A generation ago, it would have seemed impossible that one day, nearly half of all marriages would end in divorce, changing the fabric of American families and urging us all to recreate what the meaning of a nuclear family is.
As for me, I am no different, I was devastated when my marriage ended, especially with parents who had just celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. But thankfully, I knew from watching friends that I would not only survive, but hopefully become a stronger person with time.
As I received a lot of support from friends and family, I can honestly say the most difficult question I continually asked myself was, "Will my children be okay?"
As I consider my role as a mother, the most important in my life, I worried more about their well-being than I did about my own. But I quickly realized that I needed to see myself as equally as important if I planned to be a good role model.
This epiphany came on a particularly long day when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Staring back at me was an image I not only didn't like, but barely recognized. The once smiling person who valued herself, now appeared as an overworked stranger.
At that moment, I stopped cleaning a kitchen that was already spotless, and instead took the time to put on some makeup and a beautiful sweater before I picked up my children from school.
With the innocence only a child can muster, my blue-eyed daughter who doesn't look a pinch of the quarter-Japanese that she is, said, "Mommy, why are you smiling?"
Out of the mouths of babes I thought, as I realized how much even "I" had missed my former self.
Since the breakup of my marriage, I feel more gratitude as I realize how valuable one's community is and how "giving back" is the most healing gift of all.
I have a friend who just told me she is separated from her husband. As she told me about her troubles and looked down in shame, I said, "Call me anytime. I am here to listen."
"Thank You," she said. "I think I will."
According to a January 2011 article in the Huffington Post, “the U.S. Census Bureau's 5-Year American Community Survey polled 3 million households between January 1, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2009 to determine statistical portraits of smaller communities within the United States — including races and ethnic groups — based on a variety of factors, including divorce. These numbers are not rates--rather, they indicate what percentage of each population reported being divorced over a fixed period in time, not including those that were divorced and have since remarried. Here's the breakdown, as defined by the American Community Survey; Alaskan Native, American Indian, 12.6 percent, African American, 11.5 percent, White, 10.8 percent, Native Hawaiian Other Pacific Islander, 8 percent, Hispanic or Latino, 7.8 percent, and Asian 4.9 percent.”