I also never realized where my life would take me. I don’t talk or blog about this much, but nine years ago, I boarded a plane from Jerusalem, Israel back to the United States with a heavy heart and my now nine year old that was only five months old at the time. I walked away from an abusive marriage and three young daughters who I had no choice but to leave. I don’t regret walking away, but what I do regret is not fighting hard enough to keep my daughters and to get them back when my ex-husband and his family took them away.
My communications with my daughters are limited and more than anything in the world – I want to hold them again, even if it is just one more time. My girls are now ages, 13, 12, and 10 and nine years have gone by since I had to walk away in July 2000. I never stop missing them, but I have learned to accept the choices that I had to make all those years ago.
One thing I can truly tell you is that God never forgot me. He gave me two more wonderful sons, my now nine month old and my step-son and then there is my amazing nine year old who has been my rock all these years and is grown up beyond his years. Moreover, I have learned to love again in a way that I never knew existed. My boys are kind, wonderful and just absolutely amazing. I never knew I could be loved so much. In addition, I have nephews who are the same. They would move heaven and earth for me and they love me in ways I never knew I could be loved.
I used to think love was simple and existed in only one form, but the first time I knew true love was the day that I become a mother. I love being a mother and I love being an aunt and I love being an older sister. My almost 18 year old brother, who I have watched grow up and helped raise, is now an amazing young man who loves me unconditionally and would do anything for me.
Sometimes, I sit back and look at how difficult this last year has been for my husband and I financially and it still hasn’t gotten better, but then I look at the boys in my life and how wonderful they are and how good of a person they have made me and I forget everything. Yes, this is what it is all about.
I lost something nine years ago that I never thought I could get back and that was my heart. It was heavy and filled with anger, hurt and a lot of resentment for so many years. I never stop missing my daughters and there were days where I wondered if I could have done something different and then I remember that I had no control over those events. For so many years, I couldn’t see the whole picture. My daughters are growing up, and even though it is without me, they have turned out just fine and they had not forgotten how much I love them and miss them and one day, their father won’t have any control of them being in my life. I know that I didn’t raise them, but they are still my daughters and I wait for the day when they are back in my life.
I have spent eight days now with my amazingly rowdy but wonderful nephews (while their parents are on their second honeymoon-ten days- after 16 blissful years of marriage) and I have come to realize that life and love are complicated. More importantly, both are real and it is up to all of us to figure out what kind of love makes us happy. For me, I love being a mom, an aunt and a big sister and that, well, that is simply enough for me. That’s what it’s all about!
And I wouldn’t change a thing. Just an additional note: The boys in my life, my sons, my nephews and my little brother – they watch me struggle with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia and they are my rocks to lean on. They are supportive and understanding and I am a lucky woman to have them all in my life. They are all going to grow up into wonderful young men and the credit – well, it is due to their mothers and all the women in their lives.
The boy who expects every morning to open into a new world finds that today is like yesterday, but he believes tomorrow will be different Charles Dudley Warner American Editor and Author