Friday evening, during my drive home from work, I received another phone call from my former father-in-law. He wanted to let me know that his granddaughter and my former niece Sasha, lost her battle with brain cancer. Once again, I felt very emotional thinking about these people who were my family at one point in my life. When I got home, my husband saw that I was very emotional. When I told him the story, he held me and cried with me. One of the reasons I fell in love with him. He's got such a kind and soft heart.
After I spoke with Charlie, I felt an overwhelming desire to dig into my cedar chest and find some of the many photos I had taken of Sasha when she was a little blonde girl with pigtails. I was on a mission. I had to find those photos. Eventually I found them, near the very bottom of the chest. But the journey to the bottom of that chest proved to be very enlightening for me.
The top layer of the chest was full of photos from family vacations with the kids. Sporting events, field trips, and school functions. As I dug deeper, photos of the kids as toddlers and babies. Beyond that, my honeymoon. Then came some photos of my single years. Some old boyfriends, my car. I found pictures from college, and my senior prom with Chris W. I found a photo of me at age 3, standing in front of my grandma's house--her big garden and out house in the background. Literally, my whole life flashed before my eyes. I saw myself with a dozen different hair styles, and at many different weights.
As I quickly sorted through the photos, I decided I've had four distinct "lives". One life as a child and teenager, living with my parents. A second life with David, a third life as a single, independent woman, and the life I have now with my husband. It was a bit surreal to look back at my life in photos. I hope to go back into the chest soon to sort through the thousands of photos in there.
But for tonight, I send love and peace to my former family--the people who were such a major part of my "second life". I know their hearts are breaking, and that breaks my heart. As Kitty always says, "Life is complicated".
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