Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The year was 1983.

Suddenly I was a single mother of two daughters ages nine and five. My lovely home was gone, I had no education and a crappy seasonal job. No one saw it coming except my sister. Confident that it would never happen to me or my daughters I had ignored her warnings. Ignorance is bliss until it hits you squarely in the face. It took a few months for it all to sink in. Eventually shock turned to anger, which turned to determination.

I was a single parent for eight incredible years. Funds were scarce but somehow we didn't starve. Educations were successfully completed. Health challenges were overcome. Family and friends were there to support me every step of the way even when those steps were in the wrong direction. They gave me an earful when I did something stupid (often). They cheered loudly when I walked across the stage to get my college diploma. They wiped my tears and listened patiently through my times of rage (thanks, Jan). They provided meals and shelter during the most difficult times. They acted as a taxi service and worked to keep my old car running. They all played an important part of shaping my daughters' futures and helping them become the fantastic women they are today.

Looking back (always a dangerous thing to do) there are things that I wish could be done over. Mistakes were made. Hard lessons were learned. But there were also experiences that I wouldn't change for anything in the whole world. We fought like mothers and daughters. Sometimes we laughed like silly girls. Our bedrooms were messy and we jostled for morning minutes in the bathroom. We were all working students so schedules were hectic. Mac n Cheese was a kitchen staple along with frozen pizza and Hamburger Helper. We learned to tackle and overcome obstacles that got in our way. Together we shared eight years that left us fiercely independent. Fiercely. Independent. Our husbands have learned to endure that independence. Kudos to all three of them because I suspect it isn't easy.

Eight years. Three of us. It was a learning time. Often the road was extremely difficult to navigate. But oh, it was so worth it.


(Top photo was taken the day Eris was brought home from the hospital. Bottom photo was at Knotts Berry Farm in 1985 (?))


The Duchess said...

You were that skinny the day you brought a baby home from the hospital? Um - I'm not sure we're friends anymore...wink

JW said...

You just gave me warm fuzzies! I may have shed a tear. Yeah for independent women! BTW you did an excellent job, your family turned out awesome!

Mrs. Dub said...

I have an impression I may have inspired this post. I'm glad for it. I loved it. I love you. Thank you.

The Numismatist said...

Duchess: You can't see what was under the baby... The sad face was probably because my parents took that photo right before they were leaving. (guessing)

JW: Thanks. Love ya.

Mrs. Dub: Yes, your situation has made me look back at those years. The range of emotions I've felt has been a surprise. Mostly it has made me proud of what we all were able to do in that time and how my daughters ended up being such strong women. Okay, enough mushiness for one day.

Mrs. Dub said...

I wouldn't have had a man in that house for anything. We rocked!

And you forgot the Lynn Wilson bean burritos - that's what I remember eating.

The Numismatist said...

I'm guessing that last comment was from Eris??

bleason said...

Numi, thanks for the family comments. It is good to look back and assess. Keep on blogging, jogging, and stooping (to pick up those coins.)


athena said...

Let us not forget the Diet Coke and chocolate jelly rings!

Oh, and I'm pretty positive it was 1986. You know, that rotten teenage year of mine!