Apr 19, 2010
This journal is not a new concept. We are all told to look for the blessings in our lives. These are just a few examples from my own life. The blessings are how the events affected me.
With every ounce of my being, I can say that I am very blessed. I am lucky beyond belief for what I've experienced in my life and what I've learned from it. At times I've had to dig deep to see what blessing was at hand or perhaps it took some time for me to become aware of it. I've always found the blessing though as it is always there.
Growing up, my family moved a fair amount. We were very transient with my father's job taking us to many different locations. I think he saw it as an adventure that we would get to experience different types of geography and explore what it had to offer. As a shy girl, I saw it as misery. Every time I would get settled and start to feel comfortable, my parents would sit me down to discuss our next move. When you are just a little kid, you can blend in easily enough. When I was a child, kids played outside all of the time and in a manner that I could only describe as carefree. You could join in a game of kick ball or ride your bike with the group and friendships easily grew. As the years went on, the moving became more and more difficult. The ritual of saying goodbye to friends and moving on to start the whole process of settling in grew very taxing. The last move we made when I was in high school was the worst. It was a monster school with a massive student body and to walk into the lunchroom with no one to sit with as the new girl in a sea of faces was such a lost feeling. The first day I spent the whole lunch period in the bathroom just hiding out. I was so sad and lonely at that moment and would never understand the blessing given by all of these moves until later. Having moved so frequently and suffering the loss of many friendships, as an adult I value friendship in a profound way. However, the true blessing from growing up as I did is that I can now always spot that face in a sea of people that needs reassurance and a friendly and welcoming smile. Making others feel comfortable is something I have to offer those I come across in life.
Perhaps with all of the moves, I became even closer to my mother. She made me feel safe and loved and as if all would be fine in the world as long as you had your family. She died at a young age and in a tragic way. It was an event of monumental proportions to me. While I had hit the adult years when it happened, the day she died I was finally a grown up. I don't really think words can express the level of loss I felt and still feel to this day. It was the kind of thing that someone would offhandedly describe as their worst nightmare. But you wake up from nightmares and this had no end. I had to live with this loss and found it very difficult. I walked around as if I were a zombie in a state that fluctuated between despair and numbness. I went through the motions of life but felt very distant from it. I was blessed to have had such a relationship in my life that gave me so much joy that it caused so much pain when it ended. However, I realized the blessing that came from my mother's death about a year after it occurred. I dealt with people that went through deep despair in my professional life and was with someone when they began talking of their sense of loss. It was at that moment that I realized the great gift of complete empathy I'd been given. I can understand other's pain on a deep level which allows me to comfort others in a true sense. This is a blessing when you look into the eyes of someone whose heart is breaking and you can find the words to help them heal.
After losing my mother, the idea of family became even more important. But I wanted my own. I set out on the mission of finding someone to share my life with. I met my now husband and things progressed to marriage. We both wanted children and made plans for the family we wanted to have. As with many couples, it was easier said than done. I didn't realize something like having a child could be such hard work and can now fully appreciate what a miracle conception is. After a couple of years, we were successful and I couldn't have been happier. My pregnancy flew by with me being as about as neurotic as a pregnant woman could be. On the day my son was born, my heart soared with joy. He was beautiful in every way. Once home with him, I nurtured him and cared for him with such relish that I might have been slightly obnoxious. But I didn't care-------- he was my baby boy and I loved him dearly! As he grew, various things started to become apparent. It was suggested that I have him evaluated by some specialists to tell us what was going on. My beautiful boy has a developmental delay. I'll write no more about the specifics of it but will say that our lives changed from that point on. Oh, I had a hard time with this. I felt desperate for answers---- how, why and what now. I was a little mad. Okay, I was a lot mad. I had some serious talks with God which I am hoping to be forgiven for. I spent countless sleepless nights and I pushed everyone away during the day. I would look at my sweet little toddler smiling at me and think what would happen to him in this world. Would anyone but me be able to see what a unique, smart, fun loving character he was? And then I had my epiphany. A diagnosis did not matter one bit. I loved my child just as he was and would never wish him to be different. And at that moment, I thanked God for the blessing of my first born and all that he has brought to our lives. From there on out, I made it my mission to educate myself on how to help him fit into this world he is a part of. I've suffered the mortification of a bad outing in which judgemental eyes stare at us. I've endured the comments others feel it is their right to make about my son. I take it all in with a smile because they matter not. What matters is my child and how I can help him. I've been given the humbling blessing of perspective. I have the blessing of a thick skin and a strong inner core. I know what is important. I also have the blessing of compassion for others who struggle.
I didn't write this to suggest I'm any kind of great person. That was not my intent. I only wanted to acknowledge how some difficult things in my life have turned into positive parts of my being. And I hope that all can look for the blessings through their difficult times.