESAwe-Inspiring Choices Revealed by Successful Entrepreneurs
By Cathi Watson
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2012 Cathi Watson
All right reserved.
Chapter OneCathi's Story
Through the Years
"Backward turn backward o' time in your flight, make me a child again just for tonight!"
I was raised by immigrant parents. Ma and Pa Paun were among the many that made their way to America from Europe in the early 1900s. Ma Paun, my mother, gave me insight into her world as a natural nutritionist, and Pa, my father, instilled in me "work ethics" second to none.
I didn't know we weren't rich. My sisters, brother and I grew up happy. One thing stands out in my mind as vividly today as it was then: "Children were to be seen and not heard." You can't imagine what effect that had on me! I danced to a totally different drummer. I was inquisitive, curious, anxious to sing and dance, to shout to the world, "Look at me, here I am." It took years for me to find my voice; it's all in my Cover Story. I choose not to go into detail about my life here, way too long. If you want to know more, log on to cathiwatson.com. It's all there.
Do you believe timing is everything? I do. I began writing CHOICES in 2010. While writing I had an epiphany: why not open the book to wanna-be authors by offering them a chapter in CHOICES!
Give them an opportunity to tell their stories, their journeys, and reveal in their own words how they survived to become who they are today.
The time is ripe for CHOICES. Their stories will amaze you. You'll be immersed in the voice of choice: the voice of challenges, despair, clarity, direction, vision, imagination, perseverance, purpose and mission.
I'm going to share a tad of my story, my choices. I'm asked so many times, "Cathi, what are your secrets to staying the course? Who and what fuels your fire-in-the-belly to keep on keeping on?" The truth, I haven't a clue, but maybe it's knowing, that though many are selected, only a few are chosen and I know I've been chosen. For your information I do not have an M.D., Ph.D or any other degree. I've been fortunate to experience life first-hand with all its twists and turns, disappointments and challenges, with intelligent, visionary, futuristic insights. God did not part the Red Sea for me. Early on I had health issues brought on by stress and poor choices. I overcame them all.
In the early 1970s I took a financial bath big-time thanks to a silver-tongued charismatic sociopath who believed he was the second coming of, oh, never mind, it's not worth digging up the past, but wouldn't it be great if he refunded my money with interest!
Anyway, after many trials and tribulations, I put my blinders on and looked forward to the future with excitement and anticipation. If I ask people what their greatest freedom is, most don't have a quick answer. I certainly didn't until Bill, our son at the tender age of 12, called me to come and meet him in the kitchen of our suburban home. He wanted to ask me a question. I asked, "Can it wait? I'm busy." He said, "No." When I went into the kitchen, there he sat at the table, arms folded holding a small book. I asked, "Is it urgent? What's your question?" "Sit down, Mother, he said. I did as he asked. "Mother, what is your greatest freedom?" he asked. I looked in bewilderment. Huh, what is my greatest freedom? I haven't a clue. He rolled his eyes up to the heavens only as a 12-year-old can and said, "Mother, your greatest freedom is that of choice. Here read the book," he said. Then he was off and gone. Circa 2012, 42 years later I remember that day as though it were today. Thank you, Bill. Your choice to share that book with me changed my world. It was the beginning of my journey discovering my greatest freedom, that of choice.
Everything in life, your life right now, has been authored, designed and created by your choices! Choices result in consequences. Think on this. Let's bring it closer to home. Are you happy? Is your life fulfilling? No matter where you are in life, you're there because of your choices!
Your choices, your thinking form your life. It's that simple. Your mind, your thoughts create your experiences, your future. My choices designed my future. In retrospect would I change any of my prior choices? Yes, but I don't dwell on the past. I've learned from the choices I made that came back to embrace me and choices I made that came back to bite me in the butt. Watering last year's crops serve no purpose. The past is gone. It's over, fini.
I wonder if this book is the culmination or the beginning of a new exciting chapter in my life. Honestly I don't know. Only time will tell.
I promise, CHOICES will rock your world.
The pleasure, darlings, is all mine!
Cathi Web: cathiwatson.com E-mail: email@example.com
Bill Watson Web: watsonteamco.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapter Two"To Live or to Die"
I Chose to Live
LIGHTS ... MUSIC ... CAMERAS AND NOW LADIES AND GENTLEMEN I PRESENT TO YOU THE WINNER OF Ms. Kentucky Beauty Pageant 1996-1997 SHEILA KAY
Ms. Classic America Pageant Winner of Ms. Congeniality SHEILA KAY
Before I begin my story, my life under the dominance of Brutal Betsy, I want to share with you my accomplishments, against all odds.
I raised four wonderful children. Earned a college associated degree in Social Science. Attended Texas University, college of Dermatology. Owner and founder of Sheila Kay Cosmetics for seventeen years. Associated with Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields specializing in pro-active skin care and reversing aging and damaged skin. Breast Cancer survivor and the State of Florida Spokesperson. Appeared on Chicago Live Radio and National TV.
Currently, I'm a Real Estate Agent in Naples, Florida.
The truth, I had my doubts about sharing my story in 'CHOICES' as a contributing author. Did I want to relive my past and what purpose would it serve. Not an easy decision but after much soul-searching, I knew I had to share my story, I knew I made the right CHOICE.
What follows may be difficult for some to imagine, how could a child, not an adult survive against all odds!
When and where did it all begin, but most of all why? To this day I've not been able to figure out why I was singled out to be beaten by Brutal Betsy. I have four siblings, John, brother, Jenny, Victoria, and Donna, sisters. Why me? Why was I singled out to be brutally beaten repeatedly by Brutal Betsy, my tiny body with many bruises. Why me?
I was raised in Greenup, Kentucky. My Father remarried when my Mom died. I honestly don't remember my Mom. Rumor has it that Brutal Betsy may be my real mother or the step-mother from HELL.
TO LIVE OR TO DIE. At age two, I was too young to remember, I was told I had rickets from being left in bed and lying flat on my back. Doctors thought I would have to wear leg braces to walk. Luckily, Martha, my cousin moved back in our area in Kentucky. When she came to visit she found me lying in a cloth diaper brown from pee and my legs scaled from urine. I screamed from pain. When Martha asked Brutal Betty "why aren't you attending Sheila," Brutal Betsy replied, "she cries so much, she needs to cry it out!" By now you're wondering WHERE WAS MY FATHER. Dad was away for long stretches of time. More about Dad later.
At age five, my first day at school I showed up with body bruises, bloody nose and mouth crying from the pain. Brutal Betsy's art form was on display. To add horror, Brutal Betsy made me wear a dress that didn't fit, my panties were showing and everyone laughed at me. I ran away from school, but my older sister took me back and Mrs. Berkly my first grade teacher put her sweater on me. Why me, I was only five years old.
Age six. Imagine, only six years old. I asked myself, what did I do to deserve Brutal Betsy's beatings. While she was beating me for whatever reason I remember crying and screaming, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU. I was so terrified I was afraid to think or say bad thoughts or say anything. If I said anything, BB would beat me more. While I was wiping the blood from my nose, Brutal Betsy was pulling my hair. It was as though she was possessed, out of control. This time I was sure she would kill me but it didn't stop there, she dragged me up the steps to the closet, threw me in it and locked the door.
I cried and screamed, no one heard me, no one helped me. The closet was pitch dark, I screamed and screamed, crying, begging and praying that someone would hear me. Finally, Brutal Betsy opened the door. I was wet from sweat and pee. She said 'you're going to clean up this mess." The torture didn't end. I was thrown in the closet repeatedly. Sometimes it would be so hot, I could hardly breathe. One day I noticed a crack in the ceiling. I could see daylight. It was that ray of light that kept me alive. Do you wonder why today I'm claustrophobic. Eventually, Brutal Betsy would open the door not saying a word. I was six years old, Why me?
Teachers at school noticed my bruised body. Why they asked would your father, a powerful man (an assumption) do these thing to you. I said NO, it wasn't my father Brutal Betsy did this to me.
My father owned many farms and properties. He worked daylight to dark. My father's favorite words, "Hard work never hurt anyone, no matter your age." Yet, my father worked himself to death at age 59.
You're wondering why I didn't say something to my father about Brutal Betsy brutalizing only me for years. I didn't want to burden him. I knew he was working much too hard. I have fond memories of my father. He taught me how to work and make money. Fast forward, age eleven. My father had a car lot with an old ice cream truck parked on it. He let me sell potato chips, sodas, candy bars, cigarettes and tobacco. Under his guidance, I learned to keep track of everything I sold. If I ate up the profits, there would be no spending money, usually $5-$10 dollars. I was an eager student, a quick study. I was earning my own money and best of all I was away from Brutal Betsy.
Age thirteen, decided working for my father was enough. I wanted to work at a public paying job ... $1.25 an hour. I was in heaven. My first paycheck was $25.00. Dad was delighted, he said, "Sheila, making that kind of money, you can take care of yourself."
Off to a shopping spree. New jeans at $35.00, no way, decided the dollar store pants for $5-$10 where just fine.
The beatings continued, why you ask didn't I tell. After one of Brutal Betsy brutal beatings, she said "if I ever told anyone or your father, I'll kill you. I'm just a child, no one to tell, who would believe me.
SIDE BAR ... be with me, the year 1960 at this point you're wondering why someone didn't come to my aid. It was common in rural farm country to turn a blind eye to a husband pulling his wives hair and beating them. This was acceptable. As for children, if they were spanked, they deserved the spanking, no questions asked.
Back to age thirteen. Living with Brutal Betsy, I had to clean, do laundry, baby sit John and Jenny. I was their mommy, changed their diapers took John for his first and every haircut. I took John and Jenny to their first day at school while Brutal Betsy slept. I had a very busy schedule. I made very good grades in school, but the beatings continued. When I wouldn't look at her, she would curse me. I was a very nervous child. I was so full of life, wanted to learn and do and see so much. I would read a lot in study hall at school in the library. I wanted to go all over the world, I wanted to go to other cities and countries. What I wanted to do is go far, far away.
Brutal Betsy decided she needed time away, not be here anymore. I was glad. She left us almost a month to be with her sisters. I had the burden of making breakfast, baths, dinner, school, doing the laundry. Then one day, Brutal Betsy called me to meet her. She talked about the kids, etc., than beat me right in the middle of town, mouth and nose bleeding, no one cared. Whatever parents did it was O.K. When I got home, I found some pills my father had, I popped them in my mouth just as Victoria, my sister walked in and saw what I was doing and slapped me so hard, it knocked most of the pills out of my mouth. For some reason Dad came home early that day. We sat and talked for a long time, he asked what happened to my face, I told him a girl and I at school had words, but made up later. He hugged me tight, he gave me strength that day. I was OK for a while after that. When Brutal Betsy beat me, I would think of daddy's hug.
Would the nightmares ever end. At age fifteen, I decided to be more involved with school. I made good grades was in beta club, 4-h club, honor student. I knew I was going to go to college no matter what. I participated in pageants, got to be home coming queen, a cheerleader, a flag girl. One day Brutal Betsy came to me and said enough is enough, no more activities. I had to do what she wanted me to do. She loved to tell me how ugly I was, so dumb, so stupid, you'll never get anywhere anyway, so give it up!
I made the choice I WILL NEVER GIVE UP. The plot thickens 'to live or to die' to give in or go on, I choose to never give up. I studied harder and harder but again I wondered why, there were four other children and they didn't get beat from age five, as far back as I can remember. Why me?
Then one day a boy came into my life, my best friend's boyfriend. They had just broken up. He was a little older, and asked me go out with him I never dated, but I gave in.
He wooed me with passion. It wasn't long before he asked me to marry him. I said I'm too young to get married and I don't know if I love you. He said I would learn to love him. So, at age sixteen, I said YES. All I could think of is this is a way out, my escape from Brutal Betsy ... an escape from the mental and physical abuse. Marrying Lenny was liberating, 'I would be free." At age sixteen, I needed my Dads consent and a blood test.
I was scared to death going to my father. At first he said NO, I started to cry, he then asked if I was pregnant. I didn't answer, I just keep crying, he signed the paper and then we went to get my blood test. The next morning Brutal Betsy took one last hit at me and gave me a black eye. Not bad, by the time I got married, I covered it with make-up. On the final day of being with Brutal Betsy she asked us to take her to do something. I asked her a question she reared back to hit me, when Lenny grabbed her hand and said ... it's over, you'll never hit her again. I felt saved. Pastor Jerry in Greenup Kentucky married us. I felt sad to leave Jenny and John. They were ten, eleven years old then. I had no choice but to leave. My CHOICE to live or to die. I CHOSE TO LIVE! I had to get away from Brutal Betsy.
Cleveland, here we come. Our time in Cleveland lasted one year and one baby later we were back in Kentucky. By age nineteen, we had four children, so much responsibility, but I loved it. I made up my mind that "I would be the best Mom ever" and I was. Then a Mothers worst nightmare, our twin son died. He was not well and was kept in the hospital for 10 days we thought he would be O.K. My angel was gone. I didn't want to live, but I had to go on, I had to live for our other three children.
At age 21, my world was shattered again, the death of my Father, my best friend, mentor. He was all I had beside Lenny, my husband and children.
I knew that life would never be the same, with all its twists and turns I resolved to be ready to face the challenges ahead of me.
At age 27, it started with bad headaches, vision problems, blacking out, falling, double vision, hemorrhaging. I was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. I was critical for the next 72 hours I was not allowed to move anything but my eyes. I was scared to death, but I had to live, I had babies, I wanted to see them grow up. The Doctor said it was caused by a hard blow to the head. I was determined to live and I made a promise never to take life for granted.
John, our son inspired me to go back to school. John has a learning disability ADDH. By going back to school, I was able to help him with his studies and school.
It was a joy raising our children. The graduation of our oldest daughter, then marriage and before I knew it our other two daughters graduated and there we where ... empty nesters and I was only 39.
Sometimes it's hard to see the pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow but I persevered hysterectomy and then divorce. Yet again another CHOICE ... to live or to die. All alone, but determined to face the fears and challenges ahead of me. I had many CHOICES to make, but with the help of God and family I survived. I dove into my work, traveled, met new people, got John on his feet and then he moved down in Kentucky and I was alone again. Florida was my CHOICE. I decided to become a Real Estate Agent, a successful one I might add. I love living in Florida. After two years of enjoying Sun, Sand and Fun, while I was visiting in Kentucky, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I survived the surgery and treatments. After a year, I returned to Florida.
I shall always be indebted to my wonderful children and friends for their love and caring.
Breast Cancer taught me to never, never take anything for granted. Live a good strong Christian life. I reached out to cancer patients by using the power of my voice at pageants in Washington DC and Las Vegas.
Excerpted from CHOICES by Cathi Watson Copyright © 2012 by Cathi Watson. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Contents1. Introduction By Cathi Watson....................ix
2. Cathi's Story Through the Years Cathi Watson....................1
3. "To Live or to Die" I Chose to Live Sheila Kay....................5
4. It's Never too Late! Fulfilling A Life Long Dream Joan Harzich-Sipich....................15
5. Viva ReViVa From humble beginnings to Success Stephen Strassler....................23
6. Living My Life in Paradise! Sandi Hutchings....................31
7. 'Steel Mill MaMa' Shows no sign of retiring! Bonnie Rooks....................35
8. My Life's Work From Frostbitten toes to fingers Chuck Brazelton....................43
9. I'm Adopted and Special "We Chose You" By Letecia Puttrich....................49
10. From Star Gazing to Wonderment Who Am I And Where Am I Going! Rhea Schmitz....................57
11. Divine Intervention "By the Grace of God, I will do" Rica Cuff....................63
12. The Choice was Clear—Rich or Poor? How the son of a migrant farm worker reached the American Dream Rudy Segovia....................69
13. We Always Have a Choice From behind the Berlin Wall to Freedom Barbara Hofmeister....................75
14. The Will to be Happy Put Yourself First Michael J. Gunderson....................83
15. Crisis or Opportunity My Journey of Choices Joan Creviston....................89
16. A note from Cathi "CHOICES"....................95