Once upon a time, there was a little girl who dreamed what most little girls dream of. She imagined what kind of car she would drive, what job she’d have, who she’d marry, what her wedding would be like, and how many kids she would have. Of course, she hoped for a boy and a girl. She imagined her house and maybe a couple of pets. It was magical and wonderful! And she set out to fulfill those dreams!
And she did! She bought herself a car, landed her dream job of being a teacher, married a great looking and loving man, and had two beautiful children. A boy and a girl!!! They had a cute house on a perfect lot. Life was just as it should be!
But it wasn’t. And that’s ok. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, like we dream it will be when we are kids. But this was different.
Something was very wrong. And that little girl that grew up to be an adult couldn’t figure it out. What’s so bad with a marriage, great home, good job, a husband and two dogs. All the “dreams” were there. But something didn’t add up. And eventually, when the issues came to light, the best thing to do was set the dream aside and do what’s right for kids.
Unfortunatley, that sweet little family ended in divorce. It was awful. It was devastating. I was that little girl, and I have a lot of really awful memories from that time. But I also have some really amazing ones that I choose to focus on.
It’s amazing what the mind does when someone dies. It’s like all the bad disappears and you’re left with only the best of that person. And I’m ok with that.
I have some really great memories of PJ and some really awful ones that could possibly surpass the positive. But I know in my heart, that’s not who he was. The person who made the choice to leave this world, his children, his family, his friends, and his work behind, is not the same person I married years ago. Something died inside of him long before we divorced, and long before he died. He was broken and I couldn’t help him put the pieces back together. And neither could he. Not for lack of trying on either of our parts.
I love him in a different way now, but I do respect him. For that reason I choose to respect his life and share positive memories of him. Everyone deserves that. There is good in all of us. And I know he would not want to be remembered by his latest choices.
I read a quote the other day that said something about there are two types of pain. The kind that hurts and the kind that changes you. I’m certain I have that wrong, and I’m not sure who said it. They are not my words, but they definitely resonated with me. When someone takes their life, it changes you. Or at least it changed me.
I’ve learned just how precious life is. I’ve learned that people can struggle in complete silence. I’ve learned that I can’t fix anything that someone else is dealing with. But I can listen. And I can decide how I deal with others’ emotions. I’ve learned that someone being upset or angry doesn’t mean it’s about me all the time. There could be more to it, that I don’t see. I’ve learned that it IS possible to find happiness, when you think it’s not. Most importantly, I learned that loving people is more important than all the silly things that become irritants in a day. It’s important to be kind, loving, and understanding.
I had a lot of expectations for my life as a child. I’m glad I did. I’ve experienced a lot of love and great joys. I’ve also experienced a lot of heartache that has helped me grow and continue to grow into the adult I never imagined I could be. And I pray that I can continue this journey by helping my children grow into amazing people.
They, too, will experience disappointment, sadness, and grief. But they will also experience love, goodness, success, and kindness. And I plan to be here for as long as I’m allowed to help and celebrate with them through all of it!