Well, I finally made it to this day once again. I turn 46 today. I never actually thought I would make it past the age of 30 because the life I led was a difficult one. As I head toward the age of 50 and beyond, I can still hope for a brighter future
I look back at my lifetime so far and think back to not reflect on the darkest days but see the days that made me happy despite living with depression and anxiety.
The things I remember most:
Growing up with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and my cousins.
Granted we had what society would view as a poor existence but we always found laughter and happiness with each other. We argued and fought with each other but always stood up for one another when it was needed. We found a way to help and came together as a family in times of both crisis and happiness.
Fishing with my Grandpa was the best times.
I can see the big pond on their property, still waters that reflected the green grass, trees and the slowly fading sunlight. The occasional dragonfly hovering over the water, the sound of the crickets and frogs. Then my grandpa standing there singing in his native Euchee tongue or just whistling a tune. He would tease me about things to get me to smile. We would talk or sometimes just exist together in that moment in silence. I still miss him dearly.
Talks with my Grandma.
I remember the times when I would get headaches as a kid and my grandma would have me come lay down beside her. She would hold my hand and talk to me until the headaches went away. Her comforting voice would soothe the anxiousness. We would talk about everything and anything. She would teach me Sac and Fox words that I didn’t know trying to ensure that our language would continue on. She taught me to always keep learning, pay attention to the things around me, listen with my heart but use the wisdom of my mind to seek the truth. She was a wonderful female role model in my life. I miss her so much sometimes but will keep pushing on like she taught me.
Being a tomboy.
Growing up as a kid I didn’t care for girly things and preferred playing with my boy cousins. We would go hunting, swimming, fishing, play sports, cuss and fight with each other. Being sometimes the only girl in this group of hooligans had its advantages and disadvantages. I was always protected. If we ever got into to trouble over something we did, I was never blamed, because I was the girl. Little did the parents know that sometimes it was my idea in the first place and the boys would just along with it to keep me happy. Then one day we all started becoming young men and women the days of running around together ended. They discovered girls and I felt forced into having to now spend time with my girl cousins. They were all about boys, the way they looked and being groomed to become future wives and mothers. Things that I thought were silly. I didn’t want any part of it so I turned to learning instead. It was the best and worst of times from puberty until adulthood but I will always remember being the “girl” in those group of boys with fondness.
I remember, even as a kid, always standing up for those who didn’t quite fit in. I would befriend them when no one else would, give them a chance to be a part of a group. I knew what it felt like to be the odd one out. Sometimes it worked and then sometimes it wouldn’t. I realized that sometime people just want to be alone and not necessarily need to be around others. As I was going into my teens, I had friends on and off but never really connected with any of them. I always felt like an old soul from the beginning that didn’t quite fit in. Even today, I don’t really have one single person that I can think of that is a really good friend that I can turn to or confide in. I know a lot of people, acquaintances really, but I’m learning to be okay with that. I’m learning to like being alone.
The places I’ve been, the people I’ve met and the memories we share.
In my early adult life I was traveling in the military which gave me the opportunity to meet people from all over. I learned a lot through my job position and grew as a person. Most of my military time was spent stateside but I did get the opportunity to go to Korea for about six months. That period of time was an eye opener for this Native American girl from Oklahoma. The things I saw, the people I met and things I learned stayed with me. I realized that I was fortunate enough to be born in a country where I had choices and opportunities for myself that I took for granted. It was something I took to heart and never let go.
The births of my children and becoming a mom.
To be truthful, I never thought about becoming a mother. I never saw myself as being able to handle the responsibility of raising other human beings. It was too great of a responsibility. I knew what my life was like growing up and I didn’t want to risk making the same mistakes. I knew the emotional state I was constantly in and didn’t think it would work.
This is how I felt but the universe knew better. We have a family joke about my oldest son, I was coming to the end of my active duty days in the military when I was in Korea and became pregnant with him. So technically he was made in Korea, lol. He told me once he was going to get a tattooed label with that written on it. 🙂
It was the scariest moment in my life when the doctor told me that. I cried for days. I wasn’t ready at 21 to become a parent, my life was just beginning, and now it would change.
Then I felt the first movements and had this dream about this little boy holding my hand as we walked along picking flowers. I knew he was going to be a wonderful part of my life and he is. I’m so proud of the person he is becoming.
Fast forward to a little over 3 years later, I was 25 years old, still struggling with being a single parent when the year-long relationship that I was in had to end. I had just rejoined the military by enlisting in the Air National Guard and he didn’t like it. We fought about it and I wasn’t going to budge. We agreed that it couldn’t go any further. So we had our last night together. After he left I had a dream about this beautiful little face, she smiled at me and I smiled back. I woke up the next day and knew that my life was going to get a little more complicated. 4 weeks later during my physical for enlistment I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. She is such a wonderful young woman and brings such joy to my life. I’m in awe of her brilliance and steadfastness.
Then when my daughter was about 3 months old, I was now 26 years old still struggling as a single mother but managing to put things back on solid ground when I met my future husband. It was a fast courtship and fast marriage. We met in July and were married by October of that same year. Things were going along nicely. Then a little over a year later I became pregnant again with my youngest daughter. I was now 27, married and soon to be mom to three human beings. She would hate for me to say it but she is the younger version of me. So serious about things, unwilling to share her emotions or feelings and determined. She does have something that I admire most, that I never had, her ability to not take everything so seriously, even herself and once she gets going, her laughter and silliness is infectious. She can light up the room and draw people in. We butt heads with each other all the time but I love her and want so much for her life.
Well, being a young married couple, trying to make it all work, things sometimes get out of hand. I remember that weekend it was a family get together that we were late for. My mother had already picked up the kids and headed on. We were still getting things together after a busy week when well we finally had a moment alone together. 🙂 Then 9 months later at the now age of 30, I had this big, bouncing baby boy. He was to be my last and the one I’ve learned the most from. He is tall, lean and muscular similar to a linebacker with heart of a teddy bear. He is this gentle soul, full of compassion and grace. He is laid back and doesn’t take things too seriously. He has an artist’s mind and his creativity is astounding to me. He has appointed himself as my protector and I want the world to see this beautiful person who so much to offer.
The universe decided that I was the person who needed to be these wonderful human beings mother. I didn’t think I was capable but here they are, smart, funny, caring, compassionate, headstrong, determined and beautiful people who will find their way to wherever their hopes and dreams take them. I’m so proud of them, even though they get tired of me showing them off. I can’t help it, they were my saving grace through the darkest moments. I held on because of them even when I lost all hope for myself. I wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for them. I will continue to be here because of them.
So as I go about my day today, I reflect not on the negatives of my life but instead reflect on the positives. I think about all the things I’ve learned. I think about the laughter and fun I’ve shared with others. I think about the things I was taught through each bad moment. I think about all the people who filtered in and out of my life whose demeanor and mannerisms I still emulate. I think about the future still before me and wonder where it will take me. I remember the hopes, beliefs and dreams that keep me moving forward. I keep the faith that has carried me through it all.
I look forward to what will be.
Thank you for stopping by and sharing this day with me.
Have a wonderful weekend!