You probably thought I had forgotten. I did not. Could not ever. Rather, my mind has been germinating on what I could possibly say that would help you in your life.
Certainly you are all grown up. You make your own choices now (at least I pray you do). So, maybe all I can tell you is that ‘your life’ is what you make of it.
Your life is not what others tell you it must be. Nor, dependent on what others may think of you. Every step you take is yours to be proud of, regretful, or simply a statement to yourself – for yourself.
“Long before the enemy can steal your victory, he steals your song. Long before he can steal your joy, he steals your praise. Before you know it, you start becoming critical, pessimistic, moody, and depressed.
Don’t allow him to do that. Let praises be continually on your lips and always be conscious of the Lord’s presence, His favor, His goodness, and His blessings in your life.” … Joseph Prince
There is nothing I can tell you that would express more what you must choose to do with your life than to live it to the fullest extent. As for me, I made a choice. I chose so to be subjected to slander and libel, to be torn from your life in a lie – that I would forever live in your heart. Whether for good or bad. In my mind, it no longer mattered. Only that my choice allowed you to become strong enough to choose for yourself how you intended to live.
With that, I leave you the following thoughts… until we meet again.
Your Mother is a good person. She did what she thought was best for her life. In our life together we had a loving relationship for a time. But I am afraid that I was never the one she truly wanted to be with. Perhaps we were too young when we married. But I had asked her time and again whether or not I had the right to be married to the person who believed I was her everything, just as she was my everything? That weighed heavily on her, I am sure. So, she tried to be the person everyone else thought she should be on the outside, while trying to justify our marriage.
All I wanted was to come home and have her tell me that she had finally fallen in love with me in the manner I had with her. When I finally had the courage to ask for that recognition, she could not give it. The truth was very hard for me to take. For 25 years I had waited for that moment – she had also. I really thought she would dedicate herself to the choice she proclaimed at our sealing. If only I could have thanked her for that time together. We both regretted that choice had taken so long. Yet, I never regretted the life that was had with all of you. Without her, none of you would have been there.
What came after was my being left alone. Only ‘professionals’ to guide and direct my thoughts. Medication that was meant to assist only clouded my judgment and ability to reason. Not everyone is there to help, even when they say they are… And those that have left their hearts open for sharing often are lost by well-meaning friends.
Here is what I am left with:
I have a wife that has known me since high school. I am her everything, as she is mine. Her birthday is only three days off from your Mother’s, yet life with her is everything I had imagined it should be. I pray that your Mother has also found her soul-mate. What remains missing is you. Your sister and brother, too. For your memories remain of the times of conflict and strife. In this, I can only pray for you to be strengthened by the Lord who sorts everything out in His time. For all of us.
Here then is what I have learned; Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the acceptance of conflict. Knowing that without the lessons of life that sometimes are terribly hard to bear, we would not have the fortitude to accept our trials. Even those of the greatest weight we could ever imagine.
In contemplation of your future, be thoughtful and empathetic to the circumstances of others. Understand that people make mistakes. That they sacrifice for the sake of those they love. Even attempting to remain together through great torment so that their children will not have their home destroyed. In doing so, they hurt the very people they have sought their entire lives to protect. Those seeds of regret take root if you let them. Or, they joyfully blossom into the reality that all things have their purpose.
From before we married you mother kept claiming that she was not the person named in my Patriarchal Blessing. If that were true, you would not be here. Though my life has been through a different refiner’s fire, my thoughts and prayers have never ceased on all your behalf.
Happy belated birthday, Emily.
All my love,