Today’s guest post comes from one of my sisters – Jess – or as I fondly call her – BPG (blog publicity guru – she’s always sharing it with people who are going through tough times, it’s so cute…so I call her my blog publicist!).

I was watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith last night and Brad Pitt’s character utters the phrase: “that’s what happens in the end, you start thinking about the beginning.” – as they were discussing divorce (ya know, amid gunfire and such – LOL)…and Jess’s post really captures it all – the painful journey that has evolved into a completely different journey for me, and one that my family and friends have experienced every step of the way.

So, without further ado (and before I cry, re-reading this!), enjoy:

I remember very vividly the moment when I knew “the situation” wasn’t just a passing “situation” but was a done deal. It was in my kitchen after a brief dinner with Jolene and Pete (to this day, I still can’t make calzone since it’s what we had that night!). My heart ached for Jolene, I cried and cried not only for what she was losing but also for what I was losing, too. It may sound totally selfish to say this, but I lost a “mini-family” when things with Jolene and Pete started to fall apart. My husband and I were like their other half, we spent almost every weekend together and definitely spent more than enough weekends and vacations together in Maine, among other things. On that night and in the weeks ahead, I literally felt like I was walking around in a haze, my heart was heavy, I couldn’t concentrate, it pained me to even look at Jolene without feeling her pain, seeing the fear in her eyes, and sensing that loss and incredible heartache she was engulfed by.  I’d sit there at night thinking and wondering – if this is how I’m feeling and I’m not the one going through it, I can’t even begin to fathom what she’s feeling since this is HER life this is happening to. 

More than anything, I wanted to take away all of her pain, I wanted to “fix” it for her – and trust me, I tried my hardest to get through to Pete. I sat with him for hours at a time trying to shake it out of him, trying  to get him to see that what he was doing was a major mistake. I just wanted to erase it entirely. I was totally wrong for trying to do that, though.  Even though it wasn’t handled the right way (Pete wasn’t even willing to “try” to fix things), this “situation” turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to her.

Today, as I write this blog just mere days from d-day, I am utterly at a loss for words when it comes to the incredible transformation Jolene has made since that fateful day last October. If you asked me last fall to describe Jolene – I’d describe her as funny, beautiful, smart and an awesome sister (I’d die without her, I swear). Today? I find myself using describing her completely differently (well, in addition to the above description, of course!). Strong. Determined. Driven. Independent. Outgoing. I am constantly amazed by the changes I see in her every single day. As we sit in the car on the way to work, as we go through our work days, as we hang out with friends on the weekend or get together with family (yes, we spent 99% of our time together, you read that right) – she’s a completely new and improved person and one that I am SO proud of, I can’t even begin to describe it.

I feel very lucky that I’ve been able to be by Jo’s side for this journey – through all the tears and endless texting every night (which started out as something I did so she wouldn’t feel “alone” at night but now a habit we’re so used to, it’s sort of stuck!)– I’ve learned so much from her, she probably doesn’t even realize it. She’s taught me to have perspective, to enjoy every moment as if it were my last, to fully-appreciate my own relationship with my husband, and, above all – to celebrate “you.”

I don’t know about you (though I have a sneaking suspicion that you’d all agree!) but I am crazy excited to see what’s next for my sister as she takes her first steps as a truly independent woman on Friday. It’s only up from here the way I see it. Watch out world (and boys – CSB included!), Jobo is here to stay!!

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