If you have read my little "about me" section, you know that I say I'm living my Chapter 2. That came from the website for young widows and widowers that was a lifeline to me several years ago. It simply refers to the rebuilding of one's life after such a major tragedy that changes nearly everything about it.
I suppose though, there have really been several chapters of my life so far which is why I chose this as my first attempt at a writing assignment from Mama Kat.
Chapter 1: I blame the fact that I, after 39 years of life, still have major issues with mornings on my birth time. I was born at 4:03 p.m. on a Monday afternoon. I once read someplace ( probably the worldwide web) that our time of birth affects our ability to leap out bed with a smile and a song in the mornings. There's been a lot of dragging out of the bed in my life, but rarely have I leapt and never, ever have I sang while doing it. Maybe this birth time thing could also explain my lack of singing talent. Hmm...
Chapter 2: I was a super shy kid but yes, I could talk, if I wanted to. My parents divorced when I was 5 and both remarried pretty quickly. As a result of the second marriages, I became a big sister to two baby brothers, 7 months apart. My dad married a woman who also already had a daughter who was two years younger than I. The first night we met, we were sitting in the backseat of the car and she paused from her endless chatter for a moment and asked, "Mama, Mama, can she talk?!" She was relieved to discover that I could, indeed, talk.
Chapter 3: The first monstrous crack in my comfort zone occurred when I was 15 and my mom told me we had to move from Georgia to North Carolina for my stepdad's job. Of course my introverted, stubborn teenage self announced that I would not, under any circumstances, be doing that! I did that anyway and lived to tell about it. Well, guess what? It turned out that North Carolina is a pretty awesome place to call home and comfort zones were made to be cracked.
Chapter 4: This is the chapter in which I learned how similar life experiences a.k.a miseries allow us to form lifelong bonds with others. My high school was a pretty small school in the country and I was the extremely shy, new kid in town. Talk about cracking comfort zones! Mine was shattered. That is, until I met my first new friend, who was the other new kid in town and who is still my bestie to this day.
Chapter 5: After graduating high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life so I did the next logical thing and went to college. I spent two years at a community college before transferring to a university where I ended up majoring in Criminal Justice and only because I still didn't know what I wanted to do with my life when it came time to decide on a major and I had taken a CJ course that I found slightly less than boring. I lied to myself and everyone else by claiming that I wanted to be a police officer when we all knew, as my mother said, that I would never be caught dead in one of those uniforms! I did not live the typical college life since I went home every weekend and commuted my last year. I will forever be proud of my CJ degree though I still don't know what I want to do with my life when I grow up. This writing thing is a lot of fun though.
Chapter 6: I grew up on my 23rd birthday. That is the day I met the man I would marry 3 years later. Hanging out up in 'da club every weekend was suddenly not as appealing as it once was and I had to battle my morning issues once more since I got my first real job, making loans, and all that that implies, at a finance company. I now had the 9 to 5 lifestyle and spent my nights and weekends watching movies, grilling out and complaining about my job. Yep, at 23, I had arrived.
Chapter 7: I wasn't ready to be a mother. I peed on a stick after Darin and I had been married for 18 months and spent the next 2 weeks in a state of bewildered shock. Then I heard that little heartbeat and felt that little butterfly in my tummy and saw that little alien life form on an ultrasound and I knew. It was a horrid labor that ended in quite a bit of blood loss, a c-section and a coneheaded baby boy but we were all okay and all was right with my world. I was a mother and I was ready.
Chapter 8: My current, good paying job in the city didn't seem like such a good deal anymore. I wanted to be with my baby so when my longtime buddy offered us a partnership in her florist, I jumped at the opportunity and became a business owner who took her baby to work. As you can imagine, there were many pros and cons to this situation. Nearly four years later, I was about to be a mom again and all I wanted to do was stay home with my two baby boys. I got my wish and it was a pretty sweet deal.
Chapter 9 : This is the worst chapter of my life. My family was complete, I was the happy stay home mom I never knew I wanted to be and WHAM! Tragedy struck me so hard that it felt as though I coudn't possibly be whole ever again. Darin died in an accident on December 26, 2003. Life as I had known it was over and I was forced to rebuild.
Chapter 10: Life goes on and God is oh, so good. This is the chapter I've been calling my chapter 2 all this time. I painfully, slowly, though not always carefully, picked up all those broken pieces of myself and my life, drew closer to God and allowed myself to breathe again. I made new friends who understood, who knew, I dated and had my heart broken. Then I met and married Charlie and am now making our new house a home. Yes, life will always go on and God will always be good, no matter what.