It’s funny how things turn out.
On March 18, 2009, when I discovered my husband had been running a Ponzi scheme and would be heading to prison, in that moment I thought every possibility and dream for a bright future for my children and I had been shattered. Of course, I continued to press forward and talk positively about our opportunities for the sake of my children, but deep inside sometimes I wondered how my children and I were ever going to overcome the monumental challenges we were facing.
We moved from Colorado to Utah and began a new life. There were some dark moments and hard days, especially in the beginning. Some of us seemed to struggle more than others with the adjustment. But there were also many tender mercies, small miracles and blessings. And eventually, we all realized we liked our new home and our new life. We are happy in our unexpected life. VERY happy.
This was reinforced last week. I went with my oldest to his end-of-season high school track team banquet. We enjoyed time together just the two of us. Aside from our late night chats and drives, I couldn’t remember the last time it was just he and I alone in the daylight. Note to self: spend time with oldest more often when we’re both more coherent and awake! lol. Not only was it absolutely enjoyable to be with him, it was fun for me, as his mother, to put faces to the names and stories I’ve heard the past few months.
Then came the awards portion of the evening. As it was his first track season, and his first attempt at learning the hurdles, he wasn’t expecting any awards. In fact, every time I’d tried to go to a track meet this season he had discouraged me from watching, told me he wasn’t doing very well and that this was his season to learn and I should watch him run next year. So I almost fell off my chair when my son was awarded a varsity letter in track! And then he got an All-Region Academic Excellence Award too!
As we were pulling out of the parking lot afterward, I had to ask why he’d insisted he was performing so poorly in track all season. He said, “I did. I didn’t break one school record–that was my goal!”
I said, “So you aimed for the stars and only hit the moon and THAT is why you didn’t think you did very well? THAT is why you wouldn’t let your mother watch you race?”
And as we drove home I had to shake my head at the turn of events in our life the past year. Every single aspect of our new life is going so much better than I ever expected it would. I told my son what a great experience the track banquet was, and what a great opportunity it was for him to participate on his school’s track team. He agreed. I said, “You have created a great new life here. I am so thankful and so proud of your attitude and all you’ve accomplished.”
He replied, “Yes, it has been amazing. I am so happy here. The only thing I regret is…”
Here is where I started to die inside–gut reaction of a worried mother. I braced myself to hear the disappointment and prepared myself to instantly put a positive spin on whatever his challenge was.
Instead, he finished by saying, “The only thing I regret is…that I didn’t get to go to all four years of high school here. Next year is going to be AWESOME!”
Whoa. Last summer, and even at the start of last school year, I never imagined he’d ever feel that way or that I’d ever hear him say that! I realized we have come full circle.
“There must be a positive and negative in everything in the universe in order to complete a circuit or circle, without which there would be no activity, no motion.” (John McDonald)
Equation for the unexpected life: positive + negative = progress (and eventual peace and joy!)