I believe that everything happens for a reason

I believe everything happens for a reason… even if the reasons aren’t all that apparent in the moment. They rarely are in fact.

Over the last few weeks, my mom and I have shared many tears. Happy tears. Sad tears. Tears of frustration… and for the record – I’m the crier in the family – not her… but last night we shared some tears that were altogether different. Proud tears.

You see, I think my mom holds a bit of guilt because this one time, in elementary school, I won some award. It wasn’t a big deal to me – still isn’t for the record – so I didn’t tell my mom about the awards presentation. It’s not that I didn’t want her there, but rather that I knew she was working {it was during school and she was still teaching back then} and like I said, I didn’t think it was a big deal.

Years later, she was teaching in an elementary school and they had the same exact awards presentation for her students. Parents filled the bleachers to watch with pride as their little angels received the Presidential Academic Fitness awards. Mom looked around and realized “Wait a second, my kid won this… why wasn’t I there?”

LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER CAST 2015Fast forward and now I’m in the Listen to your Mother show in just over a week {and if you haven’t bought tickets, DO IT!} and Mom was telling her friend all about it… well, up to that point, “all about it” was “this thing I’m doing where I read this thing I wrote about motherhood…”  Her friend started asking questions about the show and this here blog and whatnot so mom started looking at it more.  I had already told her it was a big deal to me and I wanted her there {see, I do learn from some of my mistakes} but as she read more about the show, her pride grew.  Part of that is how she’s remembering where I was 10 years ago after my own nervous breakdown and battle with depression as compared to the woman I am now.  Part of that is watching as the Giant struggles with his battle with depression and hoping that he too will grow stronger for the experience.

So last night, we were sitting on the back patio sharing some mother/daughter time while Mini played Minecraft, Giant worked on geometry, and dad cooked dinner.  It was something we haven’t done in what seems like forever and it was lovely.  I shared with her the blurb from the piece that has been used publicly but she hasn’t heard the story.  {In all fairness, she KNOWS the story – she lived it – but she hasn’t heard my words} and her eyes started to tear up.  I may or may not have recommended she bring an ENTIRE box of Kleenex to the show if just a few sentences make her eyes leak {because that’s what you do, right?  make jokes to ease the tension…} and she shared with me just how proud she was.

Please understand, I’ve always known my mom was proud of me.  Last night though reminded me that no matter how old I get, I still need to hear the words.  It’s nice to hear people vocalize their feelings about you, to you. And… it was a nice reminder that my kids need to hear the words too.  Often.  

After that, and the hugs that transpired, she snuck off to the office while we all sat down to dinner.  Time passes {like so much so that the boys had finished dinner and still no mom} and I start to worry so I go to check on her.  She decided that she had to email the family to share about the show and tell them all what I was doing.  That’s her version of shouting from the roof tops and it made me all kinds of warm and fuzzy.

I believe that everything happens for a reason.  I believe that everything that lead me to this moment, prepared me for this moment.  Prepared me to appreciate the outpouring of love and pride.  Prepared me for strength to tackle whatever lies ahead.

"I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."   -- Marilyn Monroe

Having battled the nervous breakdown and depression makes me far more equipped to help my Giant to come through the darkness.

Having battled Giant’s dad better prepares me for the tricks he’s going to pull.

Having missed out on an opportunity to tell my mother that I was doing something special in my youth, made it even more important that I share this moment with her.  Not just so that she can beam with pride at her amazing daughter on stage {dear God please don’t let me trip on the stairs} but so that she can share in the stories of these other amazing women I’m surrounded by.  These women who are opening their hearts and baring their souls and proving that once again, we are not alone.

I’ve heard the stories and can say with certainty that you will be moved in some way.  These stories are beautiful and honest and raw in ways that leave the authors vulnerable… and yet, there’s an overwhelming safety in this group that assures me that it’s ok to be vulnerable.  We are all safe here.  We are loved and cherished… even if we were complete strangers just 3 short weeks ago.

I believe that the story I will share on that stage on April 25th does not define who I am, but in some ways has shaped me into the person I am now and strengthened the relationships I hold most dear.

My mom asked me the other day about the Giant and all the struggles we’re facing “How do you know you are doing the right things?” and the answer was simple and required no thought – 

“I know I’m doing the right things because you did them for me when I was struggling.  It’s my turn.”


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  1. I’m so late in commenting (this post has been open on my browser for days). We do want to know that our parents are proud of us. I am so proud of you and hoping to see the show (might be around – fingers crossed) and I’m glad she’ll make this one.

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