Have you ever noticed how people only say that they are "happy to be alive" shortly after something nearly fatal has happened to them?
Well, friends, I'm not sure how much I'm willing to detail my stupidity on the world wide web, but I can tell you that, this morning, I am happy to be alive.
I had a serious wake-up call yesterday, in the form of a line of a song I've listened to a million times. I never caught or noticed the one line in this particular song before. I'll never know how I managed that, but, yesterday, it stopped me in my tracks, made me realize that what I was doing was wrong in a very big sort of way, and made me work very hard to attempt to correct my blunder. Naturally, my husband popped up at exactly the moment that would force me to explain to him what I'd done, and I did.
You know what the crazy part is? He still loves me anyway.
I don't know exactly how I'm going to move forward from here. The only thing I'm sure of is that I need to fix things, and I need to work harder than I've thought I was able, and I need to change a whole lot more than I believed I did before yesterday afternoon.
White And Nerdy and I talked some yesterday, and we think that our best long-term plan is to put off having our own biological children- maybe permanently, but we will revisit that when my health is more stable. We are going to look into becoming foster parents when we move to Tucson. I am going to go to school to be a mechanic, and my husband will go to school to become an engineer- which branch of engineering, he has yet to completely decide. Being a mechanic will give me a number of opportunities and possibilities I may not otherwise find all within one career/skill set. It will allow me to do one of the few things that's held my interest for any period of time, despite what some might consider a lack of natural ability, it will put me in the only career field in the United States in which women are nearly guaranteed to make more money than men (true story!) and it will allow me a great deal of flexibility in my work, as it's something that, under the right conditions, I can do from home or on almost any street in town. It will give me an outlet for my tomboy behavior and attitude without restricting my options as much as the military life has done.
So far as foster care goes, I believe becoming a foster mother will give me more of an opportunity to impact the future than having a child naturally- or as naturally as I'm physically capable, I suppose. I was put into foster care at one point in my childhood- for how long, exactly, I'm not sure- and I know the fear and horror that so many of those children feel. I know what abuse is, personally, on many levels. I understand the "lost boys" mentality of children who have grown up without adults they can really trust. I know full well that being a foster mother is going to be the hardest thing I ever do in my life, but I also know that, if I make a difference to one of those children, I've saved a life and changed the world for the better. We will have a three-bedroom house. It's really not that hard to make one of those a room for one foster child at a time or a set of siblings trying to stay together. I know that being a foster mother means I will have to, at some points, give up a child that I have started to love as my own. The fact is, maternal instinct is something I have almost too much of. I believe in my heart that I can do this, and that I can help children who's own families are, for whatever reason, incapable of caring for them. I expect I'll end up adopting one of my foster children eventually, and maybe that's what I'm meant to do. Maybe that's all I'm meant to do, so far as parenting goes. There's been more than one child I've loved as my own, despite my lack of children, already. I cared for two little girls for many years, Raven and Haley, who I still love dearly, but have no way of contacting. There is a precious little girl named Reyna who I hope someday is able to forgive me for and understand why I wasn't able to stay in her life in the role I wanted. She is a special, beautiful little girl, who is so smart and so loved and I really hope she grows up to understand that. I also hope she grows up to understand that what other people say to us, teach us, and do to or around us doesn't define who we are in the long run- that we are the only ones in charge of ourselves, and that we make the choices to throw out the bad and keep the good from anyone and everyone we come in contact with, even the women who gave birth to us. I wish I knew how to stay a part of her life without feeling like I was hurting her by being unable to see her, but I understand the pain that comes with separation, and reminders of someone's existence without their presence can make that pain so much worse.
Then there was Pyper, who I know will never read this or hear about it, but whom my heart still aches for. I knew her less than a month, but she told me she loved me the first day she met me, and, Lord knows, I felt the same then and I still do. I hope she's able to break the cycle her parents have created, and become the person I know she can be.
I think that's more than enough emotion for 4:30 in the morning.
Have a good day, everybody, and, please, be happy to be alive today- because, without a doubt, you are meant to be here if you are, so it must beat the alternative. I'm glad you're on this earth with me, no matter who else isn't.