What could have been...
Originally posted, May 27, 2012
I recently looked through an old scrapbook from my senior year of high school. I read the entry I made that described what I expected my life to be like in ten years....not all of it came true. In my dreams and goals of 1996, I envisioned myself as a NSU educated business owner with a husband(if I can stay with a boyfriend long enough) and kids, a house with more than one bedroom and still driving my awesome car from high school (but I might have another one also) and still best friends with my friend Shelly and we would be bridesmaids at each other's weddings. I also had a dream of changing the life of at least one person in some positive way. Looking back now I see the comedy in this entire entry. I never thought to be married or have kids until after I finished with college and started my, at this time unknown, business. I guess I thought a 2 seater sports car that was already as old as me, would have no problem carrying me through my daily life 10 years from then. But these were my plans and I intended to enjoy every minute of my journey.
Of course, plans have a way of changing. I did start NSU that fall. Had a great time and partied...a lot. Then I met Jim. I was 18 and he was 21. He was working as an EMT in the same town I was living in, but we were actually introduced by a mutual friend's mom. We were supposed to meet at a football game in my old hometown. That day, for some crazy reason, my speech class had volunteered at the local SPCA shoveling dog poop in the cold October air. I was tired and was getting a cold and had no real desire to meet anyone at all, but I went. He was running late because he had been working and when I finally met him, I thought he was cute, but I wasn’t interested in any kind of relationship at the time so I didn't really take him all that seriously. I gave him my number and he said he would call and maybe we would go out or something. He did call and we went to lunch and talked for a long time. He kissed me and I said yes I would like to see him again but I know he was hoping for something more long term even after such a short time knowing each other. The next day he sent me roses. A dozen beautiful red long stem roses with a note that said something about I told you I only spend money on things I want. I thought it was very sweet and wanted to thank him in person and so I took my roommate Allison down to the EMS station where he worked. When he met me outside in his uniform, I melted. You know what they say about a man in uniform and let me tell ya I was all in. From that day forward we were inseparable. By New Years Eve, only a few short months later, we were engaged to be married. We were very in love and set our date for the following October. Thus the course of my life was changed forever. We actually ended up getting married in August, just days before Jim was set to start the Cleet academy for a local police force and I was set to start my Sophomore year of college. Our son Wade was born the following February(let me just save you from doing the math here and say yes I was pregnant when we got married, thus the date change) and I was a 19 year old mom and took one semester off of school to have him and enjoy being home with him. I started back to school when he was 6 months old and found it almost impossible not to quit again. In fact, I did quit again, but promised my dad that I would finish but that I just wanted to take some time off. It was hard, being a wife and a mom, working part time for my in-laws convenience store, and going to school. To make matters worse, my mom and dad divorced after almost 20 years of marriage and my world was thrown into chaos. I also used the excuse that my grandma was struggling with cancer and I wanted to take some time to be with her and to help take her for her treatments. Life is hard and not always a good time. But little did I know that it would get so much harder. My grandma recovered from her cancer...then my dad found out that he had cancer. When my son was almost 2 years old I went to visit my dad on a Sunday afternoon after he had been in the hospital. He was home and was looking and acting better than I had seen him in a long time. I told him that we had decided to try for another baby and he informed me it would be a girl. Two days later he went to heaven to pick her out for me. I knew then that there was a reason that I had become a mother so young. God knew I was going to need someone to take care of, when I didn't feel like going on. That amazing, funny, loving little boy got me through the hardest year of my life. In December of 2000, while I was screaming at the top of my lungs in a hospital so full, they didn't even have a delivery room open, in the middle of the night, scared to death because I already knew this baby was going to be bigger than my first child was and I suddenly remembered how much that had hurt, my beautiful girl was born. Jim had given me another perfect Rose....a pink one this time. We named her Rosie and I like to tell her that her Papa went to heaven and picked her out for me. It makes us both smile. She was a month old when I went back to school. I didn't quit again. It took me a long time to finish but in May of 2003 at the age of 25 I was a college graduate with a bachelors degree in business administration. I quit my job to be a stay at home mom and never regretted a day of it.
So looking at my dreams and goals from so long ago makes me laugh. They seem so silly now. Yes I am an NSU graduate, but you couldn't pay me to have my own business and all that stress right now. Yes I have a husband, but I find it hilarious that we were engaged in a much shorter time most of my previous "relationships" had lasted. It didn't matter how long I could stay with someone, it only matters that I could love him forever. And my kids...are simply a gift from God. We do live in a 3 bedroom house, a small one, but it has three bedrooms. And after 11 years of living here, I almost have it just the way I want it. The little 2 seater car had to go when I discovered you can't transport a baby easily in it and not at all if Jim was with me. I got a Jeep Cherokee and then finally a mini van which is so far away from my tiny sports car as can be. Shelly and I were bridesmaids in each other's weddings, but we eventually lost touch. Our paths went two different directions for far too long and we grew apart. I do have her as a facebook friend and I think of her at times, but then I get busy hauling a kid to a practice somewhere and never call her or contact her. And as for changing the life of someone, I did. Just as he changed mine. Almost 15 years ago I married a man that would love me more than life. And every day he shows me just how much.
I often wonder what it would have been like had I not gone to that game, never met him and had his babies. Well this weekend he is away at work, my kids are out of town with their grand parents, and I have my in-laws dogs along with my own 3 dogs. My mom is out of town as well, my best friend Patti is, I assume, spending the day with her husband and family and I have no one to play with. I get home from church this afternoon and fix myself a box of mac and cheese because I don't want to cook a whole meal just for me and sit down surrounded by 6 dogs and think to myself....Is this what it would have been like? By myself as some kind of crazy cat lady living off of frozen dinners and take out because cooking for one is no fun and a spotless house because what else is there to do than clean....Hahahahaha!!!! Thank you God for not giving me what I wanted. Thank you for giving me what I needed. Now I am gonna go call my sister and see if she and my niece are home and maybe go for a visit, because obviously I am bored out of my mind. And tomorrow maybe I will go throw something. I do have another Highland Games to get ready for.