And we shall never speak of it again...

What do you do in the face of adversity? In the wake of an unspeakable tragedy – does anyone really know how he or she will react?

I have faced some of what I thought were insurmountable obstacles in my life. We lost our father when I was 19, and our mother a mere seven years later. While some young people were deciding what career path to choose, and what job they should accept, I was simply trying to maintain a hold on life.

My sister and her amazing family have spent two years trying to find their way through a haze of shock and grief, as they re-shape their family and try to glue together the whole that was ripped open when they lost their son. (May you rest in peace, my love.) I am convinced that they are amazing people as they forge ahead with acceptance and contentment, all the while keeping the knowledge close to their hearts that they will be reunited once again.

Some of you might remember my other little challenge last year, when some folks at my work discovered this little writing project I had fallen in love with. All the while I thought I was anonymous – but I was making some mistakes with names of certain places – like where I worked, etc. It was an amazingly difficult time for me. This blog is really a product of my heart and soul- it’s comprised of thoughts, feelings, experiences, it’s who I am deep inside my soul. It. Is. Me.

I thought long and hard about what direction I was going to take and I made a decision. I realized that I made some mistakes and the only way I could swallow this bitter pill was to have it be a medicine that would make me a better teacher and a better person. I wanted to forgive and move forward with the knowledge that none of us are perfect. We are never where we NEED to be- but it’s the journey that counts, right? I choose to make this journey with a smile, a laugh and the belief that there IS some good in the world. (Right, Mr. Frodo?)

Bitchy and Sassy were shocked that I wasn’t still angry about the whole unfortunate incident when I returned to work this fall. I made it clear to them that I had to use this as a teachable moment. If I didn’t, then I was surely a hypocrite. I teach the children that "every day is a new day, and that we learn from our mistakes." I had to walk the walk.

In the end I discovered another surprising fact of life. All these years I have been thinking and preaching “tragedies and obstacles make you who you are.”

I recently discovered the real truth of the matter.

Those obstacles and tragedies -- they don’t make you who you are, they REVEAL who you are.

And, I’ve decided…I’m pretty proud of that person. Cracks and all.


Junkstylediva said...

You are a better person than me. I want to live the sameway as you, but there are times I fly off the handle and fantasize that I am strangling the other person. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Oh, and I think blogging and reading other blogs is a way of keeping sane. It lets me know I am not alone. Inge

Anonymous said...

they forge ahead with acceptance and contentment, all the while keeping the knowledge close to their hearts that they will be reunited once again.

I think they have found the secret...thank you so very much for sharing this post today...this has been a really bad yr for me, this post helped put a few things into focuss....

You are a brave soul, thank you;)

Secretia Teller said...

All the best memories come from the road we travel, yes, not the hotel at the end. I know what you mean.

I did follow your link back and read about your nephew being killed in the car accident. That was a sad story.


Brian Miller said...

the cool thing is we never arrive. if we think we have we are really going the wrong direction. i like the truth you end with. they do reveal things about us that would never come out other wise. beautiful post.

justmakingourway said...

Good for you! The cracks are tough to go through (oddly, my last post was also sort of about learning from the past) but they do help if you really learn from them.


The Peach Tart said...

You are very brave and so glad you decided to stay with your blog and share your stories which I adore.

I actually got fired for my blog and never mentioned my boss' name, the company name, or anything but since it is pretty racy they thought it inappropriate for one of their employees regardless

Awake In Rochester said...

I'm sorry that you’re having a difficult time. If you need help, please get it. I didn't. I thought the depression would just go away. Now I'm a mess and need mega help. Sometimes the stuff in your life doesn’t reveal who you are, but buries you. At lest that’s what it did to me. Please get help if needed, and keep that wonderful sense of humor.


Anonymous said...

You go girl!! Just don't bend over.... that way the crack won't show! LMAO


Anonymous said...

'I choose to make this journey with a smile, a laugh and the belief that there IS some good in the world'. So true. Try and keep these thoughts with you on every morning that you wake up right now...there yours...

La Belle Mere said...

I had a similar incident where I thought my blog was only being published to blog followers on Facebook but I had set it up wrong and found that my blog was being published to ALL my facebook friends. My family, Hubbs family, all our friends, work colleagues... EVERYONE!!! I had an "I am what I am" ephiphany from the experience as well! Hang in there.

I love your blog - am now a follower!

LBM xxx

Lynn said...

You are very real and true and brave.
That's what you are.

Debbie said...

Absolutely! I love this. And I respect you for your strength.

Brenda Susan said...

"They reveal who you are." So true & also very humbling at times. After I get over trying to escape from dealing with my obstacles....then I learn from them.
At least the time between escaping & dealing has gotten shorter & shorter over the years!

Ice Queen said...

Very true and well said

Unknown said...

Amen, girl...
Last year was the year of my big reveal.
Blogging has been an absolute blessing for helping me coax out of hiding the timid little writer in me.
I have you and so, so many others
(many of them commenting here)to thank for that!
I am glad we found each other and look forward to reading many more of your posts.
And you kick ass :)

Peace - Rene

The Good Cook said...

"Those obstacles and tragedies -- they don’t make you who you are, they REVEAL who you are."

beautifully written. Well said.

Mrs. E said...

All your struggles have revealed who you are: a funny, bright, sassy, strong woman! And one I am delighted to visit on a daily basis. (And I've tried to learn from your blog mistake, too. See, you really are a teacher!)

LPC said...

I'm with The Cook. Well said.

Analisa said...

You are so right. Obstacles reveal who we really are warts and all. My prayers and heart go out to you and your family. May the one you can trust continue to show you His grace.

blognut said...

"And, I’ve decided…I’m pretty proud of that person. Cracks and all."

As well you should be.

We all are. :)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Well said. Wishing you a very happy new year.

Unknown said...

Very very very well put!!

SkylersDad said...

"Someone once asked me what I want on my epitaph when I pass away. Just the words – ‘I tried.’ That's what this game of life is all about. Trying. There's the tryers, the criers, and the liars." -- Mickey Rooney

You can't make someone love you, but you can let yourself be loved by someone.
Skylers Dad loves you

Everyday Goddess said...

Non-bloggers just do not understand bloggers.

I'm so glad I met you! You were more inspirational than you know to me. I am really proud of you for not giving in to a form of tyranny.

xo ~ Elise

Mary said...

Wonderful post ....you HAVE revealed who you are. I have been away - and it is wonderful to return to find such a heart felt, honest and insightful post. Onward.

Mango Girl said...

They can't take away your birthday!

Coco said...

That was excellent. I love what you said...they don't make you they reveal who you are. That is so true even though I never looked at it that way before. I always just looked at it as it made me stronger to get through it.

An Unlikely Retirement said...

Wonderful post.

Joanie said...

Amen Sister! another little tidbit I learned from my brother when my marriage fell apart before my eyes. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Hear me roar.

Ellie Belen Ambrose said...

The Big Reveal - When folks and you find out that there is more to you than meets the eye. Always an enlightening experience. Great post!

cheatymoon said...

Grateful for the tough stuff is the way to be...
Awesome post, VM!

Pseudo said...

I really think I needed to read this today. Thanks VM I am going through an incredibly tough period in my life and compared to all the stuff you talk about I know that my crap could be a whole lot worse.

Let's see how I survive it all and what it reveals....

Bernie said...

Maybe the people who objected the most didn't like what it revealed about them! A very thoughtful post. Keep your chin up, girl and there is a lot of life for good and fun times left. You will get through this and I hope you will learn that you don't ever have to do it alone and that if you believe, it really helps. .

Beth said...

Your insight is just one of the many reasons I love you - cracks and all!

Madge said...

just what i needed to hear today.... thank you for still being here.

Anonymous said...

Good post - lovely first visit here. :)

Paige said...

I totally agree with that. I have always thought that you really get to know someone (or yourself) during the rough times--that is when true character shows.

Obviously, yours is a good one

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I'm struggling right now. Struggling with some stuff that I thought I had already gotten past, but I just discovered that I'm really not past it at all, and I probably never will be.

Thanks for reminding me that these are the things that help us discover who we are.

Ash said...


You, and this.

I'm so glad you're still here :-)

Captain Dumbass said...

I love that idea. Thanks for sharing.

Suzy said...

I have no idea what you're talking about as I am perfect JUST the way I am and you're a big stupidhead.

Anonymous said...

You are very wise.

And I am still waiting for the "VodkaMom, True Bloggywood Story" on whatever went down with your blog and job. ;-)

anymommy said...

Yep, you are an inspiring person, cracks and all.

Michelle Wells Grant said...

Ah, very nice. You are so right. I realize this a little more every day. Carry on, oh wise one.

Julia@SometimesLucid said...

What a healthy way of looking at things! I need to learn more of that lesson - to learn from my mistakes and for them to reveal who I am.

Unknown said...

Hope things are cool at school..(I know, I am a dork) & you can continue to do both things that you love. : )

Anonymous said...

Anonymity is never easy - I am trying but I have a big mouth!!

♥ Braja said...

Damn straight honey....all this shit doesn't MAKE us anything...that's already decided, and it's revealed in adversity. I've discovered wonderful and unknown qualities in those who are on a trek thru adversity, or who enter into mine. It's made me a better person to see that in them, and to have them enter my life.

And Mr Frodo? That's that bloody Capt Dumbass masquerading again, isn't it????

I'll click on your ads when I get home, but I ain't losin' the RIGHT breast too on internet charges...shit....

♥ Braja said...

cos you see I've already decided this is my last plastic surgery. If I lose them, I need more....so it doesn't work. See how practical I am??

♥ Braja said...

And dammit, woman, I know it's 4.30am over there, but I'm writin' to you...will ya wake UP???!

Formerly known as Frau said...

cracks make up the best kind of person...no one is perfect. Perfect is boring!

flutter said...

love you.

That Janie Girl said...


NOW you tell me you're cracked.

I'm shocked.

I love you!

But you're still a heifer.

That Janie Girl said...

PS - and don't worry,. Braja sent vibes to my dogs and made them kick me out of bed, so I covered your wakeup call from Braja.

Christy said...

I'm so glad you decided to continue your blog and I just clicked on ALL your ads. Hope you're having a great weekend! christy xoxo

G. B. Miller said...

We are the sum of all our parts, both good and bad.

You're still one of my originals that I found back in May '08, and you're still one of the best.


G (aka Georgie B)

Unknown said...

beautiful post! It brought tears to my eyes. I am so glad you have figured these things out. You can't go back and change the past.

On my Positively Powerful blog I wrote

"Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. But tomorrow never comes, yesterday's gone, so live for today."

Very simple philosophy but one so many are unwilling to live by.

They don't understand that holding on to all of the bad things that have happened in our past, simply eat away at our soul until we are so dark and negative it feels there is no way out.

There is one remarkable woman that you and I both know chooses to look ahead and look how amazing she is!

I think she is a good influence on you.

I am soooooooooooooooo glad you chose to come back

mommakin said...

Beautifully put, from the first word to the last.

mommakin said...

Beautifully put, from the first word to the last.

Jan said...

Our mistakes, faults, foibles and the diversity we face define us every bit as much as our virtues and successes - more I think; the easy things in life are not what give us character.

You are a marvelous woman, and don't you ever forget it.

Mike said...

If everyone was always happy and we had no painful life experiences then we might all become zombies of a sort!
Very nice thoughts!

Lori said...

Wonderful post! I needed to be reminded of these truths...thank you!

Crazy Charm said...

The other day, I was explaining to my mom some of the benefits of vegetarianism. She said, "How do you know all of this information?"

Um, because I'm a life long learner?

But I know you are the ultimate life long learner :)

IB said...

Bravo, doll. You have every reason to be proud cuz you rock.


Sue said...

I've always believe that know matter how painful,ugly, gut wrenching that some things happen to us in life, there is always a reason. We were meant to learn by in some way. We don't always understand it at the time, and many things are just "wrong" and should have never happened. But it makes us stronger, it makes us wise, and it also puts us out there for others in need! A great post, thank you. Take care,

Nicole @ WhenDidIBecomeMyMom.com said...

Well said. I am glad you found the true measure of your spirit - good for you. Hold your head high.

Stopping by from SITS.

tiff said...

and this is why...i am guessing...that you are a brilliant kindergarten teacher!

great post!

Cassie said...

Amen. Beautiful. Hope they read this one, too. ;)

Cristin said...

The revealing thing... I like that. I've felt that the 'bad' stuff that's happened to me is just a tool to peel away the layers, allowing me to know myself better.

loved this post.

*Akilah Sakai* said...

Eff'n brilliant, VodkaMom. I'll have a little of what you're having. Goodness knows I need to.

the mama bird diaries said...

Very well said. :)

Counselormama said...

This is so true! I just said the other day, we all make mistakes, it's how you go about fixing it that shows the world what your made of.

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

You should be proud of yourself! And what a great example to your kids. Bitterness just eats at us.

SweetPeaSurry said...

I adore that, obstacles reveal who we are. You're so right!!! Reveal all you want woman, you're brilliant!

Rima said...

This was a really touching post and I love you for it, Vodka Mom.

Also probably a totally inappropriate venue in which to inform you that I just tagged you for a pants-related meme on my blog.

Deborah said...

I look forward to returning daily. Thank you for a lovely read. Your words are wise.
Much Love,

Smart Mouth Broad said...

We are all the better for your cracks. Wait....that didn't sound right, did it?

FranticMommy said...

Wow! That was amazing. I got kinda teary there for a moment. I think I will give this a reread.
I too live in fear of the day my co-workers (and family) discover my blog. My blog is my island. My santuary where I can giggle, complain, and tell an occassion poop story. I love my bloggy friends. As for "teachable moments". I've had a couple of biggees lately in regard to an event I was planning. I am the chair of this event and saw first hand how much chaos an untruthful committee member can create (note to self: "listen to your gut-it's usually right"). Good post my friend!

shrink on the couch said...

I believe it isn't our successes that mold us so much as how we handle our mistakes and failures. Bravo to you for striding forward. You won't regret it.

Anonymous said...

Funny you mentioned this just now...

I had to take my blog private because of a work situation - not that I've been discovered, but things aren't good for me right now and I don't want to give anyone any ammunition against me. It breaks my heart. I loved writing for the "real world" and having to limit myself feels cowardly and false. Oh well. And since I went private, I can't even post comments as myself. What a mess.
Caroline, Some Pig

Ladybird World Mother said...

What a fabulous last sentence. Well, all of them were pretty damned good. You so rock, VM and we all love you for it. xxxx

Coffee with Cathy said...

Amen, sister. Hugs. Hugs. Hugs.

Joanie said...

God bless you.

"Cookie" said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing. Anyone who reads this will stop and think.....what kind of life am I living? More people need to walk the walk and not just talk. HOpe you have a good one!!

Samantah said...

Wow! What a strong woman you are!!! This is what I strive for, though I'm not sure I'm as successful as you have been in achieving it. I'm glad I found your blog and hope to keep getting great insights from you!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

That's pretty profound Teach. And incredibly inspiring.

kanishk said...

the cool thing is we never arrive. if we think we have we are really going the wrong direction. i like the truth you end with. they do reveal things about us that would never come out other wise. beautiful post.
Domain registration india

Zip n Tizzy said...

And a person I am darn glad to know. Virtually, and hopefully someday, otherwise!

Cathy Adamkiewicz said...

Glad I found you.

The Rambler said...

Vodkamom!!! I absolutely agree and believe that you see the person you really are through obstacles and tragedies!

Most firmly.

Thank you for reminding me!! Cracks and all!!


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