Soon after the Pulse nightclub shooting a prayer vigil was organized in front of Gloucester City Hall. Iain and I found ourselves there with a shell-shocked group of Gloucester residents under the new Pride flag waving at dusk. Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken came to the microphone and gave a rousing speech about inclusion and acceptance and love. How many public servants speak about love? Not many, I would guess, but as I’ve gotten to know her through this project, it seems to be the theme of this mayor’s life:
I am more than my grief, pain. I am the mother of a recovering addict and the wife of a spouse who committed suicide.
My dream is to be able to finally sleep without the worry that I will get a phone call during the night, my child is gone.
I love people. Love, love laughing.
I am a good speaker and advocate for people’s rights.
I am grateful that through all my hardships, I never got depressed.
Love the beauty in Gloucester, the ocean. Love my children, but adore my grandchildren. They are my life.
I can handle most unpleasantries, but I never want to experience losing a child or grandchild, it’s my biggest fear.
As a child, I loved playing with the neighborhood kids. Loved riding my bike and swimming with all the churchyard kids.
I find it fascinating, people’s behavior, what makes people do what they do. I am learning every day about people’s personalities. Just when you think you know someone, boom they change.
Seeing people getting along brings me joy, it’s a sense of peace.
If you would like to share how you are more than your depression, grief, bipolar disorder, addiction, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorder or OCD please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a Writing Guide.
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10 thoughts on “I Am More: Sefatia”
Smashing! With each additional drawing, your life itself is expanding. And so are the lives of your subjects. Such good work, Amy.
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Thanks so much, Sara! This means more than you realize.
This is the portrait of the Mayor of Gloucester. In her face you can see her pride. She is connected to her city, its history, and her family. You can tell she cares. Amy, you did a brilliant and artful job of telling her story.
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You are incredibly inspiring. Very proud of you, my friend.
Amy, your extraordinary picture of Gloucester’s extraordinary mayor has reached New Zealand. The detail you bring o the pictures behind her are stunning–her story shockingly apt and timely to me; as I was passing over the Rockies on my way here my beloved niece–my sister’s daughter–died of cancer, the second child my sister has lost in the past three years (and both before they reached fifty). She had lost her husband to Parkinson’s about 15 years before that.
Thank you for what you are doing. And please thank the mayor for her words too.
Roger, my heart breaks for you and your family. We are so sorry for your loss and send you all of our love.