Time has been kind to me in many ways. I have had great friends to share my good and not so good times. I have seldom felt alone. I have lost great loves and felt the heartbreak of never having them in my life again. I have given birth. Twice. I have fallen in love with a man I hoped to have sharing my forever with me. Three times. Maybe four.
I was given an older sister and an older brother to pave the way for me in so many ways. I learned a lot from each of them. I have not always appreciated what they brought to my life, but I have always had it, nonetheless. In more recent years I have come to know that having them has always been one of my big blessings. They have known me every day of my life and they have loved me that long. (Except maybe a few years in the middle. :) Maybe not so much.) Their children are additional blessings to me. Like the other kids I didn't have, but got to love just the same. Their girls are so special to me. It's like the gifts beyond your own making. I made my kids. (And I did a great job!) I didn't make my nieces, I just got to have them. If you're really lucky, you get that bonus and THEN those girls have babies and just like your grandchildren, they are born loving you! It's such a good thing. Siblings are very good at adding 'already love you' people to your life. Oddly, you already love them before birth, as well.
The man I share my life with now is not my first love, he is my last. I don't imagine I would ever have another love in this life even if I out last him. It wouldn't be because I think it would be unfair or because I think it would be disloyal, it would be because I don't think I could do better nor could I settle for less. I think I would live alone with my family and friends nearby and my memories alive and well. It's not possible to predict the future, but today I believe this would be the case.
Divorce was painful. My children's father was a very good man. A good husband and a good father. He loved us and we loved him. Our family was happy for a few years. Then things changed and things fell apart. I was the daughter of an alcoholic who finally quit drinking and spent the last years of his life making up for the pain he had caused his family. He more than made up for anything he had done by loving his wife and children and grandchildren with everything he had. I was not able to imagine living the years my mother had lived to get to that point of happiness. I got a divorce. Even now, some 35 years later, I wonder if I walked out too soon. I don't regret that I did, I regret that I felt I had no choice. My children lost their father ultimately because of that choice. I regret that, also. I didn't make it happen, tried hard to keep it from happening, but I will always wonder if I could have done more. I now appreciate the love and marriage I am part of because I know it isn't always this way. Without the experience of my first marriage and the dissolution of the same, I would have no idea how wonderful this life I am living really is.
All in all I think my life has been a good mix of heartache, happiness and of good, bad times. I've had a good ride, so far. Though I lost my dad at an early age, he was 56 when he passed on, I still have my mom. I had my grandparents until well into my adulthood. I had only 8 cousins growing up and I believe 7 of them are still with us. They all live in other states and I only have contact with one of them. (Thanks FB) So I am only guessing the others are still well. It would be a good thing to know. One of my dad's sisters is still alive and my mom's only sister is also. It's really quite a blessing when you think about it all.
I'm not ready to give it up yet, but I did want to take a moment to tell you how much I have loved living this life. How much I have learned and shared. How often I wonder why God has given me so much and what else can I do in His service. I am sure there are areas I need to work on to be a better person. I am sure I am not doing all I can or should. I am so grateful for every piece of love that I am holding right this minute on this Valentine's evening, that I literally can get overwhelmed if I dwell on that long.
So Life, my life, let's just keep this streak up, shall we? Let's live and learn and get better every day; it's the least we can do.
I will always love you.
To Whitney...♥ Your music has touched my life in so many ways and so many times. Your voice was magical and transformed any song into a true work of art. You shared your God given talent with all of us for so many years and now we accept that gift for the rest of our lives.
May you find peace and may your new wings fit perfectly because God will always love you, too.