July 1, 2007


Only Opportunities

by Tami C. Ryan

I was in the midst of my divorce, and my son, Mitchell, lived with me. As a teen, Mitchell had struggles of his own. These struggles were usually ones he considered to be monumental – ones that, oftentimes, revolved around his friends, or, more specifically, a female. He was also attempting to come to some kind of terms of his own with the divorce. Needless to say, money was tight during that time, struggles were abundant, and the air was sometimes thick with tension. I knew I was a survivor and, although it was sometimes difficult to retain my optimistic nature, I’d often catch myself and have to purposefully, intentionally, realign my attitude.

In spite of everything, Mitchell and I had a very close relationship and had always communicated well. There were many times when Mitchell would tell me about a problem he had. I’d listen and, together, we’d talk it out, discuss the options, and come up with several solutions. What I remember most, though, was the fact that I constantly reminded Mitchell that “there are no ‘problems,’ only opportunities.” Most often, it took some convincing on my part, but I believed that by being consistent, my positive attitude would begin to rub off on him. In hindsight, I suppose I repeated that phrase as more of a reminder to myself than to him. Regardless, it became our mantra during that time.

We lived in a fairly large apartment in an old house then, and one day, I was at the opposite end of the apartment when I heard Mitchell calling me. “Mo-o-o-o-mmm… Mo-o-o-o-m!” I answered him, but he didn’t hear me, as I headed in the direction of his voice. “Mom!” he called, louder this time.

When I arrived in the kitchen, he was lying on the floor with his head inside the cupboard beneath the sink. From where I stood, I could clearly see a small lake on the floor. Mitchell looked up at me and said, “Well, Mom… we have a major opportunity this time!

It worked.

Tami C. Ryan is a freelance writer and editor and an award-winning poet. She is the editor of The Sacred Female, a novel of sexuality and spirituality, which will be released in late July.

Ryan is also a nationally certified counselor of both sexual assault and domestic violence. She often uses her poetry to give voice to victims, particularly those of sexual abuse.

Her two cats, Googs and Onyx, currently allow her to reside with them in South-Central Pennsylvania, where she regularly writes book and movie reviews.

You can read more of Tami’s work at Author's Den.