Do you know that old cliché Everything happens for a reason?
I never believe in that until recently.
I used to be one who leaned toward the idea that you make, or at least played a role, in the events that happens in your life. Those events may not have always been planned and let's face it, sometimes bad things happen to good people without playing a major role in the end result at all.
However, these days, while I struggle in a personal storm all of my own, I'm often reminded of the original Wizard of Ox movie when Dorothy is trapped in her house during the tornado after getting bonked on the head by flying debris. During that moment of "unconsciousness" she sees visions of loved ones floating by.
This is what it seems like to me lately, but instead of seeing visions of loved ones, I'm seeing visions of situations; life's experiences, friendships I've made and even acquaintances that I never thought would step forward for me.
In short, I'm saying that by crossing paths with all of these people, I'm am now convinced that this was made so for a reason. These are learning experiences.
When I was a young girl and into my teenage years, I had a favorite aunt and uncle who were the best people I've ever known and provided great role models to me. My uncle had diabetes, and was blind. I often watched my aunt, in her infinite patience and kindness to all of us nieces and nephew, as she prepared my uncle's meals, and arrange all of the food in a clock work pattern on his plate. Then she'd set out everything he needed to eat his meal in a similar fashion, from drinks to silverware so he knew exactly where to reach to feed himself. Usually, without fail, as soon as she'd sit, he would ask for assistance with something else and my aunt would never fuss or roll her eyes, even though it meant putting herself, her hunger or her wants last. And I remember watching this loving couple cope with daily life excursions and didn't think too much about it, other than my uncle required a lot of work.
When I was a tween, we moved from everything I knew about life and everyone who was important to me and planted ourselves in new surroundings and in some cases, a new world. I quickly learned to love my new home, and environment and met a whole bunch of new people and things but part of me never truly felt like everyone else.
As an adult with children, my husband and I made another move away from everything I knew and everyone I loved into a new environment where I was forced to start over again. I'm always up for trying something new and environmental change was something I've done before and could do again because people tell me that I'm easy going, friendly and helpful. This last time, wasn't as easy as before with several added factors that I didn't have the other times.
Now, as I look back on all of this I'm convinced that watching my aunt care for my uncle until the day he died with such grace and love was meant to teach me how to be a wife who cares for her terminally ill husband until the day he dies. Lesson learned.
The friends I made during my first environmental transition as a teen and the paths I've crossed with them, have amazingly remembered the teenager I was decades ago and pooled together their support to help my family and I through this difficult situation and made me feel like I really did belong all of those years ago-and still do. Lesson learned.
Yesterday, two ladies, who I crossed paths with last year in my writing group, were kind enough to go grocery shopping for my family and deliver the items. Another writing friend made dinner for my family and drove an hour to deliver it and another writing friend I met shortly after moving to my new environment has been a steady source of support for my mentality. In our short time of friendships, they've become just as important as my older friendships and I know that I probably couldn't make a step forward without looking at the paths I've crossed in the past.