Happily ever after. That’s what I wanted for my life, and for my family’s life. Don’t you?
For many years, I thought we had it made, the prefect life Plan A: 2 beautiful kids, business success, community respect, vacations in the sun. Our 25th anniversary was a magical trip to Europe, Rhine castles cruise, outdoor cafés in France, chocolate in Switzerland, how perfect is that!
But then, just months later, our marriage started to crumble. As much as I tried everything, by 2006 it was over. While this was going on, I was also struggling with my health. My digestive system was screaming at me everyday. In April 2006, after a number of tests, I sat in the doctor’s office, expecting to be handed a prescription. Instead he said cancer, colon CANCER. Stunned, everything stopped for me, I turned the word over and over in my head in disbelief not hearing another word.
Fighting for my marriage was hard enough, now I was fighting for my health, and my life too. Could it get worse?
The phone call came after dark, on July 6, 2006. It was my son-in-law, “ Sit down. There’s been an accident…Ben has been hit, and killed by a criminal driver.”
I collapsed to the ground screaming. Ben! My beloved son Ben! I struggled to breathe, but my heart was being torn apart! Benjamin means son of my right hand, and my right arm with a huge part of my heart felt like they were being ripped off my body. The pain of his death was crushing!
After the funeral ended, I slowly turned away from my son’s newly-dug grave leaving my baby here, in this place of the dead. How could it be, my 25 year old son full of life and dreams was being buried? A tsunami of pain hit me, and my dammed up sobs burst out uncontrolled. I wept, barely able to walk back to the limousine knowing part of me had been buried here too. Life would never be the same. I was not even sure if I even wanted to live it.
Months later, over coffee, I angrily told my widow friend, “My life is so changed, forget about “happily ever after”. My Plan A, like Humpty Dumpty, can never be put together again, now I am stuck with Plan B!”. She put her arm around me and said, “Helga, Plan A is gone, so let’s just figure out how to make Plan B “really rock”- for Ben”. She was right, a true word, a true friend.
How is your Plan A doing?
If you have lost your plan A too, can I be your true friend too. But I am NOT going to tell you that it is easy to create a “really rockin” Plan B or C or D. Sometimes, I wonder if I am going to make it and I offer beggarly prayers just to get through the day. I have wept many tears for the life that is gone, but slowly I began to uncover “rockin” moments. Sometimes, it was the kindness of friends helping me to move, or the big smile of a grateful little girl after sewing her a princess costume or the happy news from the doctor that I was healthy again. I began discovering some awesomeness in the Plan B life.
People struggling to rebuild life in Plan B have been softened and weathered by suffering and pain. It can ennoble a person - like it did Nelson Mandela. They can be people of resilience who have sorted out what is really important and don’t live in the petty. You find these are people of great compassion, tenderness and mercy, who reach out to lend a hand – they’ve been there too.
While we all want the ideal Plan A to work, there just might even be an uncommon and powerful beauty in Plan B. It is a place of the making of a person of deep and noble character, and that’s pretty “rockin” awesome.
Know someone else facing a Plan B life? Be a true friend, share this post.
By the way, with Valentine's Day coming up, I will be posting some helpful hints to get through it next week. Watch for it.
Blessings, big hugs and keep moving forward,
If you liked this, please share it with others.
Check out other helpful blog articles including :
If you are facing loss, get the support you deserve. For additional resources, including a no-obligation introduction coaching session to discuss your situation and renew resilience and tranquility, with Helga Bender MThS, click here. (specializing in faith-based coaching)
Please leave a comment, check out my facebook page - for the latest, just to say hi, or to leave a comment and let me know whether you like it or not.
© Helga`s Coaching Blog 2015. You are welcome to use excerpts and links, provided full and clear credit is given to Helga Bender and Helga's Coaching Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.