we made it through.

Dec 20, 2006 | Life in Progress

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who are we to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” – Marianne Williamson

i cried my way through Akeelah and the Bee earlier tonite. what a sweet, inspirational movie. it’s the story of an 11 year old girl finding her confidence. about recognizing her talents and dreams. about overcoming her obstacles. about community and how we are lifted up by it. about the meaning of family. and loss. and how she goes on to win the national spelling bee.

every time i see a film involving a child losing a father, i am reminded of my own history, my own loss. i can’t help it. i cry each and every time, especially if i happen to be in a period of change in my own life. tonite as i was watching this film, i felt a mixture of things. sadness because i remember being 11 years old and desperately wanting a father, but not having the words or the confidence to talk about it. joy because i know what a sense of community feels like – the embrace of it, the pulse of it. inspired because i want to feel my own potential. we are all only scratching the surface. i want to dig deeper.

the older i get, the more i realize how precious i was in those years. how impressionable and delicate and fragile and sad i was. but i did things to take care of myself. even then, i knew what to do. i distracted myself. i achieved. i pushed away awkward emotions. i fought back against myself. i was incredibly optimistic, but i rarely acknowledged or spoke about the fact that i was fatherless. i was a follower. then, of course, it all comes crashing down. and you learn to tell the truth and even more, you learn that telling the truth really does set you free. it is a freedom i still feel and celebrate today. my heart has grown deep and wide and up and out of a tangled mess called life. we all have our own struggles. mine have mainly been about loss. even before i lost one father, i had lost another. one of my greatest joys will one day be watching john be the father to our children. it will be a miracle in my life. i really can’t wait.

i was thinking the other day that if there were one word i would use to describe the women in my family it would be “proud.” proud that we made it through grief and loss, abandonment, alcohol, poverty, depression, oppression, strained family relations, several moves and schools, abuse, you name it. we’ve made it. and honestly, i could not be more proud of our little family. we are strong, courageous women with stories to tell. stories of joy and connectedness and friendship and love. we made it through.

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (11 comments)
  1. Anonymous

    I have seen this quote before but it was credited to Nelson Mandela. Weird. So good to see you last week. I wish I could have spent more quiet time with you but I never seem to have that when I am in Jax. We’ll have to make time on one of our coasts! xox

  2. deirdre

    This is a strong and powerful post. Your heart shines in it.

  3. liz elayne

    such a powerful post my friend.

    proud. yes. this is huge. this is a beautiful way to describe the woman in your family. and your light shining through it all…the light you are for yourself and all who know you.
    so glad you shared this today…thank you for letting us see these pieces of you.

  4. la vie en rose

    ps–i’m putting that movie in my netflix queue

  5. la vie en rose

    what a precious, honest post. i never knew this about you and reading this piece of your story left me feeling so much admiration for you. i love that you recognize the strength of the women in your family. we often don’t give ourselves enough credit for our capacity to survive and thrive.

  6. Amber

    Actually, who are you not to be? And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” – Marianne Williamson

    —This is why I love Marianne Williamson…

    This whole post was lovely to me. I love your spirit. 😉


  7. Julie H

    Hi Kelly

    I just read your last three posts together – what a joy to see your positive spirit rising as you enjoy where you are, and look forward to time at home.

    I’ve forgotten the name of the new art already – but love it.

    Wishing you a safe, peace filled and happy Christmas.

  8. Anonymous

    Kelly, these are wise and beautiful words. I’m so sorry you had to lose a father at such a young age.

    Thanks for leaving sympathetic words on my blog earlier. Folks like you are blog angels. Love, Dan

  9. Serpent Mandalas

    Lovely inspiring words – thanks Kelly.

  10. Anonymous

    What a powerful post…revealing and inspiring…

  11. ceanandjen

    This is a beautiful post. First, I am so very sorry to hear that you lost your father at such a young age. Through your writing, you come across as so gracious and so calm…even as you talk about this loss. I applaud you for your calm and strength, and I applaud your family for making it! Women are a strong and loving lot, and we can indeed make it through anything. When there are more of us to hold each other’s hands and help us learn and grow, even better.

    Thank you so very much for sharing this. It was embraced.



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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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