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THANK YOU! ‘Grief to Gratitude’ by Jay Sharpe

Jay Sharpe with her family.

‘Grief to Gratitude’
(From Resident to Board Member)
My journey ‘Through the Fire’- One year later

Wheeew!!! I can finally breathe…….again, fresh air!
As I entered the open doors, I could feel the weight of grief in the pit in my stomach. A combined smell of smoke and humiliation saturated the atmosphere.  I inhaled not knowing what to expect next. To this day I am not sure whose face I saw first… all I know is

that I wanted to keep my head bowed, my large black sunglasses intact, and rush through the registration process.

I was greeted with a smile and a simple ‘Hello, you must be Jay Sharpe.”  To which I replied “Yes” and quickly glanced over the papers that would need to be filled out. My daughter and my husband Jack staggered in the back of the room waiting for the "go ahead, it’s going to be okay" look. I kept my head bowed and silently prayed that our little family would be safe from harm in this place. I had never been here before and knew little about the place, but I was trusting the offer and efforts of good friends. 
And so it is…. Molly’s House became our home for the next 70 days. We were given a family suite. The suite was beautifully decorated and at that moment I whispered to myself “This too shall pass”.  The memory of the recent fire still burned wildly in my mind and heart.  

January 1st, 2017- New Year’s Day will forever be indelible in my mind. We lost our home in Palm City to a house fire at 5am. We were completely devastated. My young daughter Cidney & I made it out of the burning house through a bedroom window with bruises and smoke inhalation. Jack was not as fortunate, while he made it out alive, he suffered 2nd (second) & 3rd (third) degree burns from head to toe.

The shock and grief of such a sudden tragic loss was unbearable to say the least. Our world had been turned upside down and life as we knew it would never be the same. By the third day, I was completely overwhelmed with grief and thoughts of suicide circled my mind. The story of Molly Sharkey’s journey helped me to make a different choice. I thought, if this young girl could dream big dreams while going through the pain of her illness, then I must “get it together and continue my life journey. I am alive, and I needed to live!”

Being a resident at Molly’s House gave us the gift of shelter, serenity, and support during our stay. We were able to painfully begin to put the pieces of our lives back together. Daily, I would sit in the garden or a quiet place and write down my thoughts.  At some point, I felt like I was having conversations with Molly because I always came back to “What am I doing here and where do I go from here and how is this helping me? What is Molly’s house? What does it do? And what is it doing for me? What happens when I leave here?”  I was truly overwhelmed!

Thankfully, help came from many sources. First, the person in the neighborhood who noticed the fire early in the morning, started a “GoFundMe” campaign and began collecting items for us without even knowing our family. Local support was bolstered with assistance from Miami to Orlando as all forms of support came pouring through the doors of Molly’s House. We met with friends, family, ministers, contractors, lawyers, adjusters all in a safe environment. The staff at Molly’s House looked out for us and gave us hope that everything would be okay. No pressure was given for payment, (it was a nightmare getting back photo ID’s, bank cards, etc.). They understood and allowed us to begin healing physically, mentally, and spiritually.

After Jack’s injuries were assessed, I now had the strenuous task of caring for him daily. It was painful to watch him cry out in pain as the process took place. His injuries made it uncomfortable for him to sleep and move about with ease. Thank God the rooms in Molly’s House were handicapped equipped, which made simple tasks like getting in and out of the shower easier. Our road to recovery was not easy.

After a few months, we were able to find a temporary rental home. This was bittersweet, leaving Molly’s House felt like another loss. A few weeks later we were asked to attend a fundraiser for MH and we readily accepted the invitation. I had the opportunity to share our story with the attendees and was honored to do so. The event raised $170, 000.00 and we were grateful to be a part of the experience. But I wanted to do MORE! I wanted to continue to give back to this place that had given to us so generously.  So, I intentionally set out on a personal campaign to raise awareness of Molly’s House, Molly’s Dream, Molly’s Vision & Mission. I spoke to anyone who would listen. I saturated social media with information about Molly’s House. I told every person I knew & met about the ‘Angel on Osceola Street.’ My heart was grateful, and my mouth was filled with gratitude statements. “Have you ever heard about Molly’s House?’ Was my opening line.

Today, I sit in total amazement of the journey. It’s has been an emotional ride, and even though we are still restoring, still growing, still healing, still adjusting, still praying, still hoping… all is well. Jack’s injuries are healed, and he remains hopeful. Cidney is growing and adjusting to her new life. She has since joined the Pioneers Lacrosse team and having fun! She plans to write her story about her experience to help inspire other kids to cope when faced with trauma in their lives.  I have taken on an amplified version of coaching in Personal Development and Grief Coping to help women unleash their full potential regardless of their circumstances.

We are all committed to do whatever possible to assist advancing the work that Molly’s House does. I became an official Board Member January 2018. My personal pledge is to continue my advocacy and contribution in my field of expertise for Molly’s House. This is a place where love is spoken. This is a place where lives are transformed. This is a place where you can find Shelter, Serenity & Support.

Thank you to the community, the staff, family & friends. Special “Thank You” to Eula Clarke (Stuart City Commissioner), Bill West & Staff (Molly’s House CEO- Team), the Sharkey Family (Molly's House), Elmira Gainey (Realtor-McAlister Properties LLC), Arati Hammond (Realtor), Janet Kight Porter (Acorn Elder Care LLC), Dr. Derrick & Hyacinth Bailey (Urgent Care/Philanthropist), Marty & Margarite Shell (MCFD/Neighbors), Kingdom Reign Ministries (Port St. Lucie), Nikki Roland (Former resident @ Molly’s House), and so many others who went the extra mile to help us move from Grief to Gratitude.  We are forever thankful for your generosity of love, prayers, encouragement and support. Be blessed.

*Live a lifestyle of kindness.
(Book: Chicken Lyrics Quote)

Jay Sharpe
Certified Professional Life & Grief Coach
Author of the book Chicken Lyrics & The Pocketbook Of Gratitude
Public Speaker
Radio Host of ‘Grief to Gratitude’ sector.

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