THUNDER BAY – September 11 2001 is a day marked in the history books and the collective memories of many a nation. It is a day I remember well, wishing my kids were near me and safe, praying that the existence we take for granted hadn’t just ended. I would never want to minimize THAT horrible September 11th but I was to have yet another that stands out even more in my memory banks …
September 9, 2003 was our wedding anniversary. Just one year before we had said our vows in a private, almost secretive ceremony. The only ones there – the family we adored – and it was beautiful.
The wedding wasn’t a surprise really. We were five years in before he even asked me, six years into our relationship before the big day and 7 years in on that one particular September 11th that I remember as if it was only yesterday. I was peeved, downright miffed that he hadn’t even thought to call on our anniversary. Yes, he was at a conference, and yes it was in a remote location, and yes, I knew he was busy but that didn’t matter. It was our FIRST anniversary and in my mind he should have called.
I picked him up at the airport that September 11th and knew we had to talk. I asked him to stop before we got home, before the kids were around, and there, in that parking lot, I laid it on the line. I had tried everything. We were strangers. He didn’t talk to me, he no longer shared his world with me, and now it seemed he couldn’t even remember me. Perhaps we were done. Perhaps it was time to separate …
In my mind there should have been some kind of argument. There should have been some “No honey, don’t be silly.” But there wasn’t. Instead all I heard was, “Okay” as he proceeded to start the van. Took him all of 5 minutes to pack. Didn’t even say good-bye to my son, the young man who he had shared a life and home with for 7 years. Still hasn’t said good-bye to my daughter. He just left … gone.
Yes, I remember that day well but it isn’t with hatred. Although that day began one of the darkest periods of my life, that darkness lead to days in a sun that was hotter and brighter than I could have imagined. Now I stand confident in the woman I am, knowing full well that the best thing that man did for me … was to leave.
So my friends, today, if you stand in darkness praying and wishing for what was, take heart, have faith. Yesterday is gone and right now it may seem that it was beautiful and perhaps even the best days of your life … but do not underestimate the power and beauty of tomorrow.
Two books, a great new career that would have never been possible then and amazing new friends awaited me, all within the last 10 years, all since the day my old life came to an abrupt and unexpected end so hang on. Hang on to whomever you must, keep walking even if all you can manage are the smallest, most painful steps in the beginning. Just keep going … all the way to your days in the sun.
I love you!
Sandi Boucher is a passionate Anishnabequek (Ojibwe woman) from northern Ontario, Canada. Additionally, she is a powerful motivational speaker, an activist empowering those who are struggling to find their voice, a capacity builder, a bridge builder between worlds and cultures, a champion of positive change in our communities and the author of two powerful daily inspirational guides – the best selling “Honorary Indian” released in 2010 and now the much anticipated sequel – “Her Mother’s Daughter” released earlier this year. To find out more about Sandi and her work, please visit http://www.traditionallyspeaking.ca