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 Both my parents died this past year three months apart. Mom died September 21, 2014 and Dad December 25, 2014. They’ve been divorced for years and remarried. Dealing with this loss I find myself wondering exactly what the legacy was that they left me. Absent father, cold distant mother, I find it difficult at times to put into feelings this grief of mine.

I can’t answer for anyone else in my family, we all experienced our lives within the family unit differently. I can’t remember my natural father ever being in the home. My Mom remarried when I was about eight or nine years old. I left home at the age of 18. I myself have been married three times. Divorced twice and widowed once.

I have definitely had my fill of heartbreak and heartache. Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Wrong relationships, wrong thinking wrong choices, so many things were wrong. I had such difficulty at times making a decision about important things. Then unimportant things.  I remember thinking to myself, ‘Geez Mary just make a decision and stick with it, good or bad’. So much confusion set in. I had no parents to guide me, the people around me were not what you would call wholesome and healthy. I was very naive and I had two young children to take care of.

I made a LOT of bad choices. But what did I do? I hoped and prayed that the choices I  made were good ones, if not I hoped the consequences were ones I could live with at the present time and in the future.

I can tell you now that some of the consequences I have lived with are hard to deal with at times. My family had no idea what I had to do to survive, how we lived, or where we lived. Or the shame and loneliness. Alone in everything I did, every aspect of my life.

The dysfunction in my life was beginning to take its toll. By the time I was a widow at the age of 30 I was exhausted from being surrounded by the constant downward spiral of my life. I kept thinking, ‘Why me God, I was a good kid, I didn’t hurt anyone why am I getting hurt all the time?

‘ I made a conscious effort to try to change my life, it was difficult. The past always wants to suck me back into its dark abyss. I thought of my children, what was I teaching them,  in what ways would they remember me? Then it was all taken from my hands, not in my control anymore. I had a major life changing event happen to me my by a family member. I couldn’t stay around here any longer. I had to go, leave New York and head south to Florida. I moved my 18 year old son in with his father (he had an upstairs apartment). I took my youngest and moved.

I was trying to change inherent events. I refused to think that my children, the loves of my life were going to be cursed like I was. I wanted better for them, much better. The transition was extremely hard, I know my children didn’t understand why I had to do what I did. I often think of my own Mom when she remarried and we moved out from New York City to the suburbs of Long Island. Different motives, much different lives. What was I leaving my children? I had no money just a house. When I owned a house in Florida I wanted to leave it to my children, they refused, ” we don’t want anything Mom”. I became a nurse, bettering myself hoping my family would be proud of me. I know I was proud of me. It helped me mature in intellect and compassion. I am alive today because I changed. I know without  having prayed I might have become a hard bitter woman.

I know that God places us in situations, good, bad or indifferent because its His choice for us not our choice, The way we come through all the situations we go through is what matters. People see what  we’ve become and how we got there.

I know that when God put me in duress in Florida my life changed again dramatically. My legacy changed with it. We think we just live our lives la te da but there is a plan. Gods legacy.

[I went from all that struggle my entire life to a much more peaceful easy  fulfilled life. I really like myself much more now. The legacy I leave will be one of forgiveness, peace, and freedom from the bondage of the past.