By Teresa Cavaliere
West Palm Beach, FL, USA
(credit: Joseph J. Bucheck III)
It's been a long, hard road these past few years, and finally, things are looking up! If you've read my columns, you know that we, like a lot of families, have lost pretty much everything we worked to build or save.
I'm happy to report that my children are doing very well and that my career is finally on an upswing because I found the right full-time job. In fact, it’s like I haven’t missed a beat. I'm building a wonderful clientele again and I've gotten back to doing fashion shows and print work for fashion magazines. The word is out that “Teresa is back!” What a tremendous feeling to have your work recognized by your peers again.
I'm also happy about my son's recognition within the dance world. He's not only doing well in school, but he's also excelling in his passion to dance. My daughter, who is also a dancer, is coming into her own and succeeding within her dance community as well.
For a family that has gone through such loss and hardship, we have so much to be thankful for. Sure, we could have fallen into that dark hole of, “Why is this happening to us?” But instead, we took the high road and focused on what we do best. We preferred to look at the glass as half-full. We took what we had and made the best of it. The most important lesson, however, was not allowing someone else's failure dictate how we should live our lives.
When the father of my children left us without explanation, it opened up a can of worms. There were so many questions echoing in our heads. We could speculate and surmise all we wanted, but neither my children nor I will ever know why.
Instead, we decided to talk about it. I looked at my son and daughter and told them the truth. They accepted their father’s action as his responsibility and not something for them to own or be filled with guilt or blame. They are the bravest teenagers I have ever met.
It takes a great deal of strength and confidence to walk through life knowing you have been abandoned, but not letting it rule your life's journey, in a negative or destructive way, is triumph. My children learned quickly that they have the power to make the choice to live life to its fullest by conquering the demons left behind by the man they called Papa. They empowered themselves to move forward. Forgiveness and acceptance is the strength they lead with.
You never realize the prison you're in until you have been set free. How can I ask for more? Life is good…again!