Whether through death or divorce, chronic illness or tragedy, college or the armed services, missions or marriage, families change! And, when we find ourselves amidst such a change or challenge, we ask ourselves, “now what?” You wonder how you will ever sleep at night, look at the empty chair at the dinner table or celebrate the next holiday season.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
During a particular class, we were asked to take some personality tests, to find out how we learned and absorbed information. This was ultimately supposed to enhance our study skills and make us better test takers. I sure needed that direction as a 46 year old, full-time student. As I began reading the questions, thoughts like this were racing through my mind, "Well, my ex-husband is A, so I must be C". "He was B, so I am surely D." Pretty soon, I realized, that if the results were going to be accurate and helpful, I needed to answer the questions truthfully, for myself. So, I began to re-take the test, however, I left my little notes in the margin. It did not take long to realize that many of our answers were the same. The results gave me some great ideas that changed the way I studied, but I also learned something even more valuable. Through the 21 years I was married, much of whom I had become was because of my ex-husband. When Families Change, it is so easy, even natural, to run from the pain, hurt and emptiness. I wanted to get rid of anything and everything that reminded me of him. But now, I realized that a lot of who I am is BECAUSE of him. So, I came home and found my wedding ring neatly tucked away in a silky pouch. There was a thin band, with diamonds around it, that he had purchased for me, with the birth of our 3rd child. That child was now, 15 years old, and watching her older sister get engaged. One day she told me, "Mom, I wish I had a special ring!" I responded, "Cute girl---- I have just the ring!!!" (Some might say "coincidence"---- I say "inspired"). I went into my bedroom, retrieved the ring, told her that it was from her dad, that he had purchased it for me when she was born. It fit her finger perfectly!!! Then, I held the actual wedding band in my hand. Memories flooded my heart. I remembered the test and I knew just what I needed to do. I called my friend who worked in the jewelry business. I asked her if she could have my ring sized to fit a different finger and engraved. I now wear my wedding ring on my right hand, and on it is the word, "REMEMBER" and of course, a star!! Symbols surround us, especially at Christmas time. The "tree" reminds me of growth and change and infinite possibilities. The ornaments, which add so much, remind me to take the time, each day, to look my best---for when I look better, I feel better, even on a really hard day. The presents of the season remind me to look outside of myself for what I can give, who I can lift or who I can inspire. The Christmas lights are a great reminder to me that light dispells darkness and when I go to Him, each day is brighter. And my ring, everyday, reminds me that things don't always turn out in the best way that we thought they would or should of------but that , things turn out best for those who make the best out of the way things turn out!!