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Can I Handle the Seasons of My Life?

When I was 16 years old I had my heart broken. By my husband.

Of course he was not my husband at the time. And of course I did not know he would one day become my photo-73husband. If I had, I obviously wouldn’t have taken this break-up so hard. But I did not have a crystal ball. For all I knew he no longer loved me, and our relationship was over. Forever.

When you are sixteen and you get your heart broken, what do you do? Well, you cry. You write in your diary. And you listen to love songs. In 1976 I listened to Fleetwood Mac and held on to the lyrics of “Landslide”. Took my love, took it down…

Several months after “the big breakup” I had an assignment in English class. We were to choose a poem and explain the meaning of the poem. Still grieving for my “one true love” I decided to choose the lyrics of the song “Landslide” instead of a poem. I poured my heart out to my favorite English teacher Ms. Lackman about how much the words of this song meant to me, how the words described my heart break while also giving me hope for the future. I climbed a mountain and I turned around

Ms. Lackman was always one of my favorite teachers and here’s why. Not only did I get an “A” on the assignment, but also she wrote me a lovely note about teenage heartbreak, young love and happily ever after. I have kept that note to this very day. I saw my reflection in a snow-covered hill, until the Landslide brought it down

For 36 years that song has touched me deeply each and every time I have heard it. It has been a song that sits in my sub-conscious and hums in my throat any time I am faced with challenges small or large. These lyrics have grown and changed in meaning in my brain over the years – helping me mature, build a career, give birth to two sons, weather a miscarriage, bury a brother. Well I’ve been afraid of changing, because I’ve built my life around you

I’m approaching a very monumental day in my life. Retirement. It’s only 14 days away. I’m only 53, but I am ready for a change and I have passed the mark that makes me eligible to collect the minimum retirement benefits in ten years. So I am going out early and going to make major life changes. Time makes you bolder, even children get older

I am ready to live a life for myself. To choose each day what that might mean. I am ready to tackle a new chapter. I am confident and secure in my fabulous fifties and intend to make the most of it. And I’m getting older too

That boy who broke my heart in 1976 has been my husband for 31 years. Together we have worked hard to be in a position financially so I can leave my job at 53. We have a loving caring relationship and see our best years are still ahead of us. He and I are a team in every sense of the word. Oh mirror in the sky what is love? Can the child within my heart rise above? Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Last night, after all these years, I saw Fleetwood Mac live in concert for the first time. All the band members left the stage and Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham stood center stage and quietly performed “Landslide” with a solitary guitar. As tears rolled down my cheeks I felt sure that this song was the anthem of my life. I felt sure that leaving my job is the right thing to do. I felt sure that my life has given me so much to be grateful for. And more than anything I felt sure that I am blessed to crawl into bed every night next to my best friend. Well I’ve been afraid of changing because I’ve built my life around you. But time makes you bolder, even children get older, and I’m getting older too.

Thanks for writing my anthem Stevie.

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