Sample Chapter, The Path

Our sons would have a very different life from mine.

I would craft and weave a childhood of opportunity, energy, and love around them. I would focus on being the kind of mother I did not have, on securing the kind of home I did not have, and on creating a stable emotional environment that I did not have, so we could foster an intellectual climate of challenge and diversity within our family. I had so much to learn and so little time in which to learn it. I knew nothing about children, and I had no resource from which to draw upon. I had only distant memories and some sparse wisdom that was whispered to me in my early childhood years.

I had lived with fear all of my life, and I knew its limitations. It was something I had to conquer before my sons came into their awareness. How tragic it would be for me to perpetuate a history of turmoil in their innocent lives.  I had to lift myself out of the history of my past and visualize a future that could only be imagined. Each day had to be thoughtfully considered. I knew there would be times I would fall back, but I could not afford to stay there long. How unjust it would be to shade these fragile souls who were looking for light.

I sat up late one evening, looking at the stars from our living room deck. I was embarking upon a long journey that would end only when I ended. I thought about the fragility of life as it starts its journey. My memory flooded with the thought of the newly hatched turtles that dash from the beach to reach the ocean’s waters and the many predators they faced when reaching their home in the sea. I wondered how many succeeded.

It came to me that life was not an accident but a gift. It had to be opened carefully, and a faith in the guidance of something higher would lead me to the unfolding of myself, so that in my understanding I would bring understanding. We can only deliver what we understand. I had to change myself before I could mold another. We three were beginning a long journey together, and they came so I could finally begin mine. At that star struck moment, a memory from my early childhood repeated itself to me,

“The light of the body is the eye:
if therefore thine eye be single, thy
whole body shall be full of light.

But if thine eye be evil, thy whole
body shall be full of darkness. If
therefore the light that is in thee be
darkness, how great is that darkness!”

Matthew Chapter 6. 22, 23.

So it was here that we would begin, in the light, not the darkness. We would learn together, the caretaker and her wards. I would attempt to leave fear behind me. I would create the way for us by changing the things I could change within myself and being aware of the things I could not change. The few primitive remnants from the unchangeable distant past would not cloud the light in our journey. We would build emotional support with a strong foundation of love. We would be responsible for ourselves, mother, father, and sons. We would be parents first and their friends later. We would teach, share, laugh, and cry together. We would have a vision for their future and open avenues for them to explore. We would create the threads from which our tapestry would be woven each day, one day at a time. There would be moments when clouds would gather, but we would bathe mostly in the sun light. There would always be big arms and warm hearts at the end of the day. We would build character and strength without tribulation. We would live together in harmony, so that each day could be a memory. There would always be food, shelter, and love.

I knew there would be hard times, good times, sad times, and happy times. What is life without tests? No test should be experienced without strong emotional support, for it is the tests that let us know who we are. We would all grow in the tests that life would bring to our family and we would all expand in our knowledge of each other and ourselves. At the end of the journey, we would have two sons who would make a difference in the lives of the people they touched, and they would then begin another generation. Their vision would be so much greater than mine, for they would come from a life of light.

My mother used to tell me in some of our quiet moments together, “It is the responsibility of each generation to improve the next.”

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