Once upon a time, writing used to be one of my outlets. That and running and while age and medical conditions can keep one from running, I've decided not to let it keep me from writing. Most of the time, my blog will most likely be about my every day life as a wife and mom. There isn't a day that goes by that something funny or out of the ordinary doesn't happen in my little house. Just today, my 2 year old told me her hero was a cow. In her true southern accent which, while cute, is NOT the accent of my roots! You still can't help but laugh when your 2 year old points to a cow and loudly exclaims, "MY HAIRO!!!" Pronounced (Hay-row).
While most of my writings will be about my family, there are times I feel inspired to write inspirational pieces. Usually influenced by what's going on in our world today. Sometimes influenced by something I may have read or heard and other times, just random thoughts that come to my mind. But for this first piece, maybe an introduction would be best.
I am the youngest of 5 kids. I came from what my parents always described as a "yours, mine, and ours" family. It truly has a simple explanation. My mom married, had 2 kids and divorced. My dad married, had 2 kids and divorced. Fate brought them to the same neighbor hood....same street and the rest is history. They get married and I come along. So depending on how you look at it, I'm either the 3rd born twice over or I'm the 5th born. I prefer to the look at as I'm the 5th born 3rd born twice over. In other words. I am the youngest of 5...and the youngest of 3 times 2. LOL We were a smaller, poorer (money wise) version of the Brady bunch. There was never a dull moment. If all 5 of us weren't living at home then someone else's kid was usually living with us. Or an Aunt...or Uncle. We lived in a little over 1200 Sq foot home and up until I was about 12 or 13, I never remember our home having fewer than half dozen people living under it's roof. So like I said, it was interesting to say the least. I learned to cherish the quiet moments because they were and are few and far between.
My family used to tease me about being loud. (when I was a child). And I'm thinking, well, the runt of the litter has to be loud to be heard over everyone else and everyone else's everyone else! I was one of those kids that would get in trouble for calling her mom by her first name but truth be told, that was typically a last resort to "if someone doesn't answer me, I'm no longer liable for my actions." There are only so many times one can sit and repeat "mom....mom...mom....MOM....MOM....MOM....MOM!!!" before they get irate. I mean, the house could have been burning down and no one would have noticed my warning but if I even so much as whispered, "Linda" everything stopped and you could hear a pen drop. LOL
With all that being said, life was interesting. I wouldn't trade a moment of my child hood. In fact I often find myself longing to go back to those days. Though they were chaotic, they were also, in their own way, carefree. There was no limit to ones imagination. I also lived with my "Hairo!" as my daughter would say. My father. He was truly a great man and the best daddy a little girl could ask for. He often worked 3 jobs to keep food on our table and clothes on our backs so that my mom could stay home with us. Don't get me wrong, my mom most certainly contributed as well. Up until I finished middle school, my mom had in home daycare in our home. So not only did yours, mine, and ours live in our house but for most of the day, it seemed everyone else's did to. It was a fun thing to experience. These kids my mom kept became the little brothers and little sisters I never had. Most babies of the family like holding that position but I often begged my mom to get me a baby brother. I didn't care how she did it, I just wanted one! LOL After I was born, it was impossible for my parents to have any more kids of their own and looking back, we did have a full and complete family and I'm thankful for the way things turned out. My other "hairo" when I was growing up was my oldest brother, Doug. He and his friends used to dote on me and I ate it up. LOL He even had a friend that would try to skip school and come over and rock me to sleep. My mom quickly put her foot down on that one and told him he was more than welcome to rock me but it had to be after school. haha! How many teenage boys do you know that are skipping school to rock a baby that's not theirs?? Not too many. It's safe to say I felt very loved growing up.
The dynamics of our family seemed to change when I lost my father. I was only 21. A very young and impressionable age. I wasn't sure how to deal with grief that horrible. I tried to suppress it. I tried to hide it because I knew my mom needed me to be strong for her yet no one was there being strong for me. She will tell you she didn't (need me to be strong) but she did. As fragile as I was at that moment, she was even more so and who wouldn't be after losing their soul mate? Looking back, I guess my dad was the glue that held the yours, mine, and ours together. Everyone just seemed to drift off in their own direction after he passed away and I often find myself longing for just one more laughter filled day with all my siblings, nieces and nephews, husband, kids, aunts, uncles (the few that are still left) and my mom. How my dad would LOVE knowing that everyone stayed by each other and though distance and lack of money has sometimes made me feel isolated from my siblings and their spouses and my nieces and nephews, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't stop and pray for them and think of each and everyone of them. So many great memories!!!!
Which brings me to why I'm isolated. Shortly after my dad passed, I started seeing someone that may have not been the best for me. That became a pattern but there is one I would always run back to. He never did anything wrong and he always took me back when I came running back but I knew he was an emotional crutch. I leaned on him too much. So much that he was a completely separate entity from my family and friends. Their paths never crossed. Sure they heard of him but I think having lost my dad, I felt that if I brought him into our life at such a fragile time, he would be scared away, or pushed away, or maybe even chased away....I really don't know why I chose to keep him secret but I did. He really put up with more from me than anyone should have to. He truly loved me and I refused to see it. Most guy's would have given up and ran off if they were being kept a secret but he didn't. Long story short, because of the wall I built up around the 2 of us, I don't think it would have ever worked between us....I didn't know how to change the dynamics of what we had. He had truly become a best friend and though my mom knew he and I saw each other, she never really knew the dynamics of our relationship. Not like she thought she did and this is really the first time I've ever talked about it openly. I wanted to keep our relationship just between the two of us for fear of losing him. In the long wrong, that probably gave my family that had heard me talk about him or to him the wrong impression of him so just to clear that air right now, I just want my family to know that if it hadn't been for him, I truly don't know how I would have turned out after losing the most important person in my life. I was walking towards a path of self destruction and he was my only anchor. Because you see, while being strong for my mom, there was a piece of me dying a little more everyday because I was refusing to show my weakness or to seek help with the grieving process myself. This guy became an outlet for me. I could talk to him and needed to talk to him because I wouldn't talk to anyone else. He would let me just lay on his couch for hours talking and crying and whatever I needed to do to heal. It may not have been the conventional way of dealing with grief but looking back, I'm still thankful he was there. Which brings me to my husband. What a God send he was.
How we met is a really funny story. I had gotten tired of being hurt by those I dated from my Church or even another Church and had started meeting guy's on line. And to clear the air about that....let me just say, I know some people seem to think that is dangerous but it's not any more dangerous than meeting a weirdo that attends your Church and preys upon young girls. That most people think is a saint but keeps a secret life. Or meeting some one at work you "think" you know better than you truly do. Everyone, EVERYONE has skeletons in their closets and I'm using this blog to dust my closet out! :) Anyway, my point is, no matter where you meet someone, you have to be smart about it and be safe about. After meeting so many mister wrongs, I had pretty much given up on finding someone and decided that when it was meant to be, the right one would find me. My co-workers, noticing my extended spell of not dating anyone and how unusual that was conspired against me and decided they needed to intervene. Day after day one of them would call me to their cubicle and show me someone they found on one dating site or another and ask me to contact them and day after day I politely refused. One day I had had enough. One of my dearest co-workers had sent me a link to someone she thought I would hit it off with. She knew my standards and my interests and I have to say, by reading the profile, he appeared perfect on paper but I just didn't feel right about. SO, I told her, "fine!!! You pick one guy, I'll pick one and whatever happens happens. After that, do you PROMISE to leave me alone? Even if nothing comes of either of them?" An agreement was made and before you know it, I shot out 2 separate emails. 1 to the man of her choice for me and 1 to a man's profile I had become interested in. The one she chose was local. The one I chose lived 3 hours away in Arkansas. Guess who responded??? Yep....Arkansas. So Jeremy and I talk for a couple of months and have a date scheduled to meet up in person. Then, out of the blue, he calls me at work and informs me he couldn't wait any longer and is on his way. I panic! It happened to be a not so good day that day. I woke up late, had to rush to get to work on time to be in a staff meeting. Which means makeup did not get applied, hair was pulled back in a pony tail and though I was dressed professionally (it was a requirement! LOL) By the time the day was half over, I had spilled coffee on my pastel skirt and I looked a MESS!!! So I rush home after work in a panic and shower, change, and apply a little makeup and rush out the door to our designated meeting spot.
By the time we actually met in person, our spirits had become soul mates. We would talk for hours about anything. Mostly about scripture and music but conversation was never lacking and we fell in love with each others intellect, and spirituality, and personality. The fact that he has a voice straight from heaven and would sing to me sure didn't hurt either. :) So I guess you can say it was love at first site because by the time we saw each other, we were already in love. My mom was leary of how quickly things went but she was just being a mom trying to protect her little girl. I think she would have to agree if you asked her today, that Jeremy was the best thing that ever happened to me and he came a long at the best time possible.
We started talking in March of 2001, met in May, engaged in July, and married in Oct. I'm sure there were rumors of pregnancy but that was not the case at all. We were deeply in love and had a 3 hour drive between us and were just ready to be together all the time instead of just on weekends or whatever day happened to be his day off. Not to mention, I was worried about his safety. He worked the night shift and would drive during the day to see me. Stay until late at night (on his off nights) and then drive home and he was SOO sleepy. I would lay awake and call him every so often to make sure he was awake and doing ok. So the day we got married became the new best day of my life. It was hard leaving Tulsa and moving to Arkansas but I knew that if I got too home sick, it was only a 3 hour car drive and I could once again see my family and friends. .....UNTIL.....Jeremy's sickly aunt became even more sickly. He talked so highly of her and I could tell she was a very important part of his life and it was killing him not being able to see her. So I thought about it and prayed about it and had peace about it and suggested we move to Alabama where his family was and where he could spend some more time with his Aunt before she passed on. So we did. There were no kids and his dad agreed to let us stay with him so when our lease was up on our apartment, we just packed it all up and moved.