Scaling Mountains

To me, family is a fluid concept. There is the family that I was born into– my mom, dad and sister. There is the family that I married into– my ex-husband’s parents, his sister, brothers, niece, nephews and sisters and brother in law. When I got divorced I didn’t know who would remain in my life and who wouldn’t. I am incredibly lucky that two of the people that remained in my life are my ex-husband’s parents. They made it clear that they would be there for Owen and I and they have more than fulfilled that promise. They are caring, generous people that have chosen to be stable, loving grandparents to Owen and loving to me as well. They are unwavering in their support of Owen and I. When I need help I can always call them.
And then there is the family of friends that stood by me during the roughest time in my life. The people who showed up, trucks ready, to move my stuff out of the house I shared with my ex into the second story apartment with a narrow, rotting, staircase and no elevator. And the same people that showed up to move my stuff back down that staircase five months later and into my new house. The people that have bolstered me up when I was brought low. That answered my sobbing phone calls. That listened to the same recitation of pain over and over again. Yesterday I didn’t make the drive to my parents’ house for thanksgiving. Instead I spent it with Owen’s grandparents. Like I have almost every year since my divorce. And I will spend Christmas Day with them as well. 
The first Christmas after my divorce I remember waiting until almost the last minute to buy a fake tree on sale at Fred Meyer. I had been vascillating between going to a tree lot and buying a tree or not having one at all. Finally, I saw a tree on sale and bought it. And put it up. Even those simple things seems monumentally difficult at that time. It was like I had forgotten how to brush my teeth. Or replace the batteries in the clock. The small but necessary practicalities of life seemed like mountains that needed to be scaled. But slowly, over time, I have figured out that none of them are insurmountable. I am capable. I can do these things. And I think, maybe, that is the most valuable lesson I’ve learned in the last 3 years. I can do this.

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