Have you read this week’s Featured Story? “Lunches with Mike,” by Carol Statton, is a touching story about a woman who used lessons from her abusive childhood to reach out to a child facing similar circumstances. If you haven’t read it yet, head over there right away—we’re sure it’ll make your day. Then come back here, since God Makes Lemonade recently had a chance to catch up with Carol.
GML: Where do you live?
Carol: I am blessed to live in the beautiful mountain town of Sisters, Oregon. My husband Randy and I share our home with two beloved dogs, Jessie and Bailey, and are fortunate that our two children, son-in-law, and three grandchildren all live in Sisters as well.
GML: What are you up to these days?
Carol: I have an immensely satisfying career as an office manager for a local, privately owned physical therapy clinic. Working with people I admire and love to share life with in an environment that not only allows but encourages me to deeply connect with patients is the perfect place for me. I always look forward to each new day. I know I am one of the very blessed who can say that I don’t spend the week looking forward to Friday because every day is fulfilling and meaningful.
I am also a writer. Actually, the same week that God Makes Lemonade was released, another project also come to fruition for me: four other women and I published the “Horsewomen of Sisters, Oregon” calendar. We created the calendar project to feature the many different horsewomen from our local community in a format that would also promote Sisters, Oregon, and raise funds for local animal rescue organizations.
The recession has taken a particularly hard toll on our region, placing an overwhelming burden on many local rescues. We decided that all profits from this project should be dedicated to this important community need. We had forty horsewomen involved in the project, and I was able to conduct written and oral interviews for each of the ladies, as well as a longer feature piece on one of our local icons. I am excited to see my passion for writing come to life in such incredible realms, and I feel blessed to be able to participate in these two very special projects. It is wonderful to be included in GML, and incredible to see my first published story in book form.
GML: What inspired you to write your lemonade story?
Carol: My dear friend Penny Whipps (whose story “Kyle’s Legacy,” was also published in God Makes Lemonade) encouraged me to write a story and submit it to the book project. I sat down at my computer and realized that I had to write about the most significant point in my life—the moment I could thank God for the tough things I had endured as a child/young adult. Those lunches with Mike—the opportunities to listen to him, care for him, accept him, and most importantly, understand him because I had been equipped to—showed me that God can redeem anything. When Mike said “thank you” that day in the car, my heart almost stopped. I realized then that my past had made me a vessel for hope and healing. I have spoken to many youth and adults about my painful childhood and how I was able to forgive my parents, love them, and experience a very different outcome than what might be expected because of my faith, hope and belief in possibility. That is what I hope people see and read in my story.
GML: Have you been able to share your story with friends and family?
Carol: Yes. Many of them had already heard me share this story, but being able to give my family and friends copies of the book made me feel a whole new level of purpose in the continuing legacy of the story.
GML: Have you had a chance to read other stories in God Makes Lemonade?
Carol: Yes and I am inspired by all of them. It is amazing to see the resiliency of the human spirit and as we share those stories, I believe it ignites hope and determination.
GML: Do you have any updates on your lemonade story since it was published?
Carol: I am ever hopeful that somehow, some day, Mike will have this book in his hands and read this story and realize that it is about him… and be determined to find us again. We lost touch with him approximately 10 years ago, and the last phone conversation with him was very hard. His life was falling apart. After being forced to move to Texas to be with his mom, he found himself “lost” in a high school of 7,000 students, and seeking refuge through drug use. I listened to him as he cried and confessed that he was totally messing up, and my heart was breaking because I couldn’t “save” him. I asked him to write down my phone number so he could call me if he needed me to come out there, and I never heard from him again. I have been hoping, every day since that phone conversation that Mike would somehow find me again so that I could know that he is okay. That is the update I am hoping will come one day.
Thanks for stopping by and getting to know Carol a bit better. Come back next week—we’re already working on another interview with the author of our next featured story. Or you can pick up a copy of God Makes Lemonade, where you’ll find more than eighty inspiring stories like this one.