When I was a young high school girl, I discovered that I loved to write. Weaving a story from the nerve endings of my brain; seeing it in my mind’s eye was a rush. I couldn’t draw. I couldn’t sculpt. I couldn’t do ballet. I could write.
I had a wonderful teacher named Mrs. Kennedy. She was a little left of center and larger than life. She would read my tarot cards, and she told me I was destined for deep, loving and great things in my life. I soaked up her words like a sponge, feeling like the vanilla life I had been dropped into by the almighty God could not contain me. I was meant for more. I looked past the bugs on my windshield to the sunset in the distance rather than focusing on the dirty glass.
The funny thing about being human is that we very often take things we have been told in the most extreme literal sense. It doesn’t make us bad people. We are all flawed. It makes us real, but it can get us into trouble. I see it all the time when I watch people interpret the Bible, or a politician’s stance on an issue, or in speaking to their teenage children. Life is not always black and white. It takes courage to look past the dirt on our windshield, but in doing so, we also tend to lose sight of the here and now.
It’s only taken me this many years of beating my head against the wall to realize I was taking Mrs. Kennedy’s advice too literally. She gave me A’s on my papers and I was giving myself C minuses in life. Why did I have to make it so difficult?
I will tell you why.
Mistakes are necessary. Times of poor judgement shape us. At my age, I will never meet anyone who did not have a history before meeting me. Their histories tell their story, just as my history has weaved mine. Sometimes, it’s painful to read their early chapters. It’s up to us to turn that page.
Mrs. Kennedy was right, all along. I was destined for deep, great and loving things in my life. It started with Brian and Kaitlin. There is no love like that of a parent for a child, and being a mother has given me dimension and a ring-side seat to what unconditional love means. Writer’s block hit me after that. I pulled over to the side of the road of my life and I sat there, idling while everyone rushed passed me. You can only stay broken down on the side of the road for so long. I couldn’t do it anymore and you, my friends and family, watched me get out of that broken down life.
I’m here to tell you that it gets better, but only if you allow yourself to stop over thinking life, and to stop always looking away from gifts you are given. It reminds me of that joke:
There was a huge flood in a village. One man said to everyone as they evacuated, “I’ll stay! God will save me!”
The flood got higher and a boat came, and the man in it said “Come on mate, get in!” “No” replied the man. “God will save me!”
The flood got very high now and the man had to stand on the roof of his house. A helicopter soon came and the man offered him help. “No, God will save me!” he said.
Eventually the man drown. He got by the gates of heaven and he said to God, “Why didn’t you save me?”
God replied, “For goodness sake! I sent a boat and a helicopter. What more do you want!”
I’ve been given the gift of a new unconditional love. Thank you Rick, for not giving up on me. For seeing something that I was scared to see. People, I have to tell you I have never been loved like this man loves me, and every day I wake up and I am thankful, and I am happy that we found each other. I am cared for, I am honored, I am respected and I am safe. The greatest thing about being a woman is supporting, respecting and loving the man who you are with. I do. It’s unconditional, and now…I am giving myself an A in life. All I needed was the right teacher to show me the way.