When you think you are alone in rebuilding your life and identity, look around. Next to me is a woman who worked for NASA, now married to a police officer and working at an hourly job she must keep because she has MS. An English and drama teacher who was also a successful actor and a comic but who left his much-loved home town to shed bad influences and substance abuse. A lovely young woman who lost her mother when she was a child and has no family to whom she can turn in her moments of insecurity or need. A former IT manager who used to make five, not just three times as much in salary, but who walked away to care for his widowed mother. In his forties, he has just purchased his first car. He never needed one in New York City.
There's the woman who counselled the incarcerated until one death row inmate decided he wanted to kill her. Her former husband decided he wanted to sleep with other people and she discovered his lack of discrimination and various inclinations only after an appointment with her doctor. Now she has to tell family that she cannot suffer his presence at the holidays because she will not look in a face that once gave her so much joy, but now carries no trace of the person she thought she knew. The person who has given her a gift she never wanted but will carry as long as she lives and will keep her from trying to find a love that will be true. There are more stories surrounding those around us like auras. Some we know, more we never will.
I have much to rejoice in and for which I am thankful.