I am torn when I leave the boys for the week. Grace, sharing the parental custody and not being present to Jonathan and David doesn’t feel motherly. I feel like I’m abandoning them, yet I know they are with their father. At times, I feel like he can’t take care of them the way I do.
I wonder if they are getting their homework done. Are they going to bed at the same time? How are they going dressed to school? Is Adam cooking nutritious meals? Grace, I know it’s not fair to think this, but I just believe my sons should be with their mother…and father, under one roof. It’s not fair for me, for Adam, and for the boys. When I see a father and his sons, I wonder where the children’s mother is and if they are in the same situation as my children.
What is this world coming to? Dysfunctional homes are so prevalent in America. Why must there be so much divorce, separation, etc.? How are family values being affected? What are children learning by parents giving up? I have so many questions with no answers, yet.
Guiding Lesson: Eve, these are all good questions. Endings are never easy regardless if it is something you knew you had to do. And yet from the time you are born, you are beginning a journey that will have many endings, saying many goodbyes and having many things to let go of throughout your life. How does one raise a family when nothing seems to be constant from one moment to the next?
It doesn’t seem fair when looking at the external world. There are no sure things from this point of view. It looks very dismal. And just when you think you have control over something, it vanishes and falls apart. When this happens, one quickly tries to regain some sort of control in the midst of chaos instead of allowing the old to crumble and make room for the new. This viewpoint is very real, but there is another window I would like you to look through.
Now, look within. From this point of view there are some things that you can build upon to raise a family regardless of what is happening around you and your children. There is this incredible love you have that has not diminished, but grown with each moment you spend with your children. There is commitment, devotion and dedication that are also great ingredients in creating a home. And let’s not forgot the gift of faith in God who will continue to shower you and your family with graces and blessings no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. These gifts along with so many others are what is real in raising a family. And the love you have for your children will outlast anything that may fade in their lives.
Yes, Eve, life is complicated and messy. I know you had an ideal image and dream of what family meant. It was a wonderful one. And now as it begins to fade away, it is time to let it go so that you can focus on the gift of the present moment. This is not easy and it will require you to grieve the dream that your heart desired so that you can embrace and build the new.
I leave you with three quotes on endings.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were
to live forever. – Mahatma Gandhi
The beginning of the adventure of finding yourself is
to lose your way. – Joseph Campbell
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor
do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding
danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life
is a daring adventure or nothing at all. – Helen Keller