My sweetie bought a Kwanzan cherry tree for me for Mother's Day about 20 years ago. Our lawn was really too shady for it, so it limped along, performing beautifully one year, then not again for several years. This summer, several branches died. Last week, my sweetie cut it down.
I actually feel relieved to have that space open up to plain grass. Now there's space. Ahhh.
This is the feeling i had when my father died many years ago. The mighty oak in the forest had fallen, and now there was enough sunlight for my spindly little tree to grow up, up toward the sun. Suddenly, i saw the expectations he had had of me. Suddenly, i felt the weight of those expectations, which fell from me effortlessly. Now i had room to breathe.
We all carry unacknowledged expectations--from parents, spouse, family, and friends. Under the rah-rah of "our family!" lies a unique and authentic heart. Yours.