Since, as my kids point out, I have lived in seven decades, I have plenty of life to look back on and I wonder what my life would have been like if I had made different decisions.
Growing older, the poem “The Road Not Taken” takes on more significance for me. It is the famous poem written by Robert Frost, published in 1916. Most of us know the last stanza about taking the road less traveled and that has made all the difference, but I often ponder the other three.
The attached picture is of a pink wood not a yellow one, but the meaning is the same. Taking one fork in a road or the other might initially seem to make no difference, and although we do try to look down each path in our decision making, we really don’t know what the outcome will be. This same process can happen with big decisions such as who to marry, where to live, what job to take, shall I have a child? It also is true for the little day to day decisions such as, what to eat for breakfast, when to leave for work, or which shoes to wear. Circumstances occur because of our decisions. Each small decision modifies and adjusts our situation and we are on a different path.
Sometimes I have felt alone on the road I chose. I felt that others aren’t aware of what I am experiencing. That they can’t understand my feelings. While it is true that no one else is living my exact same life, there are others who have walked this path ahead of me, some are along side me, and others are following along. If we seek for them we will find them.
Recently I was reading the book, “Raising Henry,” by Rachel Adams. Although her experience giving birth to her son with Down Syndrome isn’t exactly the same as my experience with Nick, I felt deep emotion through the words she wrote. A poignant connection emerged between me and this other mother. I knew that I was not alone on this path I trod.
Look around you carefully. Who do you know that has similar experiences as you? You can choose to talk to a friend, read a book, watch a TED talk. Be conscious of what they do and say. We are on this road together. We can lift others and be lifted by them.
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