Have you ever…

…thought about the impact you have had in the lives of those who’s paths have crossed yours? I have. As I’m nearing the age of 40, I have thought a lot about where I am, how I got here, what effect I’ve had on those around me, etc. I am not where I had hoped to be by this stage in my life. Call it a midlife crisis, a pity party, an awakening…whatever name you give it, it’s me reflecting on the choices I’ve made and the impact I’ve had on others throughout my life. 

Take B, for example. I placed her in my loving aunt and uncles home. They adopted her. I told them of the circumstances around the pregnancy, I gave them letters and pictures from the relationship in which she was conceived. I have my reasons for placing her for adoption, and they were completely centered in love and selflessness. I regretted my decision so many times, even going as far as trying to get her back, but I knew in my heart that she was where she was supposed to be. She was meant to be a part of their family. I was just the means by which she would come to them. 

Her birth father never knew her, until I located him with the help of a friend, a little over a year ago. Shortly after B made contact with him for the first time, he posted on social media about him finding out that the child he thought was dead, was indeed very much alive and all grown up. I know that I did not tell him she was dead, I can only assume that his controlling mother told him that lie after I cut off all contact when she threatened to take my child from me and told me that I would never see the baby again. I’ve always wanted lots of kids, even considered adopting a child myself. At the request of B’s adopted mom, I never mentioned it to her, even though I so badly wanted to. I knew I could not tell her unless we were successful in adopting. Yet after B came for a visit a few years ago, I received a call from her adopted mom asking how I could tell her about our hopes and plans to adopt. J was the one who told her. Just 2 sisters talking, but B tells her mom it was me. 

I must have done something wrong in a past life to be followed by so much hurt, anger, and blame. I feel like I have ruined people’s lives, or at least part of their chance at happiness by the choices I have made. I have deprived myself of true happiness because I have lived with the secrets, and the guilt associated with my choices. I have thought many times about trying to contact B’s birth father, partly because I still have a love for him (regardless of what he did to me), partly because I knew the amazing young lady who’s life he was missing out on (and a little bit of jealousy, because I knew that I was missing out on her life too, and why should he get to play a part in her life, but I can’t). It’s stupid, I know. But it’s how I felt/feel.

I sang a song in a pageant once (yes, I was in a pageant) called “Leave Out All the Rest” by LinkinPark. The songs speaks of concern for how people will remember me when I’m gone.  “What am I leaving when I’m done here? So if you’re asking me, I want you to know. When my time comes, forget the wrong that I’ve done, help me leave behind some reason to be missed. Don’t resent me, and when you’re feeling empty, keep me in your memory, leave out all the rest.” My hope for my life is that the good I’ve done will outweigh the bad, and people will remember me for the effort I put into making a difference in the lives of others, instead of remembering me for the choices I’ve made that affected them. I don’t ask for forgiveness, because I don’t yet know how to forgive myself, and if I can’t forgive myself, how can I hope for others to? My life revolves around my children, all of my children, even the ones who will never belong to me and will never claim me. 

I hope that through my life experiences, choices, and consequences, that someone, somewhere, will learn from me. 

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