Seven to Seventy
by Lavera Goodeye

"My life shows evidence of the Creator’s hand at work. I have been divinely guided even though I didn’t pray for it."

Lavera Goodeye’s ancestors came from Ireland to Canada, homesteading on the Alberta prairies, the “flat and empty” land where she grew up. In early childhood, Goodeye’s mother was afflicted with mental illness, taken away, and later committed suicide. These events were never explained, leaving the little girl confused and conflicted. This tragedy followed Goodeye through life, destroying her religious faith and leading to dysfunctional relationships and disastrous consequences. With her first husband, she lived on a ranch and had four sons, but after ten years, he inexplicably shot himself. With her second husband, an artist, she found creative satisfaction in their stained glass business until he burned to death after purposely setting their home on fire. Somehow, Goodeye endured pain, grief, accidents and illness, trying with little help to comprehend these horrific occurrences. A third husband battled addiction; she was courageously able to break from him, gaining inner strength. She read and studied. She drew comfort from her children. Eventually she became a grief support worker and educator, reunited with a faith community and started writing.

Goodeye writes plainly but accurately. The first portion of Seven to Seventy is a memoir of her early struggles. The latter segments, regarding her healing process, feel like a daily diary and therefore contain some passages of relevance only to the author, not for a general readership. Nevertheless, her story touches the reader with a sense of the lonely, desolate region of her early years, and the refusal within her culture to discuss or process crucial personal life issues. Now in her seventies, having survived many extreme traumas, Lavera Goodeye is slowly and courageously creating a new life for herself.

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