3yo hugs me, smiles a bitter-sweet smile, slowly begins to squeeze my throat with two hands & whispers hauntingly, “Are you choking, Daddy?”
So please ask yourself: What would I do if I weren’t afraid? And then go do it.
(Looking at the home my great-great-grandfather built, that sheltered my family for over 100 years)
4yo: “Where is he now?”
Me: “Well, he died a long time ago.”
4yo: “It’s a good thing he built that house first!”
Judgment is ugly — it hurts people. On the one hand you go on hurting them, wounding them, and on the other hand you want their love, their respect. It is impossible. Love them, respect them, and perhaps your love and respect may help them to change many of their weaknesses, many of their failures — because love will give them new energy, a new meaning, a new strength.
If I’ve learned anything from life, it’s that sometimes, the darkest times can bring us to the brightest places. I’ve learned that the most toxic people can teach us the most important lessons; that our most painful struggles can grant us the most necessary growth; and that the most heartbreaking losses of friendship and love can make room for the most wonderful people. I’ve learned that what seems like a curse in the moment can actually be a blessing, and that what seems like the end of the road is actually just the discovery that we are meant to travel down a different path.
I’ve learned that no matter how difficult things seem, there is always hope. And I’ve learned that no matter how powerless we feel or how horrible things seem, we can’t give up. We have to keep going. Even when it’s scary, even when all of our strength seems gone, we have to keep picking ourselves back up and moving forward, because whatever we’re battling in the moment, it will pass, and we will make it through. We’ve made it this far. We can make it through whatever comes next.