Thursday, November 6, 2008

Once upon a time

Everyone has a story. How many people take the time to write it down? For the sake of all my busy readers, this is a condensed version of my life, but we're talking 39 years here, so get your cup of coffee.

It all started "back in the summer of '69." That's when I was born. Into a semi-dysfunctional household. It wasn't all bad, but my parents divorced when I was a teenager. Although my immediate family had some issues, I had 2 wonderful sets of Grandparents. I always had a feeling of home with them. Despite the divorce, my parents still managed to instill some values in me. At age 12, I was baptized and became one of God's children. This turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. Throughout my entire life, during my sane and insane times, I've always had the sense to turn to Him.
High school was difficult for me. Without enough support at home, I ventured into the "bad girl scene." I wasn't exactly strung out on drugs or anything like that, but I definitely made some poor choices. I didn't stick with college. I was too anxious to get my life started. At 18, my good friend Donna and I got an apartment. I worked in a bank. Made decent money. We were too cool! We were making it! Parties every weekend. Under-age drinking, boyfriends, and "fun." God was still speaking to me, but obviously I wasn't listening.

Then I met Clay. He was also a product of divorce and in some ways, just like me. I think we both longed for a real family. We got married when I was 22 and he 24. I was madly in love and thought that nothing would ever come between us. We had our first son just days before our first anniversary. Life was good, but unfortunately for us, it turned sour. Becoming a mother was a wake up call from God. I was working my way back to who I was suppose to be. Clay and I still had a lot of growing to do and it didn't seem that we were growing at the same rate. But we kept it up for 10 years. We had 2 more beautiful boys and then finally it collapsed. Clay had a serious alcohol problem and eventually drug addiction. I feel comfortable sharing this, because Clay has been sober now for just over a year. He credits his sobriety to his involvement with NA - Narcotics Anonymous.

So, how did I get here, Nov. 2008? The next chapter also starts "way back when."

The summer of '85, when I was 16 years old. I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to California with a girlfriend's family. It was a sad occasion, because my very best friend was moving away, but what an adventure we had that summer. I live on the East Coast. So we're talking far far away. Her parents and I spent almost 2 weeks touring the country. We stopped every night at a new hotel. And I spent the rest of the summer on a West Coast beach. It was so fun. The important part of this story is that I met a boy. I actually met several boys that summer, but only one was special. You'll never guess where I met him! Yep, Disneyland! We exchanged phone numbers, but who would have thought he'd want to fly all the way to Virginia to see me. Well, he did. He was 18 and his name was Chris. For several years we kept up our long distance "friendship." Chris was the kindest person I had ever met. He was a comfort to me during my hard teenage years. He was a good listener and his letters kept me believing that someone really cared. I had fallen in love with him, but in my mind, nothing more could ever be between us. California was basically a different planet to me. It was just a friendship... and it came to a halt when I decided to marry Clay. Chris and I totally lost touch. I prayed for his happiness and knew that he'd have a great life without me.

Fast forward now to the year 2001. I was going through my divorce from Clay and now living as a single mom. Life was hard. Legally, our divorce was easy, but it ripped my soul apart. If it weren't for my God, I may have lost my mind. I don't think I'll ever truly get over that failure. And I'm teary now writing about it. There is something to be thankful for though. I'm proud to say that I was able to shield my children from any painful blow-ups between Clay and I. And for having a father with a drug addiction, the boys came through without ever having to witness his (or my) insanity first hand. The boys are compassionate and understanding towards their father, but they miss him. He has since moved out of state and is trying to get his life back together.

So, it was on some lonely evening, after the boys were tucked in, that I found

And wouldn't you guess that one of the first names that I typed in the search block was Chris, the boy from California. When his name and location actually appeared, I was in shock! I was so excited I couldn't stand it. After all these years, I knew he had gotten married and that he was a police officer, but I didn't know anything else. How in the world could I email him without upsetting his wife, or embarrassing myself. I just did it, I had to take the risk. Curiosity would have killed me.
I suppose you can say the rest is history, but I'll give you the quick scoop. Chris was also divorced and actually about to be medically retired from the police force for an injury on the job. He was in limbo so to speak. Going to college. Not attached to anyone and best of all, happy to hear from me. We began another long distance friendship. About a year later, he sold his house, had a huge garage sale and packed a Uhaul. He moved into an apartment just down the road from me and finally, after all those years, we dated! 6 months after that, we married, as if it was always meant to be.

Here's where I get teary again. Chris and I have been married 5 years now. The boys call him their other Dad and last year we cemented the family when Glynis was born.
I'd like to write another post soon about what I've learned. This one was exhausting so I'll save it for another day.


Joan said...

My story is very simular. Now my girls know what a 'real' marriage is supposed to be like and I pray they will have the same someday.

God Bless

MyGemStoneBox by Diane said...

Wow! What a "life story"! So glad for you to have finally met up with to admidt, brought tears to my eyes... and wish you all the best!!

thadine said...

Thanks for sharing your story :) I'm not yet brave enough to put mine up online, but maybe I will eventually.