When I was in college I became enamoured with a framed quote in the school bookstore. The quote read, "Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our heart, and we are never the same." I was a freshmen when I first saw it and even though I was living on a tight student budget, I had to have it. It hung on my bedroom wall all through college and has hung in every subsequent home and apartment I've lived in. Something about that idea really hit home with me.
However, it was not until I experienced the pains and trials of divorce that I fully realized the impact that people could have on my heart. When the world began to learn of my heartaches and challenges, I was amazed by the people that came out of seeming thin air to mend my wounds. While I had known some of these people for most of my life, there were also the people who came into my life's path at just the right time and stayed for a while to help.
The impacts are too numerous to recount all of them, but just a few include the boss who went to bat for my job because though I wasn't able to invest my full self at work he knew my potential and knew that I couldn't take another hit at the time, there was the friend who answered her phone 200 times a day just because I needed a sounding board to talk things through with, the friends who opened their home and their hearts to babysit my children so I could go back to school and have a new social life, the surfer who flirted with me and helped me realize that though I was knocked down I was still a desirable woman, the friend who took me out on weekends when I didn't have the kids so that I could pretend I had a social life and the in-laws who let me run to their guest room every time things got hard. I'm not sure I will ever be able to repay to these people what they did for me in my darkest hour, but I view their charity as a debt that I will be trying to pay forward to others for the rest of my life. These people truly left footprints on my heart and I will NEVER be the same.
In the last few days and weeks I've been struggling with my step-parenting roll a bit. It is a challenge. Parts of this process that I expected to come easily, just aren't easy; parts that I expected to be a challenge, are even more of a challenge than I ever expected. I've said before that this business of blending a family is a process and occasionally the bumps in the process are a bit bigger than I would like. We are muddling through and learning and I have complete confidence that it will all be OK, even if my confidence waivers some days. In the last few days there have again been people who have come into the path of my life to help me through my struggles. People, that I would never expect, have started conversations with me about step-parenting. These are people who have been able to say, "the way you feel is normal, I've been there too." Reassurance that though I despise myself sometimes for some of my behavior and feelings, it is a "normal" part of the blending process. Reassurance that if others have survived, darned it, I can and will too.
I am so grateful for all of the footprints on my heart!