There is an image embedded in my mind that will never go away. It was the day I knew my life was changing and I would never find my way back to the woman I once was. It was a feeling so strong; like a current of water pulling me away. It was the moment I decided to leave my marriage; it’s the time in my life I now call Rip Tide. If any of you have experienced this, then you know what I mean. The therapist I was seeing at the time told me there will be a moment when you know with absolute certainty that it’s time to go. I waited for that voice to speak to me and gently tell me. But, it was more powerful than that. It was like a rip tide. Years later, I look back at that period in my life and I realize that is exactly what I needed. It needed it to come fast and strong and take me away. During my struggle to survive the current, I realized many things. I wanted to be taken away, and I also wanted to survive. I wanted to see where I would end up. Only there was a catch, I had children.
At that moment, I fought the current so hard, I pleaded with it to find a happy medium. I cried for an entire summer because I was so lost. Where was this all taking me? will I still be a good mother to my kids? Am I going to be okay? I realized I had to swim with the current to find my own pace, and I did. My journey was just beginning and now I realize that. The timing was right because in the years that followed I found myself again, I became stronger and I was on the right path for July 1st, 2014. Another Rip Tide.
My then ex-husband, who I saw hitting golf balls on the driving range hours earlier, was gone. I sat holding his hand in the hospital for as long as I could until a friend told me I needed to go tell my children before they heard something on social media. I couldn’t feel my body and I could barely get the words out. I remember just looking at my daughter and she said is it Nona and I shook my head no and she screamed. She knew.
She stayed right by my side to tell my three boys. She helped me hug them because I didn’t have enough arms. It has been nine months today since Rodney passed away, and it hasn’t been easy, I could write for hours but the one thing I have learned is that the first rip tide we all experienced together. I thought it was just my journey but my children were in it too. It made us all strong and I am so proud of them.
Change is scary, but we shouldn’t fear it. The one thing I have learned is that ultimately we are in control of our lives. We can chose to be happy and push on or we can chose to be sad and stay still. Life is hard and what I am trying to teach them and myself is to trust and accept the rip tide. Appreciate it when it appears and learn to navigate it at your own pace, stay positive. We will have our moments when we feel like we may drown, but we wont. Like Glinda the good witch says to Dorothy, “Home is a place we all must find, child. It’s not just a place where you eat or sleep. Home is knowing. Knowing your mind, knowing your heart, knowing your courage. If we know ourselves, we’re always home, anywhere.”
Even when we are stuck in a rip tide.