Have you heard that saying, “Those who have abandoned their dreams, will try and discourage yours”?  I was thinking about that today. Doesn’t it often seem that when you take on some of the biggest tasks, projects and missions of your life, the naysayers come out of the woodwork to try and discourage you? That is also when you find out who your true friends and supporters are, fortunately.

The task of writing my book was akin to doing ten college term papers all at the same time and weaving them into a coherent story when it came time for my two or three months of revision work.  Reading all of Robb’s letters to me from Lompoc Federal Prison, and deciding which ones to include in my book, were a big part of that job.  I had not read through that notebook of letters that I’d kept for 42 years, so the experience included both a lot of laughter and some tears, as I was taken back to that period of my life waiting for him, trying to keep his spirits up, never knowing when he might be released from his 30-year prison sentence.

I’ve been fortunate to receive mostly outstanding support and kudos for my efforts to get my own story out to the world, at long last. I feel that it is a story worth sharing, and thank you so much for reading it.  For those of us who have grown up as women trained to play the supportive, kind and nurturing role in the lives of others, it takes courage to finally “give ourselves permission” to speak our truth, and tell our stories. It was time for me to tell my own story of what happened and how that impacted my life.

That Robb’s skyjacking of United flight 239 from the Reno International Airport on June 2, 1972, so shocked me and crushed my young dreams of a happy life together, is beyond dispute.  Friends of the day wondered and marveled at my decision to wait for him and support him from afar, going into what could have been three decades of separation.  The heart has a mind of its own, it seems. No matter how crazy that may have seemed to others, that is what my heart guided me to do.

As a result of my lonely choice, I went through some intensely difficult times. The positive results, of course, included the molding of my spirit to become the person I was meant to be, finding my spiritual path and connecting with inner courage that I never knew I had.  Here’s a poem that reflects some of my feelings of those years:

Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me, 

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of Circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of Chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.

As another old saying goes, “Adversity builds character.” Oh, yeah.  All’s well that ends well, eh?

I want to take this occasion to sincerely thank each of you who have taken the time to give my book a five-star review on Amazon, and I have a favor to askFor those of you who have not yet done this for me, could you please take two minutes to do it now?  Just pull up my book title Falling Over Reno on Amazon, under books, and click where it says “reviews.” Thank you so much!  I’m aiming for 50 five-star reviews by the end of this month!  Your help in reaching this goal is most appreciated.

One of my five-star reviews on Amazon:

The raw emotion in this story makes Ms. Stevenson’s book an intriguing and compelling read. It is a refreshingly unique true crime story, in which she skillfully reveals how deeply these events affected her life and times. The author shows tremendous courage to be so open about this dramatic and difficult time in her life, so that others may benefit from her experience and gain strength to carry on with their personal challenges. Like an arrow shot directly into the center of a target, the author’s unflinching purpose and passion were driven by a dedicated heart and a unfaltering desire to redeem the love of her life.

Suzanne Penton verified purchase 5.0 out of 5 stars