Sunday, November 21, 2010

A moment of clarity...

Did you ever have one of those moments of crystal-clear clarity? Thanks to a quote placed on Kenju’s blog, I was blessed this morning with one of those precise moments in time that was inititated with the appraisal of these words:
 “We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.”

Yesterday my family, whom I have not seen in two and a half years met halfway between Ohio and North Carolina in Beckley, West Virginia to exchange Nicholas so he could spend time with his family in Ohio.  Time, distance and busy lives keep us apart physically but emotionally I had forever perceived myself as the stranger.  There are a plethora of reasons but basically my mother and sister for whatever reasons needed each other more than they needed me.

 I was the youngest of five children and my mother was the product of a gentle soul and a fragile psyche compounded by three husbands who used her as their punching bag in every sense of the word. The domestic violence she encountered occurred behind slammed doors unlike today where it appears commonplace in the media.

However, at a young age the realization that I was on my own led me to reach out to the first of many surrogate mothers such as my PE teacher and Coach, Mrs. Stephenson, or Mrs. Houck my music and choir teacher. My cluster of friends in athletics, choir, yearbook and the overabundance of activities to keep me away from home became my sisters; titles none was aware they held.
Life happened, as life often does. I went searching for my purpose of being out of the state of Ohio; Florida and North Carolina and experienced my share of personal moments of trauma, growth and understanding independent of my family. I was blessed with a wonderful husband and an adoring son while meanwhile, my sister Dawn became a Mama Bear fiercely protecting her cubs at all costs and trudging through a day to day existence as a teacher giving of herself to others.
My mom is eighty-two and continues to golf, read, volunteer and work; awarded top employee of the year. She travels and is active in her church. She has a heart of gold and is filled with compassion. I believe she has made amends with her choices in life and finally realizes she did the best she knew how to do enduring the circumstances she was subjected to; I’m proud of the person she has become.
I’m a true believer that things happen for a reason and the planets line up specifically with one purpose in mind, basically God presents circumstances in our lives for us to continue to learn and grow. My mother and sister are NOT the same people they were when I was growing up; just as I’m not the same person. But it is with this love and empathy we continue to love the changed people in our lives.

I’m not only extremely joyful my sister and my mom are my family, but I’ve learned to love them; with all their perceived flaws and alleged faults because I’ve learned to love me—with all my short-comings and imperfections.

William Somerset Maugham, writer (1874-1965)


kenju said...

Tracy, you continue to amaze me with what you write from a prompt I gave you, although unknowingly. This is a beautiful post, and the quote spoke to me as it did you; I just didn't elaborate on it. Thanks for this.

Tracy said...

Thank you Kenju for providing me with such inspiration...see, things DO happen for a reason!

Susan Fields said...

Thanks for sharing your story! I totally agree -things happen for a reason, even if we're not aware of that reason.

Teresa Evangeline said...

Tracy, Thank you for your willingness to explore tough personal subjects. Violence wasn't a part of my upbringing, but I certainly can empathize with those who endured it. I'm just so grateful for the example of courage you offer. I love the quote. It is important to be willing to see others with fresh eyes as we should ourselves.

Rambling Dandelions said...

You all have the same smiles and the same eyes and the same noses. Love incarnate.

Isn't it ironic how several children all growing up in the same household have such incredibly different childhoods? We live to bear witness to the lives of those we love, and when life happens so, it's difficult to be witnessed.

Keep sharing. Hugs!

Robyn Cook said...

Funny to think that as you were leaving Ohio, feeling like a stranger, I was always wishing you would come home. I now think we missed an opportunity, between the two of us, to bond in a way that most of our family does not.

Tracy said...

Thank you Susan...we can never fully understand or underestimate those reasons~

Teresa, I like your comment 'we must be willing to see others with fresh eyes' ..this reinforces our belief that people can change and who are we not to allow them that opportunity?

Kathie, I was actually thinking the same thing about how much we do look alike! and yes, it's strange how our experiences do differ living in the same household.

Robyn, we can still bond just in a different way...I knew you wanted me to stay but NC was calling my name. I love you Mrs. Beasley!

thanks to all for visiting...your feedback is monumental!

Out on the prairie said...

Tracy, you have a interesting blog to go through. I had fun looking at what you have shared and wanted to thank you for stopping by mine. I think what we do realize with age is we never stop growing. It is hard to maintain friendships and kinships sometimes long distance.As you have seen all families weren't like the Cleavors on Leave It To Beaver.I was amazed they got to have a snack and drink milk when they wanted, we had a large family and these were to be approved by my mother.I have an extended family I have built over the years. I have lost all of my family, mine now consists of myself and my two girls. There are some good memories always to share , even when times weren't the best. It was those that stood by you in life that did make that difference and it is nice to have had them when you were in need.I am sure you have extended yourself as well, to make others lives a charm.

Tracy said...

Out on the prairie,
Thank you for stopping by and your thoughtful comments.I was so intrigued by your photography initially and felt captured by the beauty within each picture.

What I've realized is that the word 'family' is all encompassing as it seems for you as well. Good, bad or indifferent, our past lives are what they are and only we can make our future. I intend to spend mine doing what makes me happy!
I look forward to seeing more of your site!

Redondowriter said...

Truly beautiful. I visited you from Judy's blog.

Ami said...

Oh yes, things happen for a reason.

And later on, when the reasons for the really awful things that happened become clear, I am numbly grateful, even for the bad things.

The good things are a bonus.

Tracy said...

Redondowriter, Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed your visit...

I really am convinced of the principle that things do happen for a reason. However, I'm like you I want the reason especially in troubled times. Thanks for reading..

Simplesurrogacy said...

Thanks for sharing your story.

Tracy said...

...and thank you for visiting, Simplesurrogacy! I appreciate you stopping by!

Jennifer said...

My heart, I have learned so much over the years... an abused child, my mom's suicide, anger, an abusive marriage - we can be so resilliant. I learn something every day from my students (I'm a nurse in a high school of 2000) a bit more patience, that they each have a story, respect. That people want to help you. That it feels so good to help someone else. Change takes place constantly. So your blog was very meaningful to me, the quote wonderful. Thank you and blessings, Jennifer

Tracy said...

Our stories are so similar and yes, even with heartache we prove the resiliancy shines through; perhaps with a tougher heart, but alive nonetheless.It's been amazing the people who have entered my life and shared at precise moments with the exact message I need to hear.
Thank you for stopping by and please do so again!