January strikes quickly, as if we didn’t think she’d ever really come. Alas, she is here.
Welcome to 2018.
Twenty-eight years ago I gave birth to my first kid. She no longer speaks to her father and I. What occurred between then, well, a great deal of years, a great deal of stories. That she was born early in the year always makes me pause and reflect on the new year, how we might make choices to become better humans than perhaps we were last year.
Spending the holidays with my husband’s family (I remarried last July) eyes opened wide as I took notice of normalcy in a once broken family, now in the midst of continued healing. Time together included his ex-wife, their adult children, son-in-laws, grandparents…..and moi – all under the same roof at several different times throughout the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Gatherings of family wasn’t exactly the norm of my once-upon-a-time family, though I certainly never questioned our love for one another. We were/are scattered, our own lives. My husband’s family, unscattered, one with each other; la familia intertwined by holidays, birthdays, celebrations of life.
Reflecting on my own adult children, a new year, yet same situation. I’m sure my daughters view their family screwed up. Yep, true enough. We all desire what we preceive to be normal and ok. But here’s the thing, guys…
Whatever family you come from, you, yourself gets to decide how you want to live within your tribe. You can leave your tribe or stay in. Staying is hard, at times, brutal. To reach fruition within your tribe means being accountable, looking at your own truths. You can either figure out where you fit or not.
Silence is a choice. There are no rules in which families live by, only fierce expectations. Divorce or not, what constitutes normality in a family longs for major debates amongst the smartest of psychologists. We, on the other hand, the family members, continue seeking what’s most important in our own selective tribes.
With estrangement, there is no normalcy. Over five years now, what once was deep longing, dissipates. There’s an odd sense of reality. The pain, of course, lingers. Tears were shed during the holidays, as always. Yet, I’m learning when one holds such disdain towards me, sees her mother as a mere memory, the acceptance of what that means nestles in further.
I sent a birthday email to my girl. My message was brief, intentional, the hope she lives an authentic life, that she continues loved by me, that I miss her person in my life. The sphere of cyberspace is vast. Whether or not she reads or discards my words is not a concern. Not anymore.
I choose to live with love. To forgive my frailties, misguided mistakes, fractures along the way. This year, new resolve, a refresh of normalcy. I welcome all challenges with less fear each day. May you live your own respective authentic life. May you understand your worthiness, complete value to others. May you establish and embrace your normal. It’s yours.
We’ll find each other soon. 💜