I am reminded of the song lyric, “some of G-d’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” Throughout this month of intentional gratitude, I have spent some time each morning appreciating all that my life is and all that I have. I have so much to be thankful for, most notably my family starting of course with my children who have blessed me beyond anything I imagined possible. Going beyond the obvious gratitude for my immediate family, I began to recognize the fact that I am grateful for the presence of people in my life that I would not have if I had been in charge of things from the beginning.
My earliest memory of having a strong desire to control the make up of my family goes back to October 1967 when momma went to the hospital to give birth. I was adamant, at the age of 3 years old, that she would bring home to me a baby sister. I remember daddy laughing at me when I told him that a boy baby would not be acceptable and I would refuse to love him. Thankfully I was wrong.
So many times I resisted change. Always thinking that I knew what was best and rarely conceding when I was wrong. My parents divorced when I was ten. I resisted a new home, new school, and new friends. I was reluctant when my parents dated and was admittedly a little angry when they introduced me to people that I could find no reason not to like. I said there was no way I would ever accept step parents. Thankfully I was wrong.
In 1978, momma asked me what I would say if she told me she was going to have a baby. I quickly replied, “I’d be fine with it, as long as it isn’t a girl.” Thankfully I was wrong.
I carried this stubborn notion that life was mine to choreograph into adulthood. When things didn’t go according to my plan, I fought to change them. I prayed harder that G-d would step in and ‘fix things’ for me. I often beat myself up believing that if I just did things a little better or tried a little harder or wasn’t so selfish, then life would be happy and all of my plans would work out. In reality, the more I resisted, the harder life became. I thought I knew what was best. Thankfully I was wrong.
Today I am blessed with a new perspective, one that comes through experience and time. I look back over my life and see a brother and two sisters, two Dads and two Moms, extra grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, a huge list of friends, and many cherished memories, all of which I would never had known if I had been in charge of my life. Thankfully I was wrong.
I’ve learned to have faith in the grander scheme. I’ve learned to trust my instincts and to breathe through situations that I don’t readily understand. I’ve learned that fear is the only obstacle to life and love is the only thing that matters. I am grateful for every part of my experience, the things I welcomed and the things I resisted. Life is so good today. I am blessed.