Have you ever thought about life’s turning points? About how different your life might be had you taken a different route, a different job, chosen a different country to live in? Would your child be the same person had you had him earlier? Married somebody else? Grew up with a different family? Would you be the same? Would you be you?
There are moments in our lives when things change. Sometimes it’s the seemingly small things. Sometimes, it’s the big ones. Turning points. Choices. They change who we are.
Following are some snapshots of the moments that have defined who I am now. The ones that I feel made me me.
Life’s Turning Points
537 moons ago, a miraculous woman loved me enough to keep me, carry me in her body and grant me life. She sang to me. She loved me. She gave birth to me. And then she gave me away.
My parents. The ones who brought me into their home and into their hearts. They named me, made me theirs and I was. I am.
I became one of three. Brothers. Playmates and fights and jealously and unmatched camaraderie. Siblings.
Unreciprocated teenage love. Friendship. Learning who I was.
The choice to go out of state for college. I ditched the nest for greener grass and more easily obtained beer. I found friends that have the ability to see me through moments of darkness and moments of levity. Friends with whom I have shared minutes and hours so powerful and unique that there is not a word that exists to describe them.
Not marrying the bad boy that I loved too much.
Falling in love and getting married. Pregnant. Then, not pregnant. Then, no longer us either.
New roads. New turns.
Fulfillment through a career. Moving across the country for it. Saying goodbye.
Loving the man who changed the way I saw. Mostly for the better, but often not. Walking away from him because he wanted to keep me on a neglected and dusty shelf, freeing me only when he needed me.
Rescuing Chief, who ended up rescuing me.
Finding Robert and falling in forever love. Getting married. Becoming family.
Creating Tucker. Our perfect, perfect boy.
Hearing the words “autism spectrum” and “special needs” and realizing that we not only had the wrong parenting book, but that we were in the wrong library.
Learning a new language and finding ways to be Tucker’s voice. Finding courage. Hope. Community.
There are turning points in life. Decisions and circumstances shape our future, our fears, and define what our celebrations look like.
There are times when these detours are consuming and overwhelming. But mostly? They are reminders of this gift.
Reminders of Life. Reminders to take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and look at the amazing scenery. Appreciate. Embrace the tears along with the laughter. Be thankful.
While I cannot see around the bend of future curves and unmet milestones, I pray that our roads will be long, healthy, full of empathy and wonder and that we will find the wisdom and the bravery required to celebrate our choices and the gifts they bring us.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. The sentence is “I hit a turning point in my life when I…” Follow your lovely hosts: