Carol Jones grew up in a house full of trouble, but she found peace. And now, she hopes her story — documented in the new book “Letting Go of Yesterday’s Pain” — encourages others to find better days ahead.
Jones’ church friend, Vivian Cox, wrote the book published in December. Jones had a book signing at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in University Circle earlier this year.
She said she wanted to tell her story to inspire others who are struggling to “seek refuge.”
“Don’t try and do it alone,” she said.
Jones’ story includes family feuds, lies, murder and abuse.
She writes, “For years, I felt the claustrophobia of being trapped in my life’s experiences.”
Her father left the family when Jones was young and she struggled with her mother. By her senior year in high school, she was pregnant. Years later, exhausted, Jones took her son to Wade Lagoon, just in front of the Cleveland Museum of Art. As her son played, she sat down on a bench and cried.
Then she heard the words, “God loves you.”
The man who said those words became Jones’ pastor.
At the time “church was foreign to my nature,” Jones said. But her growing faith led her on a journey from Cleveland to college and then on to a commune in Michigan before leading her back home to Cleveland.
Jones said she was driven by “desperation for change.”
“I didn’t like yesterday,” she said.
In Michigan, she married and had three more children. They lived in a trailer without electricity.
“We had a wood stove,” Jones remembered. But, she said, even though she and her family lived without, “we lived well.”
Jones plans to write more in the future. She wants to focus on healing and idea of moving ahead.