Everything I’ve Lost < Everything I’ve Gained

I came across this senior picture recently. We never actually ordered these pictures, because my parent’s divorce had thrown my mother into abject poverty and homelessness. By choosing to stay with her, I was homeless and living in poverty as well. My dad would have financially supported me if I would have lived with him, but it would have meant I could have no contact with my mom. I missed competing at the state track meet my senior year (after being runner up in the 2 mile my junior year) and I was delinquent from school (after being an honors student) to live with my mom. The story is long and complicated, but in general, the ineffectual family court system tore my family apart.
People who know my story have a tendency to feel sorry for me. But the reality is, I am lucky to have been through this.
Everything I lost and every opportunity I missed did not matter. I now live with such a deep trust that whatever is meant for me will never miss me, because everything I gained from this experience is more than I could have known to hope for. ❤️

A Christmas Thank You to Nana

Nana, you did something so beautiful by raising my mom the way you did. You may not realize it, but it freed me.

You instilled values so deep, my mom chose the hard way instead of the easy way forward. As a result, I no longer feel I must do what is culturally expected of me. I feel free to explore what I am here to do. Maybe you didn’t realize this is what would happen, but for your part, I am infinitely thankful.

I’m also thankful you taught my mom cleanliness and care for her style and appearance that she passed on to me.

You taught her manners and the value of education, which she taught me.

You taught her to caringly cook for everyone.

You introduced her to nutrition and supplements. And she did this for me.

You showed us the simple joy in coffee and in saunas.

You taught us to love holidays, celebrations and traditions.

And for all these things and more, I am thankful.

Merry Christmas. I love you, Nana.