"Former California State Senator Alquist has written a compelling memoir of her Greek childhood,her years in the senate and the men in her life who taught her strength and perseverance, Senator Alfred Alquist and her 'permanent fiancé', Duncan. Thoughtfully written and insightful, this compelling memoir tells the story of loves lost and found and a spirit rekindled. A compelling story filled with emotion, truth and finally ....hope." ~Joyce Bridwell Schwegel, college friend, retired educator.
I decided to write this book after several people suggested I share my inexplicable challenges and extraordinary experiences. One woman I've known for twenty years said, "I've known you all these years and seen the obstacles you have experienced and overcome. You always manage to come out on top. Why don't you write a book and tell others how you did it? This is something people sorely need to know to help them navigate their lives."
Now, I can't tell you what to do to guarantee you a better life or which happiness or joy to wish for—that is your personal choice to make. But I can share my story: the daughter of a Greek immigrant tavern owner who overcame her moments frozen with fear to become a well-known California state senator representing almost a million people in Silicon Valley. I can share the circuitous path I took until God intervened and I embarked on a steadier course.
I can share with you the lows and the highs of this very human life: my poignant romance with my soulmate, thirty-six years my senior, against the backdrop of political life; the grief that gripped my being after he died; and the freaky accident six months later that seemed to impregnate my spirit with isolation and helplessness.
As you read, bear in mind that this is my story as I perceived it at the time. This is how I experienced the words, actions, and intentions of others through my own filter of human frailty.
Mine is a story of love discovered, lost, and regained, of hope abandoned and then glimmering as I repositioned my spirit. In this process, with inexplicable unseen forces, I forged ahead and developed the burnished strength and steadfast faith that befits us all. Through my story, I have discovered my own strength and power. Throughout my life, I often held back, reluctant to assert myself or ask for help. Now, I do ask for help, command respect, and express my needs more fully. Through the encouragement I received from Al and Duncan, I grew to believe in myself. This has enabled me to find lasting peace and happiness within. I admire the men I have loved for the wonderful traits I've seen within each of them, which I now know are much the same traits that I value within myself. So, when we lose a soulmate, losing them may feel a bit like losing ourselves. But the beauty and love we discover around us is really a reflection of our own soul, our own beauty and our own love, as like always attracts like. So we are essentially our own soulmates. Losing or finding oneself has nothing to do with anyone else. So long as you honor yourself, your internal soulmate, you will never be lost.