“A bend in the road is not the end of the road…unless you fail to make the turn.” Helen Keller
She was a wise woman, Helen Keller. Her enlightenment in the face of her own darkness reminds me that no matter what you are dealt, or deal with, you can make it through and make your life better. She is the epitome of strength, courage, forgiveness and finding the silver lining in life. She is someone we can all learn from.
I have had a number of bends in the road, and in all have taken the turn so that I continue to grow and learn. I continue to heal and be the person God and the Universe meant for me to be.
Nowhere is that more evident for me than how I spent last weekend. I spent the weekend in Florida enjoying the high school graduation of my step-son. I was invited to be part of the ceremony as well as the party. I am no longer married to his dad, but still very much a part of his family.
When my marriage ended almost 5 years ago, I thought that was it, the boys were no longer in my life. Why would they stay close to someone who they aren’t really related to? Why would their mother ever allow or encourage that relationship? I knew it was a long shot to stay connected with them and thought they would disappear from my life just like their father did. I didn’t know if they would want a relationship and their mom and I really didn’t have a strong bond to work together to keep the relationship alive. This was a bend in the road, and a turn I needed to try to make.
Fortunately for me they did want a relationship. Fortunately for me their Mom was open to us having contact. It was not easy at first. It was hard to separate my anger toward their dad and my situation with them. I was not angry with them but I allowed them to see a little too much in the beginning. That wasn’t fair for two teenage boys who were confused. Their Mom, rightly so, ensured I knew when I may have crossed the line. I thought that may have been the end of the road. I had to learn that they did not need to know about their dad’s issues or our failures as a couple. They did need to know that my love for them was separate and apart from my relationship (or lack thereof!) with their dad. I evolved and the relationship evolved.
Two years ago this culminated in celebrating an 18th birthday together and attending one high school graduation. I saw during that visit that their Mom and I had begun to develop a different bond. One that was focused on the boys, and not one about their dad.
This past weekend was really the epitome of a blended family. One where mutual respect and a common goal of ensuring these boys know they have a number of people they can count on are paramount. One where we laugh and joke, and share what is important to know about where the boys are in life. One where it is ok to introduce me “as the woman who was also married to my ex”, but is now part of this crazy extended blended family.
It was a joy to see that bend in the road turn to this destination. One filled with care, mutual respect and love. You must make the turn and trust in the universe. Then it is not the end but the beginning of a new journey.