How ironic, but also how fitting, that I found enlightenment in the environment where Charles Darwin had his epiphany — the symbolic persistence of life prevailing even under the harshest of conditions. My Galapagos Islands adventure fell within one month of a significant anniversary event that derailed my life. It also fell within one month of another recent life-changing moment.
On Sunday, June 22, 1997, at 4:01 p.m., I received a somewhat matter-of-fact phone call informing me that my husband, Stephen, suddenly died overseas at forty-three years old. He was President of a Moscow, Russia multi-national corporation subsidiary. In an instant, hopes and dreams vanished, and the vultures began to circle en masse. I was unprepared for the ensuing tempest that would paralyze my life for the next eight years. Within thirty-six hours of his passing, the unfolding events were surreal. I was a character in a Franz Kafka novel. Those associated with this event became more insidious with each passing hour.
I never had time to mourn my loss because shortly thereafter, on any given day, I was greeted with a parade of lawsuits. I was astounded by the horde of schemes designed to manipulate or swindle, bait and mock, without any regard for my loss. The harrowing legal process consumed my life and forced me to withdraw socially to face these challenges. From the beginning, however, I never wavered on principle and refused to cave into the nefarious mob that invaded my life. I would never settle, and I made a vow that “they” would never get my house, and certainly not my soul. Read more “Reflections on the Demise of a Train Wreck in the Land of Darwin”