Celebrating Our Milestones

My definition of family has expanded greatly over the last few years and now includes Pedro’s family, the young man we hosted from Spain in the summer of 2010.  My whole world has expanded as a result of participating in the Education First international exchange program.  Mostly thanks to Pedro and his mother, Rosa, I’ve learned much about Spain—its culture, food, economy, music, and more.

On top of that, are the simple pleasures in celebrating life’s milestones together—the good and the bad.  Since meeting Pedro, we have mourned the loss of both families’ maternal grandmothers and the passing of my father this past summer.  We celebrated his high school graduation, the recording and creation of his CD of original piano compositions, and his acceptance at a Spanish university where he studies law and business administration.

When Pedro turned 18 last year, we heard about some of his “coming-of-age” milestones, like legally being able to drink and to vote.  He proudly sent a photo displaying his voter certificate as proof that he voted in the Spanish presidential elections last fall.

Pedro’s new car

Last week, Pedro marked another rite of passage—passing his driving exam and getting his driver’s license.  This was quite an achievement for him since he took the exam multiple times—a common occurrence in Spain due to the extreme level of difficulty.  Pedro sent videos of him and his family picking up his new car at the dealership and driving home.  It was an unexpected surprise and a delight to witness this first in his life.

As with so many of Pedro’s milestones, he wrote a song to commemorate it.  A year ago he wrote “Drive” (click link to hear the song), in anticipation of his learning to drive.  Now that goal is a reality. (“Drive” © 2011 Pedro González Arbona)

Celebrating our milestones via video, photos, music and Skype has certainly connected us, although we are 5,300 miles apart.  It is the next best thing to being there.

I enjoy celebrating life’s milestones with my extended family and others who have journeyed this road to wholeness with me.  Watching the videos of Pedro’s milestone reminded me of the many blessings I have had in my life since his arrival in our home.  Last fall, when I had a significant birthday celebration, Rosa and Pedro joined in via Skype.  I wrote about this celebration on the “Journeys to Mother Love” blog.

The physical expansion of my family has expanded my whole world perspective.  It has taken me beyond my local sphere of influence to a global sphere of influence—one that will include a monumental trip to Europe next summer.  In the meantime, I am continuing to celebrate life’s milestones along the way.

I encourage you to celebrate and commemorate the milestones in your life—no matter how big or small.  We can cling to these milestones, along with God’s Word, when times are rough.

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    I'm an author, writer, speaker, mentor & mom. I've struggled to find my voice all my life as I lived in the shadows of a mother with mental illness. Thankfully that was not the legacy that she handed down to me. It took a lot of recovery and deep healing work to rise above it.

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