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  • shelleybrill shared a letter in the Group logo of Women's EmpowermentWomen's Empowerment group 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    Love was my Safe Haven

    Dear unsealed community,
    When I was 23 years old I was living with my parents and 2 sisters in Nanuet,N. Y. My father, who was a chemical engineer, owned and aerosol factory. One night we got a call from the Haverstraw police. My father’s factory blew up in the middle of the night. My father drove the 20 minutes up to Haverstraw at 3:00am to see his building burnt to the ground. Thank goodness no one was hurt.
    Unfortunately this event meant my Dad had to find another place to make a living. He was offered a job working for a company in Lima,Ohio. He was going to merge with this company before the fire. Now he was forced to go work for them. This turn of events led to a very scary time for me personally. My parents had to move away and leave me and my sister in New york where we were both enrolled in college.
    For the next year I had so much anxiety and felt so sad. My parents were so far away. I missed them so much. I cried every night.
    After a year I met my husband Alan. He was very comforting. He understood how I felt because he was very close with his family.He became my safe space.
    Talking about my feelings with Alan, who was a great listener, helped to release my fears and anxieties. He even came with me the first time I went to visit my parents in Ohio. After a couple of years my coping skills became stronger and I mentally began to accept that I would never be able to live with my parents again. Time does tend to heal wounds. Having a safe space and person like my husband to support me is a gift I will appreciate for the rest of my life.

    Shelley Brill
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    • Shelley,
      This letter made me tear up a little bit. I could not imagine having to endure your parents moving what I’m sure felt like across the country. To hear you mention a city in Ohio that holds so much personal connection to me. Through my train photography hobby I’ve chased a particular Steam Locomotive across this whole state it seems. It was built in September of 1944 in Lima, Ohio. One of the fellow locomotives of that series sits on display in nearby Bellevue, Ohio at a museum. And although most of the wag across the state I’ve made many visits to Lima, a city still abuzz with manufacturing, it is where the Abrams Tank that is essential to our military might is built. It also home to a refinery which supplies 25% of all petroleum products in the entire state. Your parents moved to what could’ve been the true heartbeat of Ohio both then and now. That city shares with Youngstown a storied past and an ambitious future. I’m glad you wrote about this experience. Alan was the the harbor during a storm in your life and it is amazing what you’ve both accomplished together. Thanks for sharing this story with us!

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