It is the eve of my 46th birthday... Yes, you heard me...I am admitting that tomorrow I will be turning 46. I am middle-aged...when did that happen? Actually for me to be middle-age, I would have to be able to live to be 92. Will it happen? I hope so, but only if I am still energetic (who am I kidding?? I'm not energetic now! Lol...) and healthy (healthy, I am!). If not, please take me home, Sweet Jesus, before I no longer remember who I am, or who my children are. Let's take a walk down memory lane, if you don't mind...
I've seen a lot in my 46 years of life... When I was born, most, if not all, photography was in black and white. The only pictures I have as a baby are in black and white, so I'm assuming that's all there was! This is a picture of my hero...my protector...my beloved Grandpa, holding me when I was a newborn baby. I adored him! He went home to be with the Lord 33 years ago, almost to the day. I miss him terribly! I dream about him occasionally....I dream I go to visit him at his childhood home, and I am introducing him to my daughters. Weird, I know, but I wish they could have known him. He taught me to ride a bike. He made me cool and wonderful things in his woodshop. He took me to work at Safeway (he was a butcher there) to show me off to all his co-workers. We went to the dump together in his green Ford pickup. We used to sit together on Saturday nights and watch The Lawrence Welk show together. Did I mention I adored my Grandpa?!
My mom was a single mom back when very few women were single moms. I have a lot of respect for her, especially now that I am walking that walk. I have greater respect for her, though, because she had two small children and no one to help her out. She worked a lot of different jobs to keep my brother and me fed and clothed and taken care of. She spent a lot of hours at a sewing machine, crafting me clothes that looked like boutique bought clothing. It didn't matter if she didn't have a lot of money...we always looked nice! Once a month she would take my brother and me to McDonalds for a special treat. That was back when McDonalds had the golden arches as part of their architecture---I miss those golden arches. Mom got remarried when I was around 6. He IS my dad. He has provided for me, taken care of me, loved me as his own for all these years. I am forever grateful and thankful to the Lord for bringing this man, my dad, into my life.
This is my older brother, Larry. We used to share a bedroom. He was a pain, but I knew he loved me. One of my favorite Christmas memories was the year after my grandpa had passed away. The year before he had gotten sick, he (my grandpa) had started to craft me some beautiful doll furniture. He was only able to finish the bedroom set. It was the best! Well, on that particular Christmas, my brother built me a dollhouse to put the bedroom set in. He had made it in woodshop. He was a chip off the old block! (You knew it had to be said!) The house was awesome...2 and a half stories high. My mom bought furniture to put in the other rooms, but the two best rooms were the bedroom and the nursery because that is where my beloved furniture went. I still have that dollhouse and the furniture. It is packed away. I would occasionally bring it out for my daughters to look at, but they couldn't touch. I wish now I had let them play with it.
I am pretty sure I got my love of photography from my mom. She was always taking pictures of us on her little Brownie camera. I remember it was so cool to look through the viewfinder because everything was upside down! I think she had 1 or 2 albums of my baby pictures, and that was before I turned one. Now if you go to her house, the amount of photo albums is astonishing. I lost count at 30, I believe... Every year she also had a professional portrait taken of each one of us....those portraits are still hanging on a wall in her house. One for each one of us, for every year since 1958(or whenever we were born--1964 for me) until our high school senior picture. Actually, I think she also has one of each of our wedding portraits as well. After mom and dad got married they added two more kids to the group, Rob and Jennifer. It was definitely a full house.
Anyway...back to everything I've seen in my life.... I was alive during the "hippie/free love" years. Thankfully, I was too young to really know it was happening and it had no profound effect on me. I was alive when John Kennedy was shot (well, I was in my mom's uterus, but I was alive, I don't care what Planned Parenthood says). I was alive through Watergate, the Brady Bunch (LOVED them!), The Partridge Family(I was supposed to marry David Cassidy, ya' know....did someone even mention it to him?!), Gilligan's Island, the Osmond Brothers (when the whole David Cassidy thing didn't happen, Donny became my future husband...why did none of this get mentioned to these men??? Too bad we didn't have Facebook back then....I'm sure they would have gotten the message!). I have lived through 9 presidential administrations. I was alive when Michael Jackson's skin was black, for Heaven's sake! I lived back when there were only 3 stations on TV, no internet, no Facebook, no cell phones...can you imagine?! How did we manage to have relationships?!? We TALKED to one another! I miss that. I miss that for my daughters. I miss that my daughters would rather type to someone than talk to them. I miss hour long conversations on the phone with my BFF, Paula (even though we had just spent all day together at school)...well we did have to discuss what we were wearing the next day, and gossip about that stupid girl that was hanging all over a certain guy named Steve at our high school. I lived through big hair and big pants (parachute pants rule! Lol..just kidding...)I lived through several bouts of the economy tanking....and guess what, we are all still here! We are all still alive.
I lived through the birth of all 3 of my beautiful daughters. I lived through 21 years of marriage (22, if we don't make the divorce final this year.), and now I am living through a divorce. It's not a fun place to be at 46 years of age. It's not where I imagined myself 25 years ago. I imagined my life with my Prince Charming, and my beautiful princesses, living in a golden castle on the hill...then real life kicked in. My Prince Charming didn't turn out as charming as I had hoped. I wasn't the Queen that I had pictured in my mind's eye, but my daughters are 3 beautiful princesses! 1 out of 3 ain't bad, I guess... God has promised me a future though, and I plan to make the best of it. I've squandered my life for 45 years, so the next 45 will be different.
Through it all, I have my Savior, my family and my friends. Tomorrow I will be 46 and all is well... (Plus my 11 year old just came in and informed that "46 is the new 21"....) Did I say I have very smart children?? Yes, all is well....