For those of you following our story, you may take pity on us or think how unlucky we have been.
You might even be tempted to think of our lives as a modern-day version of Les Misérables. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Abby and I had some rather miserable experiences but we also had some magnificent experiences along the way. Our story is one of real life and although Mary was not the mother of the year (far from it!) we had a stellar Dad who taught us how to handle adversity and the importance of living a full and happy life.
You see, our dad lived life on his terms and did not look back. Being a successful lawyer set the example for Abby and I of the importance of hard work. He also loved his family more than just about anything and relished the time we spent together. Dad was an outdoors type of man who loved hunting and fishing. He never missed an opportunity to travel to Canada with his buddies for some much needed male bonding.
We learned how to stand up for ourselves at an early age and how to stick together. From letting Mother know she was not the boss of us to ignoring her fits and rages, Abby and I knew Dad was right. He always told us we could handle anything unpleasant as long as we knew it wouldn’t last forever.
Making the best of a bad situation has always served us well. And trying to find humor in an otherwise not so funny situation has been a lifesaver.
Dad always told us that the sign of a mentally healthy mind is not to dwell on the bad memories but to embrace the good ones. Lucky for us we had such a mentally stable Dad who taught life lessons along our journey and helped make us the strong, independent, compassionate women we are today.