I had an interesting conversation today. At least it was interesting for me. I purchased a thirty-one purse and wallet from a friend and had to give her my credit card information. One thing I have to mention is that my credit card has my first name, Nancy, instead of the name people call me by. My friend, Jennifer, seemed to get a kick out of this and said she would call me Nancy from now on. No worries… I was Nancy for the first 5 or 6 years of my life. I told her that my name changed at the same time in my life that my parents divorced. Her response, “so you lost your parents being together and your NAME at the same time? That does sound rough.”
To me, this is normal; my parents’ divorce and the change in name. No big deal. Right?? Well, perhaps not. First of all it was the wording Jennifer used “you lost your parents being together”. I always refer to it as my parents’ divorce and NEVER as MY loss. I’m not even sure if I can explain how it felt… to read those words…. “you lost….” it was my loss. MINE! wow. Ouch! Kind of like an ache, deep in the center of my being. An ache of sadness, of loss, way deep in the darkness.
My parents have been divorced for just under 40 years – 39 years this month – (ouch again). That is a long time. I’ve dealt with it. Cried about it in my teen years. Overcame the shame of being damaged goods (thanks to a great husband and some good therapy, and a greater God). And yet at 44 years old I’m not really sure I ever claimed the loss as mine! It always belonged to them, I was just along for the ride. Floating aimlessly in the wind of their decision (well Dad’s decision) like a dandelion seed caught up in a storm.
So today. At this moment I’m claiming it! It’s MY LOSS!!! And in claiming it, I can embrace it. THE loss, of my parents NOT being together. And in embracing it, feeling it, even dancing with it… I find freedom. And this dandelion seed is no longer caught in the storm, but engaged in the dance, twirling in the breeze, laughing and crying in the rhythm of the wind. Freedom, sweet freedom.