This month of March has been about stories. The crumpled sheets of paper wedged deep down in between our life cushions. Here in this space, we've been pulling out their pressed lines only to unfold and share them with you.
Because that's how better is born. It starts in the celebrating, the grieving & the grateful just the same. Life is in the telling and even more so in the lifting. And by handing over your crumpled composition to others, you allow humanity to create hope; your story can do just that.
Today's contributing author is a beautiful example of courage and compassion. She is a representative of strength as she dives in between her very cushions to find the words folded for you and for me. I am most honored that her words in this place are not new. Last fall she wrote a powerful piece on choice. It connected with so many readers and is still one of the blog's most revisited article. I count this human joy. In so many ways and on so many levels. I am most certain you will too. Please make welcome Mrs. Nicole Samples.
When you look back on your life, can you pinpoint when you have learned some of the biggest lessons of your life to date? Some of my moments are big and some are very small. Sometimes those moments hit me immediately and sometimes, it can be years later and I realize the lesson learned. For my story, I want to share some of the lessons my parents taught me inadvertently during a tough time.
My parents split up when I was 16. I had only heard them argue, like really argue, maybe once. It was scary and confusing listening to the two people I love the most argue. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were like any other couple, they had disagreements. But it appeared to me, they they weren’t really good at expressing those frustrations out loud. They seemed to just bottle it up and never really speak up.
Speak your truth, Nicole.
Life can be tough. Marriage can be tougher. There are twists and turns. There are jobs that become more than jobs; they request your full attention. No one is there to teach how to communicate to your spouse. There are kids to raise. There are places and practices and games to bring them to. There are needs unmet. There are feelings that are not heard. There are lessons not learned. There are words unspoken.
My parents never spoke badly of one another when they split. It is the thing that really stands out to me when I think about that time in my life. They didn’t dish their dirt. They didn’t express their frustration or anger. I can’t imagine the difficulty in this, but their decision to do this truly defined “strong, caring, selfless parents” to me. They were protecting me from more pain and confusion.
Be strong for your kids.
They did tell me how sad they were that our family was splitting. They did hug me and cry with me. This hurt them too. It's was big for me to see the human in my parents. A few years later, they both individually would tell me what they wish they would have done better for their spouse. They did tell me the lessons learned and sadness they felt. They sucked up their internal issues and supported us together through birthdays and graduations.
Thank you, Mom and Dad.
They both started to figure out their issues. They had “ah-ha” moments. They started taking care of themselves, doing what gave them joy for life.
Sadness can fade and wounds can heal.
It’s been over 20 years and I have an even bigger appreciation for my parents now that I am married and have 2 kids. We all are doing the best we can, aren’t we? Life can be tough sometimes, but through that toughness, what lessons are YOU learning? What kind of lessons did you learn from your parents?
Thanks for reading.