Thursday, August 21, 2014

Seeing the Silver Lining

"Reflect on a time when your pain or perceived problem turned out to be the beginning of a whole new possibility for yourself, perhaps even a blessing in disguise."

I saw this posted online somewhere, can't remember now, probably a site for journaling prompts. So a friend and I decided to tackle this together. And we hope to continue to tackle some deeper questions in the future as well, so be watching for those.

I have talked about my grief on my blog. Both my mother's and my father's death were sudden and unexpected. I was young, and there are times I really think about all I have missed, growing through adulthood without parents by my side. So today I wanted to talk about all the possibilities this opened up for me, how I think my life was forever changed for the better because of those horrific events. My Silver Lining.

Jackson and I had been married almost two years when my mother died and a year and a half later my father killed himself. I think this left me to figure out marriage on my own. I had a wonderful example, in my parents, demonstrating a loving relationship and how they worked through problems. That was a blessing. But I have really had no one to turn to or talk to about any disagreements within our marriage. My only option was to turn toward our marriage, talk to Jackson, and work it out solely between the two of us. I believe that has really made our marriage strong. We have worked hard on communication, because all we had was each other, and it has been one Silver Lining in not having parents to talk to.

I have walked a very different parenting path than my parents. I knew I did not want to parent exactly as my parents had. After their deaths, I really felt like we were on our own, and as I had decided to stay home with my boys full time, I felt that it was up to me to do the research, read, be with them and figure out the parenting role. My oldest really helped me find my way with parenting. He was very vocal about what he wanted and needed and that led us to a peaceful, attachment parenting model, for which I am so very grateful. Not sure we would have taken that path if my parents were still alive. I think not having them around to ask questions of, left me, Jackson and the boys to figure it out on our own, and that was a Silver Lining. I love the parenting path we have chosen.

When we left the army, after Germany, we had so many options as to where we would call home. If my parents had been alive, I believe, we would have returned to Maine. But since they were gone, we just felt like the world opened up for us. We had so many possibilities. We chose North Carolina because we both agreed that we each had seen enough snow and winter for a lifetime, but we still wanted a change of seasons. Here I have met so many wonderful people. People that challenge my thinking as well as those that are more like minded. I cherish the close friends that I have and can't imagine life without them. Living in North Carolina also cemented our decision to homeschool our boys. There are thousands of homeschool families across the state, and I can honestly say I have built friendships with other homeschooling families all around NC. There is just such an abundance of homeschool activities and events here. At the same time, as a secular homeschooler, North Carolina has offered me ways of contributing to and supporting that diversity. I am not sure, if my parents were still alive, we would be homeschooling. I would like to think that homeschooling would have entered the picture anyway, but who knows. So living in North Carolina and homeschooling are two more Silver Linings.

So while I would not call the deaths of my parents a blessing in disguise, I can see the silver linings that were created as a ripple effect of those tragic events. Even tough the pain of losing my parents is heavy, I feel learning to live a life without them in it, has opened up so much more, evolved into greatness beyond my dreams, and taken me in so many new and wonderful directions.

Time for you to reflect on pain or problems in your past and see if you can identify the silver linings. If you choose to blog about it or not please leave a comment so I can read about your Silver Linings.

If you would like to read what Nancy has to say about the pain/problems in her life and the silver lining, please visit her at A Present Moment. Thanks for reading and sharing.

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