Growing up Janet and I were never concerned about being popular. We were each others best friend. Like most kids were started out with friends in the neighbourhood and then friends at school. Many years later those friends are my family. I have watched a friend grow into a wonderful teacher and a loving wife and mother. As I got older I realized that they kids that were popular had struggles too. I have found that the social structure of high school tends to continue into adulthood. The moneyed people, the social butterflies and the outcasts.
When I was talking to the daughter of Mom’s friend she asked about family. So I told her I can either be the person they want me to be or I can be the strong woman I am now but I can’t be both. It’s a hard lesson to learn. Mom would tell you that I’ve never really fit into a mold. But I’ve learned that this doesn’t make me popular. It sounds so easy to be “real” but it’s not.
When I was sitting waiting for the bus on Friday I was thinking about what it means for our parents, friends and extended family to be proud of us. For my Dad he was proud of me for all that I did around the house to take care of them. Although he never said it I think he was proud of my being strong in my grief. Parents can be proud of our successes but they are most proud of raising kids that are helpful, strong, independent. Things that can’t be measured.