Somehow… I’m Enough
Celebrating our fifteenth wedding anniversary recently, someone asked, “Did you guys ever think you’d make it this far?”
As a flight attendant/pilot couple, we’re well aware our odds of marital success are lower than the dismal average. So we take pride rather than offense when such questions arise. But my lungs deflated when my husband replied, “Personally, I can’t believe she didn’t bail the second I started flapping my jaws about my past.”
I forced a smile. But for someone from a cohesive family, including parents who will celebrate their 52nd anniversary next month, enduring a childhood rooted in abandonment and abuse is anguish I will forever struggle to comprehend.
* * *
Mothers are supposed to hurl themselves in front of speeding trains if it means saving their children — right??? But what if you’re a mistake, whisked from your birth mother to an adoptive mother who subsequently opts for “children of her own,” leaving you in the hands of a broken man when you’re just seven? And what if this sole parent turns to the bottle to satiate his anger and to you with raging fists when liquor fails?
My husband needn’t ponder — this was his childhood. And the hardship didn’t end there.
As is frequently the case, the booze triumphed and rendered him an orphan at twenty-three. He pursued his flying dream relentlessly, but the major airlines required a medical history he lacked. In searching for this, he discovered a clerical error: His birth name had been left visible in the adoption records — a unique one, courtesy of his Czechoslovakian mother.
He was twenty-six when he found her. Living with a man in his early thirties, she was terrified that the sudden appearance of her secret son might result in yet another failed romance. After meeting him, she interacted sporadically before vanishing again. As a parting gift, however, she shared his father’s identity — and the uncanny addendum: He was also an airline pilot!
Optimism skyrocketing, he couldn’t wait to meet his genetic blueprint. Unfortunately, their relationship was doomed from the git-go. Dad was married to a younger woman who couldn’t stomach my husband’s existence — forget subjecting her pre-teen children to such a scandal.
* * *
I’m ashamed to admit, the first time he told me his (less cheeky) version of the story, I quickly located my nearest exit. Don’t get me wrong, I was smitten from the start. He was (and is) my bona fide flyboy in shining armor — and yet?? Even now, in those unguarded moments when I spy a darkness in his eyes I can’t seem to brighten, inadequacy looms:
What if I make a mess of the love he’s gone a lifetime without
Letting him down like countless others?
What if I inadvertently poke holes in an already battered soul
Because my heart is too small?
What if I’m not worthy of the gem that he is?
Then he pulls me into his resilient embrace
Thumping a tune of
And I know
* * *
♥ I dedicate this to every person struggling with family or abandonment issues — particularly during the Holiday Season. I know how hard it is to open your hearts and let another in, but please know that what you’ve endured doesn’t define you. You prove this time and again with your steadfast attitudes and successes. YOU are precious gifts, inspiring others to overcome obstacles while finding the courage to forgive and trust again. And I, for one, am oh-so-grateful for your presence on this earth! xoxo ♥
Wow Shauna. What a touching and heartfelt tribute. Yes, you are enough. I’m sure you have blessed Mark as he has you.
Wishing you many more sweet anniversary’s!
Thank you so much, Brad. I am blessed in many ways — your supportive friendship is one great example!! xo
Thank you. 🙂
I’m quite sure you’re MORE than just enough. My wife and I share a similar background to yours, although in my case, the difficulties with my parents wasn’t nearly as complicated or as difficult as your husband’s. My wife’s upbringing was completely different from mine, in that her family members were much more close when she was growing up. Despite our backgrounds, she’s managed to put up with me for almost 30 years…and I thank God that she’s in my life every day. I’m sure you’re as much a Godsend to your husband as my wife is to me.
Countless blessings to both of you, for the next 15–and beyond!
Oh how I love hearing about successful marriages like yours, Dear Stargazer! Thank you for sharing. Your comment about thanking God ever day that your wife is in your life speaks volumes…I believe gratitude is the backbone of every lasting relationship. Cheers to your Love and Blessings back to you tenfold!
Beautiful… a wonderful love
Thank you for the pleasure of your visit. I so appreciate your kindness! ♥
Congratulations and may there be many more. Wonderful post and I fully agree.
So happy to see you here! My husband and I love South Africa! Plettenberg Bay is one of our favorite places — besides the Winelands… 😉 Thank you for your well wishes, and I send you the same in your new parenting adventure!!
Same to you, we like staying at a place just outside Plett, in the natural forest, we lived on a wine farm for 7 years, between Stellenbosch and Paarl. 19 years married in a few months, so we have a few things in common, he he.
such great storytelling and poetry ending – this hits close to me as I’m sure it will many others – thank you
You’re the best, John! Thank YOU!! I’m sorry for what you’ve endured and know how challenging it is to make peace with the past — but I wish this for you. 💞
What a luminously inspiring testament to the power of love and the human spirit, eloquently and honestly told, LL! My heart broke reading about your husband’s incredible challenges, but is thrilled to know of the tremendous redemption and sheer joy that your love for each other must provide him…. AND you. May the abundant positivity that you both share with the world continue to return to you with untold blessings. Here’s to comfort, joy and love to you…and to all. xoxo
My Dearest Chloe, your spirited support means the world to me! I was absolutely terrified to publish this, fearful it would come across negatively — and then I read your generous, ardent comment!! You bring joy, comfort, and love to SO MANY. I am truly blessed to call you friend! 💝
That was beautiful, just like you!! I love you and Marky to pieces!!
You leave me speechless, gorgeous girlfriend. Mark & I are so doggone fortunate to have you in our lives. Love, love, love YOU!!
This is a wonderful post, Shauna. Love shines through it in a beautiful, humble way. Played on my soul strings as our story is somewhat similar. Here’s to the next 15 happy years!
Aww, Tiny, I should have known we were kindred spirits. I’m a firm believer that the Universe leads us to the exact place we’re meant to be, surrounded by those who elicit our best. I have benefitted immeasurably from my husband’s steadfast attitude and limitless zeal for life. He is truly my greatest gift. Thank you for your kind remarks. Love-filled hugs to you! ♥
He came from so little and has so much. He has a big heart and soul AND you were both lucky enough to find each other. You are more than enough! 💝 You are a gift. Congrats on 15 yrs!
Wow, Sandy…Your sweet comment brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely woman you are!! SO honored and grateful to have you here! ♥
What a heartfelt and honest post and what a tribute to the human spirit and the power of the human heart for hope and love! Wishing you both a wonderful holiday filled with joy and peace!
Thank you beautiful Chiarina! The human spirit is amazingly resilient. Add to that a receptive heart, and the world’s doors seem to miraculously swing wide open…
Sending you and your family Holiday Love as well! xoxo
p.s. I was just previewing your latest Blurb book. Fabulous work — breathtaking photos!!
Very well said. Thank you for sharing this. I often find myself pondering these words “…the greatest of these is love…” nothing more beautiful.
I could not agree more! Thank you for the privilege of your visit and for leading me to your blog. Christmas blessings to you and your family!
excellent and emotional post… wish you merry holidays and long life together! ❤ P.S. P.S. my beloved hubby and I have been together for almost 35 years… 🙂
My Dearest Mélanie — Cheers to your magnificent 35 years! I wish you many more!!! Happy New Year and thank you for your generous and kind support… 💝
mille merci, LL = lovely lady! ❤ have a positive, optimistic and serene 2015!
Isn’t it those “unguarded moments” that actually makes us stronger; that cement bonds? From what very little I know of you and only through your blog posts, I am not surprised (yet warmed!) by the fact that the two of you have sought and found ways in which to keep love and light alive. Wishing you all peace and joy during these year end holidays, Shaunna, and throughout the new year.
You fill my heart with joy, Dear Eric! Thank you for illuminating this world with your generous and loving soul! I wish you all the blessings you are so deserving of in the New Year and well beyond. Thank you for taking your time to be here — it truly means the world to me!!
Warm thanks, returned. Your kindness and positivity has me wondering, why can’t all flight attendants be like you? 🙂
YOU just made my year! I shall carry your high standard in my heart and aspire to live up to it every time I sport my polyester uniform… XO
Hi Luggage Lady. May I congratulate you and your husband on your fifteenth wedding anniversary. I never found that special one. Not after two marriages. But have four great children and at least thirteen grandchildren. And have found living alone does have its good points. Thank you for liking my poem ‘ Crushed!’ Be Safe and Well. The Foureyed Poet.
Your post touches my heart with tears flowing freely. How blessed you both are to have found eachother and to remain committed, to trust, to honor and to love. I love the questions you asked yourself at the end of the post ~ they are the ties that bind you both, your willingness to remember where he comes from and embrace him for all he is and to comfort him. Precious. ♥