Earlier this week I was listening to a radio show and each member of the show had to list five things that changed their lives, good or bad. Weddings and births of children didn't count. I've been running this through my mind since then thinking what would be the five I chose. Some of theirs went back to early childhood with parents divorcing, etc. but I'm lucky, I guess, I have nothing I can remember as life altering from that early on. Sometimes I think it's odd the things we remember as an anniversary. There are those that give us a feeling of warmth and then there are those that bring sadness.
I don't remember the date of my first "real date" but I know the date my first "real boyfriend" and I broke up. September 14, 1989. I actually wrote a cheesy high school girl poem entitled "July to September...the months are remembered." You gasp at a three month relationship? Umm, yes. I had his class ring and everything. He was the first boy who tried to feel me up and I didn't like it. I don't consider it an anniversary but I couldn't help but post about it when the date popped back into my head. Made me grin, too.
Sometimes I find it funny that I don't know the date Sgt. and I met. I have absolutely no idea. I know it was sometime in July 1996 and it was after my birthday and it was probably a Wednesday night as that was the night my girlfriends and I went out but I don't know when we actually met. Oh, well. He's snoring away right beside me and that's what matters. Oh, and I can't ask him because he can't tell you either.
June 13, 2003 my mom called and told me my dad had been diagnosed with bladder and prostate cancers. I dropped to the floor and cried. I've always been a "daddy's girl" and I knew my world was about to change. By the grace of God he is cancer free for four years now.
I remember my 30th birthday like it was yesterday. My phone rang at 7:20 a.m. that July morning in 2003 and it was my aunt. She called to tell me my grandmother had died and she wasn't sure she could break the news to my mom, would I please tell her. I did. I was so numb from the news that it was a pretty bland phone call. Mom said, "really? Okay. Let me go tell dad." She hung up with me and cried with him. I cried by myself as Sgt. had already left for work. My driver's license is a reminder of that day; I have hives in my driver's license picture. Big red splotches all over my neck. They're on my face too but those can't be seen because of my make up.
We spent much of the next year trying to have a family and it was in September 2004 we decided to begin the adoption process. After much research, praying and soul searching, we chose to adopt from China. I never felt led or called to adopt from China and there were no signs that lit the path but we chose China and I promise you BG is the absolute best blessing God has ever bestowed upon us. If I'm never given another blessing, I can honestly say it's okay because she truly is my world. On October 12 we met with our agency and began our paperwork. We paid the extra money for an expedited homestudy (three weeks vs. three months) because Sgt. had been put on alert and we wanted to make sure all our paperwork was done in the event he was deployed.
Lo and behold, on December 16, 2004 my life changed as I never knew it would. We had been out to dinner with some friends of ours and came home to a message on the answering machine that he was being called to active duty to serve in Iraq. My heart sank. But, we sat down, looked each other square in the eyes and talked about it. At first we thought it was a voluntary recall, not mandatory. In Sgt's heart he knew this was something he needed to do. As his wife, I supported him and never would I stand in the way. I vowed to support him all the way. I stood steadfast as he returned the call where he found out it wasn't voluntary, but mandatory. At least I knew his heart and mind were in the right place. It made it a lot easier for both of us.
February 13, 2005 I stood with tears streaming down my face as my husband went from weekend warrior to active duty. I cried every mile of the way home. He would be stateside for another month before they left. I didn't want to go home to an empty house. I began blogging and over the course of his deployment, I met some of the most wonderful people I now consider to be some of my best friends ever. They not only helped me through the wait of BG's adoption but they also supported me with Sgt. being deployed. I had never met 99% of these people but they sent emails of encouragement and they were simply my friend.
October 8, 2005 I stood arm in arm with other wives in Tropical Storm Tammy waiting for our beloveds to descend from the clouds.
December 8, 2005 I saw the first picture of BG and I feel in love almost instantaneously. After 14 months (plus several years) I was going to a mom to the most beautiful little girl in the world.
February 15, 2006 one year and two days after my husband boarded a plane for active duty, we boarded a plane for China. Five days later BG was placed in our arms and it was official: we were promoted from a couple to a family. She didn't like us but we sure loved her.
2006 and 2007 have gone by like a shot. I sometimes think the things I once viewed as life changing are not so much anymore. And I know it doesn't make them insignificant. Maybe it's my mind's way of telling me to enjoy the blessings I've had bestowed upon me and take them in for all they're worth. There will be more to come; I'm sure of it. There are "bad" things that happened all along the way but we are fortunate enough to not have had anything super terrible happen that I consider it an anniversary or super life changing. Every day changes our lives in one way or another based on the choices we make. I looked back over my list and with the good stuff, we always say "This is the best day of my life" but everytime we say that, the new event is better than the one before it. I love it. There are some things I would probably do differently but very few things I would change.
At the end of the day, I'm thankful my house is what it is. It's not big by any means but I have one. My daughter, the daughter I've dreamed of my entire life, is sleeping in the clothes she wore today because it was too much of a battle to get her out of them into her jammies. But she's here, in our house, sacked out until she realizes I'm not there. Then I'll slink back across the hall and sleep in her bed until Sgt. gets up at 4:30. I'll groan at him as we pass in the hallway because I'm not one who likes to be awaken before she's ready. He'll pat me on the back and go on about his day. I'll get back in bed for another hour and a half. But he's here safe and sound. Tomorrow I'll get up and begin the mundane work week just like I do every Monday but I have a job to go to.
While these things aren't life changing, they certainly are a significant part of my life and I'm glad I took the time to look back over them.
I wish you all a fantastic week ahead.