I was overwhelmed with all of the questions I faced that most terrible of days in my life. I had the world–government agents, U.S. attorneys, family, friends, my husband–asking me, “WHAT are you going to do?” And I didn’t have a clue. I had no idea WHAT I was going to do.
In a moment, every single part of my life, my present, my past, and my future, had become a disaster. I was alone, thrust into the most terrifying darkness, and I didn’t know anything. Except that I was going to do what was best for my children. No matter what that meant for me or anyone else.
A counselor friend called that first day to try to help me. He asked me the question of the day (“What are you going to do?”) and I told him my answer: I didn’t know what I was going to do but I did know I was going to do what was best for my children. And he said something like this. “That is brilliant. I wish everyone in crisis would do that and we’d have a lot less messed up kids who grow up to become adults who fail.”
So that’s what I did.
Every decision was made with them in mind. Right or wrong those choices may have been, I really tried to put my children first and to do what I thought was best for them.
The results? All four of my children are living life fully, they’re enjoying successes at their various ages, and are remarkably happy and well adjusted. You would NEVER know the horrors they’ve lived through or the challenges they’ve overcome. One example: During my daughter’s senior year of high school as she was walking down the hall between classes, she happened to overhear the conversation of some girls in front of her. (They didn’t know she was behind them.) The girls were complaining, “Sarah Merriman is SO LUCKY. Everything good always happens to Sarah Merriman. We wish we could be Sarah!” If those girls only knew.
My daughter and I had a good laugh over that one!
“I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” (Audrey Hepburn)