I believe that great tragedies in life can become great blessings.

Mary - Littleton, Colorado
Entered on February 24, 2009
Age Group: 65+
Themes: change, setbacks

I believe that major tragedies in life can become great blessings.

I have experienced two major tragedies in my life. The first was the death of my parents. My mother died a few days after I was born. My father died when I was five years old. His will designated the lady with whom I had been living as my guardian. She was a divorced woman raised on a farm with a mere eighth grade education, and many in the small town where my father had been a prominent lawyer thought this lady unfit to raise me.

This I know. I could not have been loved more or had a better, happier childhood. Had my parents lived, I do not think that I would have been raised in a strong Christian environment, personally witnessed dedication and service to others, or found the stability and faith to sustain me. Thus the ‘tragedy’ of losing both parents, being an orphan raised by a simple, Christian lady with great common sense, turned out to be an incredible blessing.

The second major tragedy in my life was the divorce from my minister husband after 20 years of marriage and four children. My husband had increased the size of a small mission congregation of 55 individuals to over 900 members. He was prominent in the city, President of the Kiwanis Club, adored by all. Although I loved him deeply, he was verbally abusive, unkind when acknowledging any of my personal accomplishments, and resisted my desire to work part-time as an RN. When the congregation discovered that he had had several intimate relationships with parishioners (one a high school girl), he was “defrocked,” and subsequently did not sustain regular employment. This left me and our children with embarrassment and no child support or alimony. My work as a nurse barely sustained us financially. I questioned myself again and again, “Who am I?” I had been the daughter of a prominent lawyer and state politician and then the wife of a favored and much loved pastor.

This I know. l would not have continued my education, experienced a meaningful and successful career if I had remained with the father of my children. Thus another ‘tragedy’ turned into a wonderful blessing.