many of you already know that i love literature. i love how it masks reality, how its characters mirror true individuals, how its themes are reflections of life’s movements. i also love it when the story has a really great heroine: one who struggles but overcomes brilliantly, one who is determined and will not settle, one who knows self and stands by that understanding. my favorite fictional heroines include: moll flanders (the fortunes and misfortunes of the famous moll flanders by Daniel Defoe) the thief, wife, mother and *gasp* whore; edna pontellier (the awakening by kate chopin) a woman who struggles to find independence amidst her roles; jane eyre (jane eyre by charlotte bronte) an orphan gone governess gone lover; elizabeth bennett, ahem-of course, (pride and prejudice by jane austen) a case study in the strength behind the nature of a woman; jo march (little women by louisa may alcott), truly a heroine with her aspirations and antics, and antonia shimerda (my antonia by willa cather) a very independent immigrant woman for the 1900’s.
i am drawn to the stories of women that empower and choose to make a better life or circumstance for themselves.
i find myself particularly magnetized to the non-fictional heroines found in life’s novel.
especially this one:
a heroine doesn’t really know she is one. you don’t really get to choose that role; it is something that others give you because they are inspired by what you do, how you live your life, the choices you make, and the person you inherently are in good times and bad.
kelley doesn’t know she is a heroine, but she is one, my favorite right now, to be exact, and i have been thinking about her, her character, and her story a lot lately.
i can’t think of any bride who thinks, while staring down the aisle or across the alter at her future, “i hope we share our dreams. i hope we make a beautiful life together that includes family and legacy. i hope we work along side one another, come home to each other, rely on one another, and understand each other. i hope our love grows with us to the depths of commitment, and i hope in 10 years everything you think and feel changes, and you decide to leave me and our babies to chase inexplicable dust. yes, i hope in 10 years i am divorced.”
no bride says that.
not. a. single. one.
the heroine, picks herself up, turns the page, and begins to write a new and distinctly beautiful, albeit difficult, chapter in her life’s novel.
kelley isn’t living the life she dreamt of 10 years ago. she has taken on the role of mother and father, nurturer and disciplinarian, provider and caregiver. she works around the clock without a break, without any benefits, and without her best friend to turn to. whens she wakes from very little sleep the process begins again, and right now as she goes through the motions of daily motherhood she wonders what happened to the idyllic “family-life” carpet that was pulled out from under her.
she has every right to be resentful. to be angry. and to fill her pages with angst, rage, and bitterness.
the heroine chooses not to.
she embraces what is real before her, clings to it for resilience and fortitude, compartmentalizes the pain and confusion, and writes a story of strength, courage, and endurance for the children who are watching her so closely, clinging to her for stability, and loving her so tenderly and dearly.
this is the material of true character; of a genuine heroine.
right now the wound is fresh, the game played ended with a bad beat, and the mire our heroine is trudging through is thick.
even though the faces she cares for each day are constant reminders of the past, she sets her focus on the future.
even when our heroine feels at the very depths of heartache she finds something in her or around her that fuels her determined spirit:
i have been considering lately the trials we face in life. i haven’t had the “if god loves us then why do we have to suffer” attitude. it has been more like, “why are we given the trials we are given” tone and, “why do some of us have to suffer at the hand of others or because of their choices?” questionings. this is what my ponderings conclude: Yentl had it right when she sang on that boat, “People. People who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.” (I am not trying to make light of Kelley’s situtation by throwing in the image of Barbra Streisand dressed as a boy on the edge of a boat singing her heart out in her 1983 hit, but I thought that it might make us all smile and perhaps laugh for a moment…) but i do believe we need each other. truly. on some unexplainable level. and i also believe that some of our trials and afflictions are not for us to learn something necessarily, but for us to be able to help other people later on, by showing true compassion and empathy, “i know how you feel because i have lived it and i understand; and you will hurt for now, and it will feel like it is interminable; you will have to remind yourself to breath in and out each day, and take every moment as it comes, but one day the clouds will break and you will feel yourself again, and your perspective on life will be fresh, and you will be ready to move forward and continue writing a most beautiful story.” i think one of our basic needs as humans is to be understood. sometimes our experiences are necessary to provide the human experience for others.
and that’s just what i think.
this family of three is special, and with a heroine mother like kelley; they will continue to write adventurous, endearing, heartfelt, honest pages of their life’s novel.
dear blogging friends, there are 232 of you (this just in i get 378 hits a day…wowie; thanks everyone!!), approximately, who visit my page each day. i know that isn’t many in the arena of blogs (i appreciate you though and am so happy to know you visit; thank you for checking in on me), but to me that feels like a lot of people who might be able to offer kelley support, encouragement, love, and perhaps even true empathy. it is time to come out of blogger hiding and help another person. i know there are a couple of you who have lived this and survived and now have clarity. please tell her in the comments section that she will find it someday too. if you have never experienced this but were touched by her story or perhaps were raised by a single mother please leave her some words of optimism, even if it is just a note on how beautiful she is; I am sure she would appreciate it.
i believe in the power of good people who care, even strangers, and i believe we can help each other through our most difficult times.
kelley, you are a most inspiring, and courageous heroine. someday you will see clearly. someday it will all make sense. someday you will breath without pain. here’s to someday! may it come quickly. until then know that there is someone in california who admires your strength more than you will ever know.
thinking of you and your littles, and believing in you, kam