We took Shaggy out to purchase his class ring. It dawned on me then that he will graduate in 2009 and I graduated in 1990. Get it? 90 vs 09? Pretty sweet, huh? Yeah, yeah, I know you're still doing the math in your head...let me help you out. I was 19 when Shaggy was born. As a matter of fact, I spent my 19th birthday in
As I was helping him design his class ring I started thinking back. Remembering the young girl who thought the world was paved with gold streets and she'd be living the fairy tale. The girl who knew the world was at her feet. The girl who had her pick of colleges and chose motherhood instead.
Lest this sounds bitter and regretful, let me explain. Its neither. If I could go back and do it all again, there isn't much I'd change. But, it made me think. I've pretty much raised the older midgies on my own. Their father left when Shaggy was 9. There I was, 28 years old with 2 kids. How the holy hell was I going to manage. Financially, emotionally, physically. How? Why was I being punished? To say I was pissed off and more than slightly depressed is putting it mildly. I entered the black hole. There were many tears shed - theirs and mine. There was pressure, worrying, stress. There were definitely days I thought I can't do it anymore. Days I thought they'd be better off if I didn't do it anymore. These are days that are still difficult to talk about. I wasn't a good mother...I wasn't a good role model...I wasn't even a good person at times. Yet....they stuck with me. They showed me that my life was worth living.
Now, I'm definitely in a different place. I have a wonderful husband. I have myself back. More importantly, I still have the midgies. When I look at Shaggy, I just can't comprehend that my main role in his life is almost over. It is truly heartbreaking but also very rewarding. I've watched this young boy grow, evolve, mature into a wonderful man. As I watched him make his careful choices for his class ring - choices that were meant to tell others what he was about - I came to realize something. Yeah folks, no humor here, just some soul searching.
What I came to realize is that while we suffer from the same disease most of America does - paycheck shortitis, we are not poor. We are some of the richest people in the world. Our riches cannot be measured in dollars, cents, stocks, bonds, or belongings. They are only measured in the way that there is love and laughter throughout our house. They are measured in the ways that the midgies have healed and grown in spite of all the adversity. They are measured in our families. They are measure in the way that my husband still holds my hand. They are measured by the smiles on Abby's face when she sees any of us. They are measured by family, love, and a sense of peace and rightness in our world.
So, while we will never have the latest possessions, live in the nicest house, drive the best cars, I wouldn't trade a minute of it. I'll take my riches in love, thank you. When the times seem tough, when life is stressing you out, when you are wondering how to pay the bills or eat, look at those you love and remember what is important.