I sit here thinking of the most empowering time of my life. I think it comes in moments, not in events. Some moments rob me of everything that I am. Some fill me with hope and a view of things to come that is good. Empowerment. I am trying to think of what that means. I have an idea...but only an idea. What if I were to look it up in the dictionary...what would it say?
For me it means to give something power, strength to push them forward. Forward. What does that mean? We eat everyday, we sleep, we work, we live. What drives us? What empowers us? What drives me?
I know of times in my life where all purpose seemed very clear, where the choices and decisions of my life made sense. And then there's those times where it is all so unclear. Those times when it's painful to just try to decide what to wear, or which chore to attack first. Empowering myself means that those choices don't mean anything in the larger picture.
I find empowerment in the quiet moments. Those moments that 20 years ago I would never have known were coming. A look from my child that says they truly understand. A moment when my husband looks at me with love when that is not what I feel I may deserve in that moment.
There are things that are a part of my life that I expected to be there. A husband, kids, watching my parents grow old, seeing my brothers and sisters bring children into the world. These things are the things I could have foreseen. I expected them to happen, and they did. Maybe the details are not what I expected, but they still are truths. The details...like Kara would only have one child. I saw her with more kids, but that never came to pass, but to see the relationship between her and that one child is magical. Details....like Mark. I never saw him having more than one child and yet he and his wife are expecting again which will make it six for him. Six...never saw that coming. But as he has grown older he has become a better and better father.
The unexpected. The things I never saw coming. In my life I feel there's a lot. Maybe everyone feels this way. I can only speak for myself. I believe I saw the big family, but I never could have foreseen the medical issues. Two children diagnosed with diabetes before they were a year old. The seizures, doc appts and the tears shed for these two children.
But there is the unexpected on a positive note. My family. That it would expand from 3 siblings to six. The sisters that I only vaguely knew about but would later meet. They grew up in a different world than I did. They had such different life experiences than I did. But I found myself sitting in a lawn chair, on a cool evening in Las Vegas talking quietly with one, while my daughter shared precious time with her cousin upstairs. In that moment I felt empowered. I was given the gift of more than what I thought I began with and they have been a gift. New experiences, new friends, new life. I am not sure they will ever know what they mean to me, what they have brought into my life, how they have lifted me up. Maybe they never will. As different as we can be, we are still have the same blood running through our veins. Thrust together by the choices of one woman, brought together by love, acceptance and compassion. They have allowed me to be a part of their lives, which they didn't have to. They have shared their lives with me, their families with me, our mother with me. They are very near and dear to my heart, and time spent with them is empowering.
Right now I am searching for that. Empowerment. I feel lost in many ways, but more alone than anything. I stand in a crowd of amazing people, my children, my siblings, my parents and friends, but I am feeling alone. I will stand in the cold night, watching my breath escape me, realizing that I am small, that I am only one. I can and do influence the lives of so many, but who influences me? I know the impact I can have on my children and friends and family...but who do I look to? I look to Polly, who is so lovingly taking care of her sister. That sister hasn't always made the wisest choices, but right now she needs that kind of love, and Polly gives so freely, wants to be with her and wants to take care of her. No amount of history can take away the bond of a sister, and the love that trumps everything else.
I look to my family, my sisters and brothers. As you overcome your own obstacles in life I gain respect and am empowered by your accomplishments. You help me see beyond myself, beyond my own problems and see the bigger picture. You all live a different life than I do. You make different choices, and for that I love you. Live your life the way you want to live, and I will love you for it. No matter what, no matter when, no matter how, I will always love you and look up to all of you. The way I feel about you is so much bigger than the way I feel about anything else. Nothing else matters....just the love I feel for you. I hope that as I get older, my life unfolds that if there's nothing else I can give people, it's love. You all mean the world to me and always will...no matter what.