Sunday, October 16, 2016
I met with a friend to to do an interview but it became much more than that, much more than not feeling well, more than the scarier than scary weather we faced, much, much, more than I could have ever anticipated.
As my friend and I spoke, and braved the wild weather, she made some comments that struck me at the moment but I had no idea of the impact they would have until later that night.
I know we all have differing beliefs, views, opinions, faiths, etc. I respect your right to yours and I ask for respect me when I express mine. My friend and I are both people of deep faith. She made a comment in passing about praying for things she's thankful for. While I do that, last night I decided to put a bit of a twist on my conversation with my Creator.
Many of you know the past decade has been tumultuous to say the least. There's been hurt and heartache, loss and destruction, fear and tremendous anxiety. A lot of very bad things have happened since 2004, even before. I made the decision last night to sift through the bad, the hurt, the turmoil, and find the things that I am truly thankful for, the jewels that had not been seen before.
I could go on for hours but I'll try to keep this as concise as possible. I'm thankful for the loss of my first son, Noah. Had I not lost him, seen what I saw, faced what I faced, I wouldn't have been able to understand what my daughter was going through as well as I did when she lost her son, I wouldn't be able to touch others in the same situation and let them know they are not alone.
Instead of being angry and pissed my that my grandson died, I am thankful for the time we had him, and for the incredible people we met through his illness. Isaiah's death didn't just change my family's life forever, it changed the lives of dozens of others.
I'm thankful my father was able to see Isaiah's 4D ultrasound and bond with a great grandchild he would never be given the chance to hold. That was the beginning of a change in my Father's life a change, I believe, will lead to me being able to be with him once more.
I'm thankful for being misdiagnosed with bipolar. Had I not been I would not be able to understand the journeys of many, the darkness, the uncertainty, the feelings of being thought of as crazy when, in reality, it's only a mood disorder that can be controlled should you allow it to be. I would more than likely be less compassionate than I am today.
I've been divorced from my husband of 28 years for some time now. I'm thankful for the ability to be away from the situation and analyze the parts we both played in the destruction of our union and, for me, I have decided to keep the good, learn from the bad, and attempt to change the flaws in myself that added to the ugly, final, explosion and all that led to it.
While I am not thankful for the estrangement from some of my children, last night I realized how very thankful I am for all of them, for the time I had with them, raising them, creating good memories. I'm thankful for the smiles, the tears, the learning, the hugs, and the "I love yous." Whether our relationships are healed or not, I had that time that I will cherish and keep tucked in the depths of my soul. I wasn't the best mother, but I tried, I can really say that I tried. I did check out at the end, and even in that I can find things to be thankful for. I can now clearly, objectively, see why I checked out, and for that I am thankful. I can honestly say that if I had known way back in the beginning things would turn this way I would still choose to parent them and take that chance. Would I have changed things? Absolutely, but what parent wouldn't? I'm human, I am not God.
What I gained from the tragic loss of my Mother was the gift of my Father. Mom had been the conduit, and I rarely spoke to Dad. After her death, she and I had an amazing relationship, but after her death I was able to build a relationship with my Dad I would have never been able to have had she not been killed. I would have never known, really known, how much my Dad loved me, and how much I loved him. I would have never learned certain things Mom kept to herself hoping one day my brothers and I would see for ourselves.
Through the stormy years I've learned much about myself, about self worth and self respect. I've been able to piece together why I ran for so long. It makes sense now while for so long I only felt claws at my back that kept me running, and running hard. Nothing made sense and now the puzzle is coming together, the picture is becoming more clear.
I've left much out, not because I can't find anything to be thankful for, but because of the fact that I've also learned that there are some things that belong within boundaries, and another reason is that I simply don't have time to go into every thing that has not turned out as expected.
I've learned, that while flawed, I am a good person. I try. I am scared, but I can see the jewels, and that's a beginning to a new path to learning more about the rights, and the wrongs, in my life. For that I am thankful.
Thank you for listening.