Sunday, December 12, 2010

When One Door Closes...

Door from the dining room at Crofters Lane into laundry room

Tis the time of year to reflect on the highs and lows of the previous year and to begin to set goals, both personal and financial, for the coming year.  The biggest high and low of 2010 for me was The Accident.  Admittedly, it is hard to comprehend how a car accident involving my darling dumpling of a daughter can be seen as a high point, but if we allow ourselves to stay open and analyze the various outcomes of a serious event it can alter our perceptions quite radically. 

"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." - Alexander Graham Bell

Crumpled Cobalt
Since the accident happened just over 7 weeks ago I have tended to focus on the ill effects it had on my daughter- the fractured wrist, the fear of driving and the possible police charge against her. I worried about the rising cost of insurance and the trouble and expense of finding a replacement car that stayed within our budget. 

However, both Michael and I have noticed changes in Kazi - positive changes no doubt linked to the accident. She is at home so much more and she enters into family activities with enthusiasm and good humour. She chatters away to us both, opening up about things she is concerned about like issues in her boyfriend's family. She hugs us more, laughs with us more, hangs out with us so much that I feel our blended family has become a tighter, closer unit.  The moodiness is gone, the one word answers have disappeared, the lack of involvement in household tasks vanished. 

Today we were talking about how a family's "outside image" can be so much different than what it's really like behind closed doors. We reminisced about our many journeys across Canada during her Highland Dancing days and how much she appreciated me putting our wee family (her and I) first all these years. She's glad I wasn't solely career-driven like her boyfriend's mom and dad who don't get home til 8 or 9 each night and also work weekends. My career choice (teaching) allowed us to have the same schedules so we could always be together when the school day was complete. Our holiday schedules were the same too and we spent pretty much every spare minute together.

Now I feel like we're back to that point again. Instead of going our separate ways now that she's in university and has a job and we have completely different schedules we're as close as we ever were. With all my heart I am so appreciative of our close bond. I have shed many a tear over the past few years as she gradually freed herself from my apron strings and launched herself into the great big world. I knew (from my own experience) that she would inevitably find her way back to me but didn't anticipate it happening like this and so soon.

Michael has commented on the change in her - in his life coach lingo he feels something has shifted in her, he feels more accepted by her and that consciously or unconsciously she has opened up and expanded her thought patterns. 

We all face many tragedies and challenges in our own lives and in the lives of those we love most. In addition to focussing on the immediate and concrete outcomes (injury, arguments, jailtime, bankruptcy, grief, loss) we need to, if we can, be open to and aware of the less obvious and perhaps less tangible outcomes: have we stopped doing things we love, like writing, are we avoiding certain people, do we feel shame or anger or even hate, is there an underlying sadness or depression or do we feel more motivated, determined, revitalized, reborn, enlightened, encouraged, more alive, closer to our loved ones or those in our community, what opportunities are there for us to learn from, what have we learned about ourselves or those involved in the serious incident or situation? Is there a way we can change a negative situation into a positive one and what would it mean to us to do that, what would it take? Do we tend to fight or to flee when the chips are down? Why?

I don't have the answers but I have lots of questions. I'm grateful that while Kazi was knocked down she wasn't defeated. I don't know if she's aware of the changes inside her but I want to have that conversation. Next weekend is our trip away and we will have the opportunity to continue to build and grow our relationship. I look forward to that.

What challenge or serious situation has influenced or changed the way you think or look at a particular area of your life?

Momsy and her Pumpkin Noggin


  1. Interesting post! You have such a love for your daughter, and she for you - you are both lucky to have each other. It sounds like you've had some adventures together!
    I must admit that since my illness, I've actually become a happier person - have to grasp at the good days (or hours) and appreciate little things more.
    Sometimes it's hard to keep smiling, but hey, the alternatives are a lot worse! :)

  2. Jane,
    What a beautiful post. Your daughter is so very lucky to have such a mother as you.

  3. Strangely it,s been my blog which has made me look a lot closer at my Marriage, daily I read truly inspiring stories of couples working as a team, and that is not where my marriage is.

    I don,t see things changing and so it,s put up or shut up for me.

    So so glad you and your DD are a tight unit and that she has included Michael in her life, a girls time out is going to be such fun for you both.

  4. it is sad, but sometimes it just takes us something bad to happen to realize everything good we have. I am like that with my mom, she is very difficult & every time I get off the phone with her, I realize how good my life really is - my dh & dd are the best things that have ever happened to me & if I have to put up with a bit of craziness to appreicate it, then so be it! :) good for you - here's to an amazing 2011


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