What chapter are you on?

I made a speech on my wedding day.  Partly because I didn't want just the guys to have all the fun but more because I had something really important I wanted to get across to my friends and family.  

My Mum had a very Victorian upbringing and when I was getting married she spoke about me 'belonging' to Nick now - as if I was some item and possession was being transferred.  Needless to say, I didn't buy into that myself!  

The message I wanted to get across through my speech was that I saw my wedding day as a new chapter in my book.  I spoke of how in all stories, some characters remain in the main thread of the story, whilst others come and go, or are dormant for a while and come back into the storyline later.

I asked all our guests to continue to be part of my story.  I told them that there may be times when I was a minor part in their books, and if they ever decided to write me out, thank you for having let me be a part of it.  However, it was my intention to keep them active in my book as they all made my story more exciting.

There were more than a few tears shed that speech!

And I had pretty much forgotten about that metaphor for life until over 17 years on, I had the wonderful fortune of meeting back up with a friend who had a major role in my 'story' 15 years ago.  Due to our respective husbands' work, we ended up living in different countries and lost touch. On our way to a function on Saturday, I asked Nick if there was any chance that Ange and Eldon would be there - and it would appear that in a car, coming from a different direction, there was a similar conversation going on asking if the Cavanaghs were on the list.  I could hear her laugh from across the room and as we threw our arms around each other, we both said "I have thought of you so often".  We had missed out on a fair few chapters in each others' stories, but not been forgotten.

I still love this metaphor of our lives being chapters in a book.  Characters in a book can get written out when they have added to the storyline - as do people in our lives.  I used to take every dwindled friendship as a personal failure but now accept that they added to my story, hopefully I added to theirs too, and their role in the book was over.  15 years on, Ange and I picked up the conversation as if we had spoken just yesterday and I am really looking forward to seeing what role she is going to have in this next chapter(s) of my life.

I know this chapter is going to see some major characters being written out.  One of them has been with me since day 1, the other over 20 years. Their books are coming to an end and therefore so will my role in their books.  But my book will continue and I can always look back at previous chapters and re-read the story which is permanently etched in my memory.  

My story will have more chapters without them in it, but this weekend showed me how other people are going to come back into my story, bringing laughter with them and whether they stay just a few pages or the rest of the book, they are going to make the story all the more enjoyable!

And all this reminds me on those days when my story is sad, people never truly leave your lives because they are etched into previous chapters of your book; sometimes they are no longer active in it. Reflect back on the good parts of the story and trust that the storyline will take off again soon.

What do you want to read into your life's story?

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