I am a firm believer in the saying, “Everything happens for a reason.” Sure, I have had my difficult situations that I have been dealt with in life, especially one in particular – my father’s affair, my parent’s separation, and ultimately my parent’s divorce. Before I took on this specific motto, I found myself to be quite the bitter and cynical person throughout most of my childhood. It wasn’t until I was around the age of fourteen or so when I realized that even though my parents were divorced, it wasn’t like I wanted to erase my father out of my life. Even after what he had done, and what I had gone through over the course of most of my childhood years, I still wanted him to be a vital part of my life just as he always had been. The summer I turned five, I went with my mother to Ohio to visit my grandmother because she was to have cancer surgery. When we got back to the Newark, New Jersey airport, I can remember my dad being there to pick us up since he hadn’t gone with us. My father, having a concerned look on his face, mentioned that he had something to tell my mother and me – he was moving out. All I can remember is how confused I was, mainly because I didn’t understand what was going on since I was so young. It wasn’t until we got home that I realized my father had left my mother and I, because all of his belongings were gone. I thought at the time he had moved out because he didn’t love me anymore, but as I grew older I realized that even though he didn’t love my mother any longer, that didn’t affect his love for me. Even though it’s been almost nine years since my parent’s divorce, and even though he is still with the woman whom he had his affair with, I still love my dad. Though I now live and go to college in Ohio, and I don’t see him more than maybe once or twice a year, my father and I still call each other often to touch base on how the other is doing. I still don’t know the reason as to why my parent’s divorce happened like it did, but I am thankful for the fact that it has made me a stronger person than I used to be, and that I also hope to learn from my father and make sure that I don’t repeat his mistakes. The key to helping me remember that “Everything happens for a reason” and to be less bitter and cynical when I think about the divorce is this quote by Ida Scott Taylor, “…Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.