The Next

I used to feel embarrassed when I told people I have been married three times – as if I had done something wrong, or couldn’t get something right.

But I have come to realize that I was doing a disservice to the men who had borne children with me, helped me raise them and become who I am, and to the many extended family members who became an important part of my life,  a source of love and respect, in good times and in bad ones.

When counting my blessings this Thanksgiving season, I have come to understand that I should to be thankful for all of it -I have indeed been blessed to experience all the angst, the drama, the joy, the unabridged happiness and the painful memories alike, because it is my legacy and my history as well as theirs.

There is a reason why we walked our journeys together and a reason we came out the other side – different, but still intact.

Forgiveness and love have been mine to give and admittedly, hard to deliver to some, almost unreachable for others.  But with the help of prayer,  introspection, time  and wanting a pure heart as a child of God, I have reached the place where I have done both.

If I were to count them all I am sure it would seem surreal – but in a very real way, it is part of what I count as triumphs.  I am still connected to sisters and brothers-in-laws, cousins and nephews, nieces and grand kids, and even more astounding the ex-wives of those who have been before me, and all their children.  We are all friends and have the wisdom to recognize what we have endured together, just not at the same time.

We are all good people who have survived a hard lesson.

I look forward to the next chapter of the next year, the next adventure and the next love.

I believe the Almighty does not want us to be alone and bitter, that we are meant to experience love in many different ways, and at different stages of our lives.  If that experience is shared with one person, than that is how it was destined.

I hope when it is my time to go home I can turn around and see them all waving goodbye as I sail from this shoreline and on to the next, my heart filled with love and gratitude for having been a wife, a mother and a friend to them all, as the ones who have passed before me greet me as I arrive.

Happy Thanksgiving.  May you reach a point in your life where you are as thankful, and if you are not there yet, have the open spirit to let love guide you there.