This morning I’ve spent some time scrolling through my Facebook page to see photos of graduates celebrating their many accomplishments. So many youth that I’m proud to know have been recognized for their achievements in academics, music, sports as they complete this milestone.
Despite its many disadvantages, Facebook has the ability to allow you to share in people’s story. The highs and lows. Their celebrations and their struggles. Births and deaths and everything in between can be found there.
Some people post every thought, action or meal for their friends to see and depending on their privacy settings, anyone can be a part of their story.
Some people only post their highlight reels and some only their biggest disappointments.
I’d like to think that I’m somewhere in the middle. If you look at my page you’ll see a mixture of inspirational and encouraging quotes, a lot of photos of my grandson and some of the other family members. Sunrises, sunsets, my cows and the farm.
This morning I was tempted to post a photo of the tiniest corn plants sprouting in our fields, but I resisted after a conversation with my husband yesterday in which he accused me of giving my animals far more personality than what they deserve. He thinks “they’re just cows” and those are just plants!
Occasionally, you will find a request for prayer on my page after an injury or disappointment. Maybe for someone else that I love that is struggling.
The photos and posts are a part of my story and while I am pretty open in my writings, I’m also careful to not share what may be a bigger part of someone else’s story.
That’s the struggle that I’m having this morning as I write.
Those of you that know me best, know that I have a brother that is twenty years younger than I am. My parents adopted him while I was in college. There was a time that he was a big part of my story. He is just a little older than my daughter and he would spend weekends at our house and went on vacations with us.
He was a part of every milestone celebration until he was a teenager.
Until he started to use alcohol and marijuana and his friends became his family. Later his addiction and criminal thinking became his overshadowing story and as I watched him struggle, it was from the distance.
Michael was writing his own story and for many years it did not include me.
Of course I love him. He’s my brother. But I didn’t like him or his choices and occasionally told him, but in his addiction, he didn’t care to hear my opinions.
Then he went through treatment and was dealing with his demons. He became a part of the family and our story again, but only for a little while because his addiction would take over again.
I’d like to share details of how he has hurt those closest to him with his behavior and his words, but it’s not my story to tell. Just Saturday I realized how angry I am at his addiction. I only hope he will share his story clean and sober someday.
His addiction has been a determining factor in my career path, but I can’t write his story.
Our graduates are beginning a new chapter of their story and I pray that they all include many scenes from the highlight reel. I hope they also know that we love them just as deeply during the struggles.
What does your story say about you?