Archive for children

Removing the Kosovo blogs

Posted in Kosovo with tags , , , , on 2 March 2009 by Maggie

I once told myself that if something occurs that becomes stressful to people close to me, I would not talk about it. It is for this reason I have chosen to remove the blogs I’ve written about Kosovo.

It took a long time for me to stop internalising what happened there, which is what I finally did 9 years after the fact…and talked about it openly for two years.

However, because of some things that were said to me privately today, and the hurt that appeared to come because of it, I will not leave up what I’ve written. It is not fair to those I love.

I am still passionate about many things, but I now need to choose carefully what I say and how I say it. My family, those to whom I am close, come first. I will take them before my ideals any day of the week.

It is time, as was pointed out to me, to leave the past behind, to look to my own future, and value my life as it is now – away from what I remember.

Does it matter? Perhaps. At the risk of losing loved ones (which may have already happened), it just cannot matter to me anymore. It is time to move on with my life.

Thanksgiving

Posted in General with tags , , , , on 28 November 2008 by Maggie

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.

It is a quiet day today. Because of an odd turn of events, I am not going to my daughter’s, after all. This is okay. We’re going to have a combination Thanksgiving/Christmas over a four-day period in December…the 11th through the 14th.

You must understand that I am not particularly fussed about the tradition of Thanksgiving. No one really remembers why we have the holiday in the first place, or the history of it, or how it came to be that we have it on the fourth Thursday in November. It’s an illogical choice of days by historically meteorological standards, and if you don’t believe me, look it up. If you have trouble finding the information, let me know.

The essential thing about the holiday, however, is that you get an entire day off in which you can reflect on those things, people and memories for which you are thankful. Here’s a basic list of those things for which I am thankful on a personal level:

I am thankful for the atmosphere in which I was raised. I came from an old-money family on my mother’s side, full of artists, musicians, ambassadors, diplomats, politically powerful people. I learned an appreciation for the fine arts, protocol, professionalism, the letter of the law, an intolerance for ignorance, and the importance of building a network that supports you in exceptional circumstances. I came from a long line of missionaries and charity workers on my father’s side. I learned how to handle myself in third-world situations…and about compassion, patience, understanding, the essential goodness of the human condiion, and the effect of outside forces on that human condition that create the human experience.

I am thankful that I was raised to fully appreciate my Scottish and Belgian heritage. I credit my great-grandmother with teaching me the importance of understanding where you came from in order to understand where you are going. She is also responsible for my great love of archaeology and anthropology.

I am thankful I was raised to appreciate the role of belief structures and culture in the world around us. I credit my grandfather with encouraging my search for answers to the questions I asked when I was eight years old. He taught me respect, and to resist closing my mind. After more than 45 years guided by the echo of his voice, I think I have resisted well.

I am thankful for my children, and I am grateful for the adults they have become. I couldn’t be more proud of each of them. They will make a terrific mark in this world in their own ways.

I am thankful for friends and acquaintances who have brightened the nooks and crannies of my life. Each of them, whether we have remained in contact or not over the years, have had an impact on my experiences and helped shape who I am today.

I am thankful for the men who have loved me, and who I have loved, over the years. I battled hard against the lessons these relationships tried to teach me. This year, I have finally learned how to handle the undercurrent of my own stubborn fears – fear of sharing, fear of closeness, fear of pain, fear of emotion, fear of singular devotion – all of those things that caused me to run. It has been a long road, but as Edward Albee once wrote, “Sometimes you have to go the long way around to come back the short way correctly.” I am no longer stubborn. I no longer fear. I am cautious, but content in the knowledge that loving and being loved is still a part of my future, as is one good and strong lasting relationship. It’s right in front of me. I just need to take it easy, take it slow and let it happen the way it should.

And that gives me hope – something for which I am also thankful.