Calamity Jennye

Friday, May 13, 2011

Those cheesy footprints in the sand

I've said this before but I have to tell you all that I realized again last night that the most striking thing about this past year has been how, at every turn, God has put exactly the right person in my path at exactly the right time.

I moved to the middle of nowhere a year ago, there was this person I had met twice who I thought I could maybe be friends with. Fast forward and it feels like I've never not known her. You can say I make friends easily, you can say I'm good at building community...whatever you want to chalk it up to this one person has led to so much positive change in my life that I can only say God brought me here to this place I never would have come in order to get through this miserable thing I never could have done on my own.

This one relationship has also introduced so many people that I've needed to get through this mess.
There was a night months ago, in the middle my husband's and my conversations about separation, when I realized that if our marriage had any chance of survival I had to confront him about his drinking. We had had some less serious conversations over the years where I had expressed my concern about his drinking habits. Mainly how much of our money went to purchase alcohol and how, when we were out of wine, or vodka or his alcohol of choice it disturbed me that he would drink my Bailey's (which he didn't even like) or (worse yet) the vermouth.
This conversation I knew I needed to have was different than those ones. This time I knew I needed to sit down with him and say. "I am concerned that you are an alcoholic." I had no idea how I could say that to him. I was fearful of what his response would be and felt I didn't even know where to start to have this kind of conversation.
A couple days before our scheduled conversation I was in the cities and had plans to go out to drinks with the friend I mentioned above. Unexpectedly her Aunt decided to join us. It just so happened that this wise woman had been part of AA for 20 some years.
As we sat talking it came out what was going on in my marriage and I shared about this upcoming conversation and how it terrified me. This was one of those perfect moments when there couldn't have been a more perfect person sitting in front of me. I was able to hear everything she had to share about her experience and walked away feeling like, not only was this a conversation I could tackle, but now I had some actual words to use and a direction for the conversation to go. This was just what I needed to gain the confidence in myself to actually force the conversation.

There have been people like this littering my path for the last year. The friend who gave me a new pair of earrings just when I needed to feel beautiful on my own. My brother and his wife who were able to give me a safe refuge when I needed it most and who also helped me regain freedom through having my own car.
I sort of feel like I've spent the last year walking slowly uphill from being far underground. My weeks with my brothers family felt like the last, worst steps of reemerging and to have a vehicle of my own waiting there as I came out of that darkness felt more like wings than wheels.

Last night was one more major experience of, well, practically an angel being thrown into my path. Some friends of the family we are staying with came over for dinner last night. There's a back story leading up to this but everyone decided it was crucial that I tell these two women (both therepists) my entire last years story. I find it shocking that it can take a full two hours to tell this story but it did, and they listened the whole time. Near the end one of the women revealed that her daughter had been through such a similar experience that I would not believe the similarities if she outlined them. Her daughter started her divorce proceedings from her husband when their daughter was 18 months. The daughter is now seven and things have been settled for about two years. She wanted me to know it is not a brief or easy road I am embarking on. At the same time she shared so much wisdom from her role as a therapist and from her experience as a mother watching a similar situation unfold.
I just can't even tell you in one sitting all the insight and wisdom I feel I gained last night but I can say I woke up this morning feeling less crazy and even less dark than I have for a long time. I still have fear, on many levels, but I feel like I have some tools to work through that, and some tools to help Esme work through the fears and doubt that will inevitably come her way as well.

More than anything though, I feel confident that the right people will continue to be sent my way just when I need them. I am sure that if I can be strong, if I can remain willing to listen, and most of all if I can remain centered in goodness (but aware that there are bad things, even evil out there) I will be okay. I will make it through and I will never have to do it alone.

This blog post has been an interesting one for me to write because for some reason it is very hard for me to say, out loud, that it is God putting these people in my path. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no other way these experiences would keep happening, but I struggle with the cheesiness or I guess just the way it sounds to say that (makes me feel like I belong in a Southern Baptist Church). But as I've struggled today with naming the source of these experiences it's reminded me of someone who was talking to me about her divorce.
She said before that year she had always scoffed at the footsteps poem and cheesy art that always accompanies it. It wasn't until she realized what it truly meant to have others carrying you through an experience that she got it. I guess sometimes it's worth identifying and feeling genuinely thankful for what is true no matter how you've scoffed at it in the past.
Is there anything you've scoffed at but come to find so altering you must identify it?
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1 comment:

  1. Jennye, I know for certain that God put you and Esme in my life. If it wasn't for your family, there is no way that I would be even close to where I am now in my life. I am so thankful for the Godsend that the two of you are.