Hesperia resident Jo'Ann Boggs Cordova writes poetry about family, friends, love and home. Her latest poem, "Life is a Series of Twists and Turns," was recently published in the anthology "In My Lifetime: Memories" by Eber & Wein Publishing.


For Cordova, writing reminds her of lessons taught by her father, of the love she shared with her late husband, of child rearing and a mother she nursed through a debilitating illness.


"I have always enjoyed writing," Cordova said with a smile, poised comfortably in a living room filled with a lifetime of memorabilia and photos. "It started around 1972 with journaling and evolved into poetry. I have at least 50 to 75 poems now."


A native of Kansas, Cordova has made California her home for more than 40 years.


She first met her husband, Bob, in 1961 when they both worked at Boeing/Rockwell. They married in 1986 and, after retiring in 1989, they moved to Hesperia. Cordova operated her own business in Hesperia for 14 years, a gift shop and secretarial service called "Strictly Personal." She had to close it in 2004 due to health reasons.


The poet, who has a son and daughter, lost both her mother and husband in 2002.


"It was a devastating loss," Cordova shared. "Bob helped so much with caring for my mom." In that tumultuous year, Cordova alternated between nursing her ailing husband and visiting her mom in a care facility in Apple Valley. When her husband passed away before her mother, she was already in the process of closing her business, thinking she would have more time to be with her husband.


The trauma of those two losses has stayed with her. She gradually found solace in returning to her writing. Her newly published poem speaks to finally gaining some measure of peace when she writes:


I truly found by letting go


life was much easier


to go with the flow


So I let go and moved


on


"What I love about writing is that I can get out all my feelings," said Cordova, who manages to cope with the many losses in her life and also remember the good times. "I write about love, about grief, whatever is going on at the time. I can write out my feelings better than verbalize them."


Cordova has had other poems published in similar anthologies over the years. But she is most proud of the poem that a friend had printed on a plaque entitled "Things my Daddy Taught Me."


The author hopes to one day host poetry "therapy" workshops with others in the community to share her love of writing. Eventually, she hopes to publish all her poems in one collection.


"In My Lifetime: Memories" is available through Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com. Ms. Cordova can be reached at strictly2@linkline.com. She is excited about having the many friends and clients she met through her gift shop know that she is alive and well.


"Writing has given me peace of mind," Cordova said. "It has given me understanding. It's all about love."