Saturday, November 7, 2009

Milestones

When I consider milestones in my life, they are moments in which I reflect on who I am, what I am doing, why I am doing it, what my alternatives are, and how to proceed next. With this description in mind, you can imagine that I have lots and lots of milestones in my life. I re-evaluate and consider my beliefs and all the actions that flow out of them, on a very regular basis. I like to constantly recreate my beliefs and, as a result, recreate me. My path of milestones show how I have moved through life, and how I am developing myself as a more loving, accepting, warm and happy human being.

If I look back at my long line of milestones, some stand out more than others. They jump out like brightly colored crosses in a field of white flowers. They seem a to be a little bigger, and to shine a little brighter then the other milestones surrounding them. The common thread that seems to tie these milestones together is that these milestones are connected with other people. It's almost as if our grids of unique personal milestones interconnect in these places and change their substance, shape and color.

This weekend I am in the middle of the creation of one giant milestone. I am in a moment of moments where many thoughts and feelings from different people collide in one, huger, brilliantly colored Rock of Gibraltar milestone . We are celebrating the wedding of Sarah and Mark's son Luke, an amazing, wonderful, loving couple. And we are celebrating this wonderful event with friends and family, and their friends and families, and their friends and families...

In a formal sense, by marrying Mark five years ago, I am the stepmother of Luke, and his sisters Eila and Joy. I have never been able to get used to calling myself that. When I embraced Mark in my life, I told him I would also embrace and love all his loved ones (his children, his ex-wife Rene, his family and his friends), independent of the reciprocation I might receive.

At that point, I didn't know if anyone would ever be willing to open their arms for me and embrace me in theirs lives, and I had decided that that was OK. I would embrace them even if they would never want to know about me.

The growth of my relationships with Rene and the children has been a wondrous, amazing experience. Without guidelines and with my odd social skills, I have regularly felt like a blind man taking a new route home from work, not knowing where to turn or what to do, with only the persistence to find my way home. I have been touching the walls and slowly following the little signs I find, creating my route.

With tears in my eyes, I write as I think about yesterday's rehearsal dinner. The love that shines as a bright light through our family's interactions today is wondrous and amazing. And I say our family, because I feel that this awkward duck (me) is no longer standing at the edge of the pond, but is now right in the middle, swimming in relationship with Rene, Luke, Eila and Joy. These wonderful people have opened up their lives to me, and I feel very privileged and grateful. They have not only opened their arms for me, but have also introduced me to their loved ones, and families and friends. I feel privileged and honored by these gestures of love, and by the invitation to be part of their lives.

Rene, Joy, Luke and Eila: thank you, thank you, and thank you!

This is just a beginning. One milestone. One wonderful time to celebrate. Many others are on their way. So many wonderful people... So many amazing opportunities... So many unexpected and delicious situations...

Open your arms and fly!

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