I just wanted to say

The last three years have been both a sorrow and a joy. My marriage ending, and with it the promise of forever, has been the sorrow. The fear was, I had taken something away from the people I loved most, that I had failed. With this sense of failure came anger and resentment. Two emotions that want to devour all that is good and noble in us. I didn’t want to heal myself, to move on, to grieve. I wanted to wallow in it. My ego was threatened and needed to be proved right. I allowed something beautiful to slip through my fingers.

The joy has been to see all three of us, Stella, Lindsay, and I begin to grow, in small ways and large, that have transformed that promise of forever. I have begun to grieve the loss of something I held dear, and with grieving, the clouds are parting. Exposing my ego to light has stopped the festering of not only the wound of this failure, but, hopefully, old wounds that have caused harm to many relationships.

The constellation of “We Three” spinning through the cosmos still exists. It has merely changed into something different. Something bigger. Other stars have, and will, join its orbit. The dance will continue with a new promise. The marriage may have ended, but that hasn’t changed the love that we give Stella or our ability to nurture her.

There is a center to this new constellation.

Stella.

Her light will always shine brighter than all the others.

This past summer has seen a burst of growth for her. She has become more confident emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Curiosity abounds and compassion flourishes. Mornings start with a smile and she walks with joy throughout the day.

“Dad.”

“Yes, sweet.”

“I just wanted to say I love you.”

This simple dialogue which occurs daily, at such random moments, is a constant reminder of the light that is within her and her ability to be in the moment, recognize it and express her delight in the purest way.

I’ve also experienced some growth this past summer. I’m learning to let go of resentment and shame through compassion and self care. Stella is showing me how to walk with joy and to allow myself to be in the world again. To embrace the moment with a sense of wonder and delight.

To all the stars in my constellation,

big and small,

near and far,

old and new,

“I just wanted to say I love you.”

Hope

I awoke early today with thoughts of the future whirling through my head.  It’s Election Day and this will be the ninth Presidential Election I will vote in.  I find myself thinking about the trajectory of my life and where Stella’s life will lead.

The Future

I was born when JFK was in the White House.  He was young and represented a new generation of Americans, a future filled with hope.  Stella, of course, was born while Barack Obama resides in the White House.  An even more historic moment in time.  Something that seemed impossible fifty years ago.

Today I will go vote and I will take my daughter along with me.  With all the problems with our democracy and our country, I still feel pride and hope when I walk into that voting booth.  I want Stella to feel that same sense of pride and civic duty.

Stella’s been walking now for over a month and each day she gets better at it.  Soon she’ll be running around and falls will decrease as her skill increases.  There may be times in her life where she may stumble, get right up and walk on.  My hope is that she will live in a world where that’s possible, where anything is possible.

So today I cast my vote for the future, for Obama, because I want Stella to grow up in a country filled with hope, opportunity and fairness.