When I was young I awaited the knight in shining armor who would grab me up and take me to the eternal kingdom of Bliss. That happened, but yet it didn't, I found out later...much later.
So today I think of how my life has turned out so differently than what I dreamed for it.
I grieve for my mess-ups, but then I see how my life has still managed to be pretty darn good.
We will always have regrets, but even with the regrets, we can see blessings that make the regrets bearable, and sometimes the blessings are much more powerful!
I wish more than anything that my marriage would have lasted til happily after after.
However, I'm thankful that my marriage of 42 years has ended.
I wish that I had worked for companies that paid into a pension fund for me and would have helped me pay more into Social Security.
However, I am thankful that I was able to contribute with my talents to help hungry people, for children at-risk, for our environment in my non-profit employment.
I wish I had limited the size of my family.
However, I will be eternally thankful for such wonderful marvelous and productive children God gave us.
I wish that my Catholic Christian faith would have been really "the one true faith that Christ handed down through St. Peter."
However, I am thankful that God gave me a brain and a conscience to help me find a spiritual path that is more right for me.
I wish I had majored in something in college that would have led on to more plentiful jobs with a future.
However, I am thankful for the opportunity and the grace to be the first in my family to graduate from a four-year university with a degree in mass communications.
I am ashamed that today my financial situation has led me to a one-room apartment with bath and community kitchen.
But how I marvel at my little cell that brings me solitude and a simple life while enjoying the benefits of community among five other "householders."
I am sad when I think of all the friends I have left behind in Kingsport and Knoxville.
But oh how thankful I am to be in a town like Asheville just over the mountain where there is plenty of room for diverse opinions and lots of new friends.
I hate that jobs I loved ended....far too many times.
However, I am thankful I found courage to finally have the guts to work for myself as a doula, an ordained minister and photographer.
I hate that my childhood is one of years of sad memories associated with family and school life.
But I am thankful for the opportunity to have experienced farm life, to have eaten fresh produce and known everyone in town.
My life reminds me of the verses from Ecclesiastes 3 in the Old Testament.
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Life is truly a paradox and a drama of opposites.