The Transition Network

Atlanta Chapter

Strong Women - Anne McComiskey

(Posted August 29, 2020)

Like many women who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, my future was already set and waiting for me.  I had my fairy tale and TV role models. I knew how to behave “just so” to secure the future meant for me. I came out of the womb being friendly, loving life and focused on making things work out.  Life was pretty grand.  I was happily married, wonderful children, loved my teaching career and was just walking along my ‘Happily-Ever-After’ path. 

Things started to change sometime in my 40’s when I realized I wanted to be me and not Cinderella or Carol Brady.  I relied on counseling, reading, writing and friend-therapy to work on figuring myself out…an ongoing process.  Part of my work involved moving gradually from my palace of denial to starting to see reality.  During this confusing time, my husband and I divorced.  I was upside down and inside out and had no idea who I was.  This divorce thing was definitely not part of my ‘Happily-Ever-After’ future.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you strong”.  Right.  In retrospect the divorce did make me stronger…but it also rattled my self-confidence and all my thoughts about my future. I was in a fog much of the time.  I just put one-foot Infront of the other and trusted, kept a grateful heart and relied on my friendships and therapy to help me navigate the fog.  My fog gradually lessened and life moved along:  new happiness, new adventures and new love. My life wasn’t some prescribed storybook life.  It is my very own with all the real ups and downs. 

Several years after the divorce I had another big surprise.  A heart attack.   I am an emotional woman.  One especially emotional day my frequent heartburn burst into the heat attack that had been building.  I coded in the ambulance.  I found myself in a lobby and the (snarky) women in the meeting across the hall gave me a look that seemed to say, “what are you doing here?”  When I came to in the ambulance, I realized that it wasn’t my time to be done.  The event had a really big effect on me- Bigger Gratitude. I was enveloped by a peaceful awareness that an interesting and authentic future was ahead of me.  I realized that putting one foot in front of the other, trusting in the Power that loves me, being grateful, holding my friends and family dearly were a grand way to age and live my Happily-Ever-After…or something like that.  

Material from, 18:10:55 September 18, 2021.
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