by Lisa Tome
Donna Owens' faith in God, family, friends, and strangers has helped her through life's journey.
Now Owens, 61, a Conowingo wife, mother, grandmother, cancer survivor, and bone marrow transplant recipient has chronicled her life experiences in her book "Through the Eye of the Storm My Journey".
"I started the book prior to the cancer for the kids, grandkids, and (hopefully) great-grandkids," said Owens.
The faith-based, self-published autobiography uses the analogy of a hurricane and the circles in the storm's path to show how people are all connected," explained Owens.
She started the book prior to her cancer diagnosis and subsequent life-saving bone marrow transplant in 2010. Throughout the story she tells the tale of growing up in Cecil County, a daughter of a minister in a family of faith. She takes the reader to different sites in Cecil, and Tennessee, into marriage, raising children, teaching, empty nest life, and cancer treatment. The book also includes family photos and is packed with local history and personalities. Including Dr. Neil Taylor, members of the Moore and Clark families, and many local noteworthy figures.
A portion of the book is also dedicated to some of Owens' trials as both her sons, Darrell and Jared, were deployed members of the military serving during war time. She also explores both of her son's marriages and their journeys to parenthood.
"(The book) has all the difficult times that have connected me with others. It's amazing how many circles I've connected with. Ultimately, my life is nothing. We are all on a journey and we need each other," said Owens. "As I put it (the book) all together, I found out all that even more."
She liberally quotes biblical scripture throughout the book, applying the Bible's teaching to her own trials.
"I hope people see that the book is not just Donna Owens. I hope they see that it's them too," she said. "It was scary to put my life out there.”
While all her family is important in the book, she said that her daughter-in-law, Alisha is the one who encouraged her to publish it and to include even the worst struggles. "I tried to share things I hope will be a benefit. Regrets just drag you down," she said. Writing the book was difficult. It took Owens five years to get it all together. "We all have tough times. It was good for me to write this. It was cleansing. and let me encourage others through sharing," said Owens, who journaled extensively while fighting cancer and used those writings in the book. "People don't understand how I can be grateful for cancer. But I met incredible people due to having cancer," she said.
The book is available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble online. It is also available as an electronic edition. Owens said her mother-in-law, Kitty Owens, has worked hard to market the book. "She has sold more books than anyone," laughed Owens. "The big joke now is what happens when it comes out as a movie."
"Writing a book is hard work. I have a new respect for authors. It's time consuming and you always second guess yourself," she added.
To order the book go online at one of the sites or call Owens at 410-658-2107. She is selling the $13.95 book at reduced prices.