Celebrating Life

I am choosing to share my ride through life with you, dear ones, from one life-altering point in that journey. I want to offer you a description of how certain challenges required me to start building, mental brick by mental brick, personal strength of character in order to survive.

(I think I’m getting there)

I needed skills and strategies that I did not then have. I had no post high school education, little money, and had never lived independently. My then and subsequent experiences in years gone by have necessarily shaped my life into pathways I never guessed would appear. I am still looking forward to new experiences and new pathways in the future. And, as I reflect, I find I have admiration for, and confidence in that person who was me and who has worked for many years to arrive at today. I also laugh a lot at what I used to do sometimes and laugh at how I managed to find ways around what seemed to be insurmountable challenges.

I plan to deliberately use my personal experiences herein, so as to encourage any who find themselves in very difficult life situations to remain steadfast in belief of his or herself or themselves. Your circumstances might have included experiences of the death of a loved one, times of poverty or homelessness, or living with a violent partner or child or parents; being terrorised or suffering poor mental health or paralysing depression. You can choose to heal.

I believed then, as I still do, notwithstanding a few grievous challenges to my wellbeing, that life is to be respected as a gift, enjoyed, and shared with love. I knew my life should be purposeful and that I was the only person who could step in and take charge. I needed to create inspirational thinking for myself and do whatever I could do to improve my situation and that of my infant child, Will. I needed to look forward to becoming myself and stop being immobilised by fear, lack of confidence, relative poverty, and mostly, in looking back, fear of the unknown. This was my life-altering point.

I was, and still am, grateful to be able to find great comfort in my husband, and our extended families and many loving friends. Another important tool, which is now steadfast practice, was to choose humour and laughter in whatever I faced each day. Laughter is and was so very important to me getting there so that I tried not to take my situation too seriously and fall into sadness. I knew that I could choose to scream with rage and fall into sorrow and unhappiness. Or I could choose to crack up in laughter at some nonsensical aspect of my dilemma. My choice would actually make my management of the situation work differently for me. I could move forward in laughter, hope and love, or waste myself in gloom and doom as I focussed on the unfairness of loss and living with that loss.

First things first. I managed to move into a little abode and spent my time caring for Will and talking to family and friends. I felt safer on the one hand but desolate on the other at the loss of a wistful dream of an ongoing relationship with Will’s father.

I met and worked in group work with other women in similar situations never imagining that I would one day be the group leader. I did a further education course about child care and human development. These were good years; and about when Will went to school, I was finally able to receive a contested property settlement. I bought a little, old house for me and Will. Over the years I completed an undergraduate degree with Honours and then, with the benefit of a scholarship, I completed a doctorate in the health and social sciences.

Prior to commencing that later study, I met my now husband Scott. We use our choices every day to respect, love, and complement each other in every way we can. We work together towards ongoing contentment and happiness.

Later, when I write about my personal experiences again dear readers, I will speak of the death of my late son Will, and how his death impacted me and us as a family. I will try to describe being too late to see him in his last minutes but in time to gather Zac and take him home with us. I hope to be able to convey to you how we survived with that trauma. In time I will speak about the further devastating loss of our loved grandson Zac, who, in a tragic accident, met his death later. By hook or by crook, with the help of friends, family and wine (not so much as to drown in it!), Scott and I survived these repeated enormous losses and we are now continuing to work together in acceptance of loss and towards joyful spirit again.

My love to you all, be happy and look forward!

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