I was raised in an era where the rules were, you get a job, get married, buy a house plus cars, have kids and that would be your life. You stayed together no matter what, for the sake of the kids, but ten years ago, I realized that wasn’t true and didn’t want my daughter to think it was the definition of adulthood or marriage. It was time to re-write, or maybe even burn the rule book.
My daughter watched me have two long distance relationships after my divorce and she in turn ventured long distance through two of her own. Today, she’s in love with someone locally and I’m thrilled she broke that cycle of traveling to the ends of the earth just to be loved.
What a terrible burden for children to bear-to know they are the reason their Mother stopped living. What a terrible burden for our daughters to bear-to know that if they choose to become Mothers, this will be their fate too. Because if we show them that being a martyr is the highest form of love, that is what they’ll become. They will feel obligated to love as well as their Mothers loved, after all. They will believe they have permission to live only as fully as their Mothers allowed themselves to live.Untamed-Glennon Doyle
Since my daughter is living her own life, a lot of my responsibilities have been relinquished. It feels as if I’m standing in the middle of a blank canvas, paint brush in hand, but not knowing what color to start with. It doesn’t really matter what color to dip the paint brush in because getting paint to the canvas is what’s important. When God decides to call this woman home, I want my children to be left with colorful, splattered, and messy, but somewhat masterful pieces of art that tell the story of how vibrantly their mother lived the second half of her life.
As my daughter moved out she said many noteworthy things and I know she wouldn’t want me to stay put as if pausing my life just in case she needed me in hers. No, she would say, “Go and live your life.”
Feature Photo by Bella Huang on Unsplash