My Search for Meaning
A True Story of An Orphan’s Journey
Viola M. Jaynes
My Search for Meaning is an intimate collection of memories of a child growing up first in an orphanage in Germany, then in Middle America. Abandoned by her mother – who escaped East Germany just as the Berlin Wall was being erected – the child finds herself alone in a hard-to-understand world that is itself undergoing great change. Against a pervasive backdrop of loneliness, institutional life and brutal betrayals, there is still the innocence and wonder of childhood and sudden, inexplicable joys. A sensitive child in life without a protector learns to go on instinct. What informs instinct in this memoir is a seedling faith in the overall goodness of life, a belief that things will, with time and effort, work together for good. What begins as a search for answers becomes a journey of understanding. As the mystery unfolds a young woman emerges, forged from all she has endured but also from mercy and compassion and a deeply held conviction that each of us, at any moment, can transform our lives.
Viola Jaynes is now a student, pursuing her interests in psychology, sociology and religious studies. Her arduous early life as an orphan and ongoing journey of personal growth has instilled a deep commitment to encourage others who struggle to overcome difficult life challenges. Viola is actively involved in Toastmasters International and often speaks about her own life in hopes of inspiring faith and optimism in her audience. Currently, she is also involved in the Statue of Responsibility project, an effort to build a compliment to the Statue of Liberty on the West Coast to signify that liberty must be joined with responsibility if freedom is to endure. The project was first proposed by author and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, a man Viola greatly admires, in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning.” Viola lives with Scott, her husband of 22 years, and their two children, Meagan and Andrew, in The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston, Texas.
- Viola M. Jaynes