If you follow me on social media, you may have seen me boasting about the accolades of my adult children. My daughter just graduated college with honors and will be moving on to graduate school. My son received a scholarship for his continuing education, (an award for his academic, athletic achievements and community service.) As a widow and single mom, I am extremely grateful. My children's wins are victories for me as a parent as well. I am aware that there are grieving parents that for various reasons are not able to share in these experiences. Yet, this is our story. (To you I wish you peace and encouragement to not give up. Maybe it just hasn't happened YET!)
What makes me so very proud is not only my children's successes, but achieving it while carrying the weight of grief and loss. This was coupled with dealing with the fear of watching their mom struggle with anxiety and depression as she was trying to get back on her feet. It was their "suit up and show up" determination while grieving the loss of their father that inspired me and kept me going. I am grateful for their grace for the times I fell short as I learned to navigate being a single mom and reinventing myself. This, along with becoming the sole provider of our family was no easy feat. I hadn't worked full time in 15 years.
People see the highlight reels, the graduations and the awards. But, we had many terrifying moments when I did not know if we were going to make it. Life was often messy, uncertain and doubtful. I did not know how to do a lot of things. My late husband used to handle all of the family affairs and business. Somehow we figured it out. I became very resourceful and I had to ask for help. I stayed focused on the goal and I pushed my children probably a little too much. I was driven to not only equip them for life, but for them to have the opportunity to use their God given talents and abilities to make a difference... to live a life of service and purpose.
We are not "terminally unique" as they say. There are many people that have been in our situation or worse and have overcome their challenges. We are not alone in the battle. We know there is more work ahead. These milestones are stepping stones to the next. But, right now I am joyful. I am basking in gratitude. I am thankful for so much.
I am GRATEFUL for:
-for not giving up!
-for lessons learned that we couldn't have learned any other way.
-for the conditions we faced that made us hungry to succeed.
-for allowing the grit and grind to be part of our journe.y
-for an education, to expand my children's minds and personal growth.
-for the pain that broke us open for more love, more hope.
-for not quitting before the miracle.
Let me say this. If we can do it, anyone can. Celebrate the wins! Find gratitude in the the little things. You may be experiencing difficulties with your children and/or dealing with single parenthood, hang in there. Look for the helpers. Keep going! Do not give up. I am glad I didn't and you will be too.