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“The Road Less Traveled” – Redeemed Beginnings


How it seemed like Robert Frost was talking about me in his famous quote “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”  When I studied this quote in school, of course I didn’t realize the full impact that it would have on my life, until now. My choices and decisions, both good and bad, my circumstances, not always chosen by me, and divine protection and interaction has brought me to this place I now stand. For some strange reason, I am compelled to share my journey and celebrate each milestone as I see it now. Hind sight is 20-20, as we have all heard.  It is easier to cheer the overcoming of hardships after they have occurred and we have recovered. Let’s begin, “The Road Less Traveled – Redeemed Beginnings”, and I will reveal how grace and forgiveness redeemed my meager beginnings.

Where are you from?

On a snowy late December morning, forecast of a blizzard was on the radio. Mom was 40 weeks and due, and dad was nowhere to be found. He was on sabbatical with a few other expectant fathers who were “taking a break” from life, as it were. The full details of this time are a bit scattered and conflicting, but anyway, he was gone and my mom was left with the task of somehow getting to the hospital, which was 30 miles away, before the blizzard was to hit. She ended up borrowing a car and drove herself to the hospital.

In those days, castor oil was given to get labor going and once it was administered, I was ready to arrive pre-doctor arrival. December 30, 1963, I arrived at 3 in the afternoon. A perfect Gerber baby without a speck of hair.  My three-year old brother wasn’t too thrilled with my appearance back at home and that began a rocky relationship. At some point, I think dad came back home to take up where he left off and provide for our family.

There were not a lot of pictures during this time period, but a few. My mom remembers as a baby, I was an “old soul” and like an adult at a very young age. She said I walked early and remembers me climbing out of my crib before one and potty training myself. She was shocked to find me on the potty in the middle of the night. Funny what is remembered from your childhood by others.

Road Less Traveled - Redeemed BeginningsRivalry Starts Early

As I mentioned, my brother wasn’t too thrilled to have me in the family. My early memories were many times feeling bad that he was being punished or sent to his room and I wanted to comfort him. His antagonism for me just grew at this and his anger came out in assorted ways. He was sneaky and would do mischievous things to me that were difficult to prove. Many times, I never told my parents and mostly kept silent about these acts of sibling rivalry.

One of my first memories is around 4, when I was left alone in our home during a lightning storm. Now keep in mind, I was a silent thinker as a child. My parents were young and trying to provide for us.  My brother didn’t really like me and I was a perfect compliant child that needed no correction.  I thought naps were silly and unnecessary but this particular day, I had a nap. Apparently, the whole family went next door and left me home. Talk about “Home Alone”!  I woke up to a pitch-black house and lighting and rain outside my window.

This story in my mind, true or not, became the basis of a belief system that I carried for at least 4 decades. What was the story? “I am alone, afraid and rejected”.   Each situation that I encountered, I would grab this belief and wear it like sunglasses and see the world with this self-imposed bias against myself. From the age 4, my reactions and responses would use this filter to discover the world. These themes would rear their ugly heads again and again until I realized what was happening.

Night Terrors

At some point, I began having night terrors. If you are not familiar with night terrors, they are like vivid dreams that create extreme reactions, like screaming, sleep walking and thrashing about trying to flee what is in the dream. I remember at 4 or 5, sneaking into my parent’s room and sleeping at the foot of their bed, to feel safe. In the morning I would sneak back into my bed so no one would know. Several times, I remember waking up as I was walking out the door in the middle of the night. Until the last few years, with the help of others, my night terrors have for the most part subsided, a story for another time, but something to be happy about. The night terrors would eventually go away later on, during my “road less traveled”.

Good Memories Too!

I don’t want you to think it was all bad! I had a few good memories, but why do we always remember the bad more than the good? Up until I was about 5, we lived in this village. I remember the best Christmas ever when we were a family, my dad and mom and brother. We lived in a house in a neighborhood where we played outside until the sun went down. There were fields out back, my brother and I would explore, we got along probably more than I remember. We had friends across the street and this was the most normal part of my childhood. Christmas morning was filled with many gifts, a doll, a bike and a chalkboard. I learned to ride my bike and I remember my family teaching me to ride and cheering when I finally got it. I must have been about 5.

Then we would go to our grandparents to see the family, aunts, uncles and cousins. My grandma would bake each grandkid m and n cookies, my absolute favorite. Our cousins would play games, look at old pictures and there would be singing and laughing from the parents in the other room. Some of my fondest memories are those days.

The Road Less Traveled - Redeemed Beginnings

Time to Move

Unfortunately, not long after that Christmas, my mom, brother and I packed our things in a laundry basket and left our dream house in the middle of the night. I brought the doll, but the bike and chalk board were forever lost as well as my family.

Yes, there was love and each party was doing the best they could. They were providing what they had to give emotionally. My parents loved us and provided food, shelter and clothes. Did we have a few hang ups, well sure, we all do. Isn’t that what being human is about? These formative years brought a belief system that would take 40 or so years to recover from.  But this was my start to my Road Less Traveled. At this age, I didn’t get too many choices and really was at the mercy of my environment. I can honestly look back and begin to use what I know now and forgive each party for their part in my journey or path.

Not Knowing is Hard

It is always easier to look at the road and see the turns and bumps after you have traveled down it. To be able to confront my past with confidence and love and lots of grace is so much more fulfilling than to throw stones at it with anger and try to bury it. Making peace with what was lacking feels good to everyone involved. When we allow the mistakes that others m

ade, knowing that we were protected and cherished by a divine creator, helps us feel loved. Being able to take the dark house and put light in it even with the scary memories, changes my story and my past, personally. Can you do the same and allow yourself to grieve the loss of having your idea of normalcy fade can also help you celebrate the things that actually worked out. For me, it was one Christmas that was my idea of perfect family life and thankfully, I have been able to provide my kids with many awesome family experiences.

Grace and Forgiveness

The road less traveled is a road that has an option of redemption. Choosing redemption is possible at any point and rewriting history as well. Can you be satisfied with the unsatisfactory appearance of lack by resting in what was good and rejoicing what was provided? I encourage you, not to forget the past, because it is impossible for me to forget that dark house, but to allow the light to shine into the house. Moving on to the present allows you to heal by embracing grace and live encouraged by forgiving. These two actions change your from the inside out. Try to tackle a few emotions like fear and rejection with love and acceptance, both in your own head, but also with outside help. I spent many hours of forgiving others and myself for my circumstance.  You can do it too. It feels great to release this stuff and allow new better stuff enter your life.

Until the next chapter of The Road Less Traveled, may love hope and peace spring up in your inner most being.

About the Author

Kathy Denise Hicks is an author, personal trainer and human, inspired to help others live a glorious life. She teaches movement, nutrition and brain health classes and advocates for zero waste and the environment. You can check out her “Daily Lift” on Face Book and try out her Goal Crusher, to help you start creating and reaching your goals.


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