Thursday, March 15, 2007

The worst of times, the best of times

Photo: Irish demi-tasse cups.

The worst of times happened to me in the month of March.

One minute my mother was walking me to school; the next minute a divorce court separated me from her.

One minute we were happily making plans to buy our first home, having children when I graduated, but if you want to go for a postgraduate degree, I'll support you, he said, even though he wanted lots of children, both filled with the joys of life. The next minute he was gone in the most violent way imaginable. For years I felt what the poet had written: "What good is one shoe?" But I survived. The thing about surviving is to survive well. Mere survival, physical survival, was not enough for me; I had to survive emotionally as well, without being brutalized by my experiences, without erecting a cement wall around my heart. Over the years I kept my heart open. It was pounded and abused many times, but I persisted. I learned the wisdom of being selective, of protecting myself without closing up, of recognizing when it was good to give and when it was not. When I marry again, I promised myself, it will be to the right man, the one who will love me the way he did, unconditionally and without fear.

The Best of Times
But March also has its bright moments. Today is my friend Julie's birthday. The Ides of March, we always joke. I have known her forever, she is the friend I would call if I needed help in the middle of the night, in the full knowledge that she could come without asking a single question. Not that I would do that to her! She lives a 15-minute walk away from me, but this year she will be leaving for greener pastures. I will miss her sorely, but I am happy for her happiness.


  1. Colette, you are one of the most amazing woman that I have ever 'met' ~ wise & loving, strong and gentle. sending you much love from my heart xoxo

  2. I can't see the photo - but I can see into your heart and what a beautiful, wise and caring woman you are, despite all the challenges life has thrown at you. The Ides of March in 1988 was a very important day for me, so despite its' history, I can't regard this day with regret. As for your friend, even if she's moving away, she'll still be close at heart. xo

  3. In spite of these tremendous tragedies in your life you give of your heart so freely...and live so joyfully and WELL and inspire others and just keep going.... You are a testament on how a good life should be lived. I will light a candle on that day at my cathedral ... you and your good friend will always hold each other in your hearts. Love to you.

  4. I clicked on the picture and saw your Irish cups! I love the gorgeous earthy brown of these, so rustic and IRISH.

  5. Oh Colette, I was in tears of admiration and love for you whilst reading this post. You are an amazing person and you have survived all that has happened to you well. I often think of you in March and know it is a sad month for you.

    Am so glad you have friends old and new to bring light and love into your life (as you do into theirs, and most definitely mine).

    I love you

    Dotee xoxo

  6. I had no idea how much of a survivor you are and how very brave. Thanks for sharing so I can know even more of you. HUGS

  7. I read this a few times so far and each time could not think of just the right words to, my dear, dear Colette have had an extraordinary journey in your life...some filled with things that would fell someone else. YET you have an amazing outlook and an amazing inner sense of survival. I am in awe of your strength and tenacity.

  8. You are a true survivor, Colette. Reading about how strong you are emotionally, has inspired me. I'm happy to know you!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate each and every one of you.