The Gifts Of Changing My Life
The kids were adjusting their caps and the graduation gowns were blowing in the wind. Smiles and nervous excitement abounded. It was time to walk through that milestone gateway to the world: High School commencement exercises for the class of 2014.
They lined up paired off men & women, side by side. Upstairs they stood, eagerly waiting for the music to begin and their final walk into a world to shine so bright. How will the class of 2014 share their gifts and talents with humanity?
As they made it downstairs and turned the corner, cameras flared along with tears from the waiting crowd of parents. It was a big milestone to see my youngest child walk, and for me, the final time I'd be doing this.
(from left) my son Brian (29), me, my sister Nancy, my son Jeff (25) and Matthew, my last graduate, age 18
More importantly, to see this child really flourishing after a life-changing decision I made more than 5 years ago that would affect him more than any of my other children. I decided to divorce.
After 28 years of marriage, it was no longer a healthy situation for any of us. All the lessons that could be learned were done. And I knew if this last son had any chance at a peaceful last 4 years of school, it was now or never. I made the decision for him as much as for me; for all of us.
As I watched him attend senior prom, the final school concert, last days of classes and dress in his cap & gown, I could without a doubt be so proud of his growth and my decision. He is flourishing and so am I.
Sometimes the best gifts come wrapped in the ugliest packages. At the time, we often doubt ourselves because it's so stressful and painful to completely redefine a family structure. We ARE still a family; it just looks different.
On the other side of the door of chaos and pain came the freedom to heal, love and shine brighter than ever. It's all good. It's how our soul evolves, through life's larger lessons.
I thought I was tearing my family apart but in the end I was giving us a gift. The gift to do our work and step into who we really are. I didn't lose the "family of my dreams"; I finally gained one. One where everyone is happy, healthy and whole.
And there we were, Mom, Dad and three brothers, side by side watching the youngest graduate.
Still a family, just a little different and a whole lot better.