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life-lessonsFour days before Christmas our world was rocked. My husband stayed behind for an important business meeting to discuss the future of the company. The founder of the company asked him to stay behind, while the kids and I left for the holidays and discuss their plans to move the business forward in 2012.

Two days later, my husband walked into the conference room where the founder, his business advisor, and his attorney were sitting side by side. The mood was solemn.  When my husband went into the meeting, the founder announced that after giving it some thought, he wasn’t going to let him run the company as he was hired to do. He felt it was best that they go separate ways. He wasn’t ready to turn the reins over. After the largest growth in company history, my husband didn’t understand what was happening.

“Wendy I have bad news” he announced when he called me that day.

I just lost my job. I will be on the next flight home.”

I was dumbfounded. What did he mean he had lost his job? I was there at the company Holiday party when the founder gave John a special toast and told the crowd of over 200 that the company couldn’t be where it was without him.

“How could he do this to us? Why? Does he understand the kids don’t have a school to go to? Does he know that we have only one week’s worth of winter clothes with us?”

My husband said he was hired to run the company and the founder decided that now that things were going well, he didn’t want to step aside. This kind of thing, my husband added, happens all the time.

It doesn’t happen to us. We were invincible. Weren’t we?

I gave myself 24 hours to lock myself in my house and cry. My mother came over and she and I just sat there, not speaking a word for hours. My husband was sick, questioning things again and again trying to unlock the code that would give him answers as to why this happened. The worse part was the kids. Two of four having special learning needs, they had overcome many obstacles to catch up to a world of academia that was thought to be out of their reach. Many nights they stayed up until 2am studying, determined to catch up to kids that spent their lives in private education. Now there was a good chance that their credits wouldn’t even transfer over. My daughter, a junior, was in her critical year for college.

The mother and the rock of the family, I had to be strong and move ahead. As a mom, your family’s emotions start (and unfortunately end) with you. I believed that we were where we were supposed to be, that things happen for a reason. I am sure that some day, I will look back and see the reason that we lost our job and came home. This was a chance to teach my children a lesson. Life would always present obstacles and challenges, but the real leaders would not only overcome the obstacles but also view them as opportunities for growth.

As we walked out of our local high school knowing that my daughter’s courses weren’t being offered, I knew I had to be strong.

“You know” I turned to my oldest daughter.  After giving it some thought, I realize that anyone could be handed a private expensive education and do well, but how many kids could overcome obstacles, dig down deep, and show character. That was the real college essay.

In my heart I know that we will rebound and come out on top. My husband had a strong reputation in his industry; the phone was already ringing less than 48 hours later with recruiter calls.  Thinking about the poster that my daughter’s friends had in the airport that read “home is where the love is,” I was just grateful to be home, because they were right. Life may take us to many destinations, however home, is truly where the love is.

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