I was a late child. My mom passed away when I was 24. I've always envied my brother, who was 13 years older than me and hence got to spend more time with our mom. But then he too died when I was 34, only a couple of years after my dad's passing. All of a sudden I was left alone. That little girl inside of me was now all alone and anyone who was witness to her childhood, growing up, and maturing - the journey - was gone. It felt as if I had no past.
On this day I am a mother to 4 beautiful girls. One of them is out there in the world, making things happen for herself. She has a boyfriend who I accept as a part of our family, who loves her and with him she learns what a relationship truly is. I have a wonderful husband, the one who has the ability to make my blood boil every so often, but who also almost every day shows me his affection for me in little deeds he does. He is a fantastic father to all of our girls, and the one I'd chose over and over again if I had to do over. I have amazing friends...When I left Ukraine, I left a friend who was one in a million, I thought I can't get that lucky again, I will never have a friend like that. Well, not only did I get lucky, but I found many friends on this side of the world who represent everything most wonderful in this world: I found amazing friends like Dana, my own life coach, confidant, little sister and evangelist for my studio; Debbie, who I know for 22 years, and who magically appeared in my house with medication and ginger ale at midnight when I, as a single mother of 3 little ones, got a flu and was bedridden for days; John, who took me on as his apprentice, and continues to share his knowledge with me; Phil, who's always supported anything I've been a part of and did it with grace and confidence of James Bond; Bonita, who I thought would just be a client, instead she turned into a big sister I've never had; Vida, who always remembers to send me sweet messages on holidays, whose smile and life story makes you want to be her own light crew, who makes sure spotlight is on her day and night; Jenny, who is resourceful and as reliable as the fact that the sun will come up tomorrow and never lets me down; Brittney, who reaffirms to me the strength of a woman is so vast and encompassing that I want my girls to know her as a role model; Travis, who is just a big chunk of love wrapped up in skin, and who gives the best bear hugs - the ones that take your breath away....I can go on, and on...The mantle above my fireplace is filled with cards from our friends, and it makes me feel in my place even though my blood family is long gone. It makes me feel a part of a family that actually chose ME.
I am sad my mother didn't live long enough to be able to communicate with me via Skype, which I do often now with my extended family in Ukraine. But I am always thankful for anything that happens in my life. The hardships in the beginning molded me into who I am today, the future is unknown, but the prognosis looks fantastic. I am thankful for all of it. I am empowered by all of you.
With that in mind, if you are reading this blog, I am thankful for you. I am thankful for this country, the people who are close to me, the trials I had to go through, and the aging that allows me to live a richer more meaningful life. Take a moment to look over your life and pick out what matters and what doesn't, and hopefully find peace with where you are in this journey
Happy Holidays, Love you all!