Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Unexpectedly Grateful Moments

A list of just a few moments in my life that were difficult at the time, but that I'm very grateful for now.

1. When I found out, at 16, that my boyfriend was dating someone else. It was sad, but also a feeling of complete freedom. It was like my body, mind and spirit all heaved a great sigh of relief. It was over. I was no longer bound to that destructive, abusive relationship. My life began in that moment.

2. Fifteen minutes before Scud was born when I was absolutely certain that I wanted an epidural and my midwife said "It's too late for that." That moment led to me giving birth to Scud without medication, which was very empowering and led to deep study and preparation for Mashuga's birth. That terrifying moment was the beginning of the path I've taken and the reason I am fortunate enough to do the deep, fulfilling work with women that I do today.

3. At 17 when a boy I was dating (and really liked) told me that he couldn't date me anymore because he'd made a mistake and had sex with another girl. He said that I deserved better and that I was not that kind of a girl. I will love him forever for that decision. I might have forgiven him and still dated him, but he really saw me. He saw who I was and who I wanted to be and knew that he wasn't right for me and that I needed someone else. That is perhaps one of the most selfless and compassionate things that any person has ever done for me. I still see him sometimes, as he was walking away in tears and I want to reach through the years and embrace him to thank him for giving me some of the best gifts he could have given me -- gifts of myself, my future -- whole and unsullied, the gift of profound respect.

4. My worst date ever, also my first date and first date with JDub. For some reason that terrible experience made me realize that this skinny, blond kid was worth hanging on to. And I knew, somehow, that our worst date was behind us.

5. The moment I lay on an ultrasound table, searching with my midwife for the flicker of a heartbeat and hearing the words "I'm sorry. There's no heartbeat." Surrendering to this experience tore me wide open. In the years since, gallons of years of unacknowledged grief have come spilling out of the hole created by that moment. Grace, compassion, gratitude and joy have come rushing in to fill the void.

6. When I was six and my Grandpa collapsed in my backyard, then died a few hours later. This was my first of many experiences with death. It cemented my faith in the eternal nature of souls and families. It taught me to not be afraid of death, of endings. And it helped me appreciate the gift of a loving family.


Kim said...

Great list Heather. It's these growing experiences that hurt so much while they are happening...and after they have happened, but that make us the people we are today. Love you!

kickenchica said...

Thats was mind opening and it made me think of my own experiences that changed my life or the way I look at it... awesome really. Thanks for that! and thanks for sharing!

Heather said...

Thank you both.

Kim, love you too and I am really thinking about you and holding you in my heart right now. I know late summer is a hard time for you.