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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Another Year Together


Yesterday, Big Bear and I celebrated our 18th Anniversary, and I love him more today than I did the day I married him.  We've spent a lot of time together in our home this past year.  Big Bear searches for work every day for hours on end, and makes calls and networks while I work on the house, take care of the children, help them with their schoolwork, do laundry, and work on this blog - you know, normal stuff for a stay-at-home mom. 

You'd think that with this much togetherness, that we'd get on each other's nerves; but, I have to say that we work hard - together - to make each day as positive and as normal as possible for the children and each other under the circumstances. We make a great team.

I am truly blessed.  Big Bear has single-handedly juggled all the bills, the cooking, and the grocery shopping himself.  He enjoys those things and boy am I grateful.  He doesn't complain.  At least not very much anyway.  He's just not that way.  BB has always been positive, spirited, and in tune to what is going on with all of us.  I have to say that it is the rare man who takes such good care of his family with as much love and devotion as my Big Bear. 

Wedding Picture

In the "Sound of Music" Maria sings to the Captain just after he proposes his love ...

Perhaps I had a wicked childhood
Perhaps I had a miserable youth
But somwhere in my wicked, miserable past
There must have been a moment of truth

For here you are, standing there, loving me
Whether or not you should
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

I feel a strong connection to these lyrics and this song.  Maybe because elements of my past, my childhood, my wicked teenage years, and my early adult life were wrought with being a bad girl, insecure, indecisive, and naive to say the least.  I made mistakes - or at least for many who look upon my past would think so, but I believe that amongst the roller coaster of my life, there was always a glimmer of good.

I would not take back anything or change a thing.  Nothing.  Not even the wicked part. Why you ask?  Because if I was able to change my past, walk away from troublesome relationships before I put trust in them and myself, I would never have had Kathleen or Kimberly, and then there would be no Glen or Reagan.  I'd not have the blessings that surround me each and every day. 

Sure, I'd have different blessings, but different isn't always better, and as I look upon my life, my children, my grandchildren, my mother, my brothers, my dear friends, and my husband, I want to fall to my knees in prayer and thank the goodness of the Lord for sending me on this path.  He has never given me more than I can handle in this life despite how many times I thought I couldn't do it anymore.  There have been times I was so frightened for my future that I wanted to crumble.  But now, now I look upon my past and want to tell my youthful self that it is all going to be alright.


I recall, just before I graduated from high school, riding the bus to school.  And, as we were pulling up in front of the school and I was staring out the window in my own world, I remember vividly thinking "I wonder, when I am 50 years old, where I will live?  Who will be my husband?  Will I be married?  Will I have children?  Will I be happy?  What will I be doing with my life?"  I also recall thinking, as I picked up my books to get off the bus, how that day seemed a lifetime away.


Little did I know that the man who would change my life.  The man who would be the love of my life, was getting off the school bus ahead of mine, laughing and talking to his geeky friends, in love with a friend of mine, and never noticing me.  I didn't notice him either for that matter.  I mean, I knew Bob.  He was tall and had long legs and was a big guy.  His mother worked with my father in politics.  He was in several classes with me.  He seemed smart and nice.  We usually said "hello" and that was it.  But I was not interested in him in the least, nor him in me.  I had my sights on other guys in other places.  Little did I know that my love was right next to me the whole time.


Funny how life is.  Mine came full circle you might say.  But, if Big Bear and I had dated in high school, and married, there is no guarantee that we would have been happy.  I'm sure we would have been miserable.  I needed the baggage and the brick upside the head in my youth to be the mother and wife I am today.  I needed the hard life lessons to become firmly grounded.  I needed time, troubles and all, to grow and mature before I was able to be someone special for someone else.


I look at my daughter, Sarah, her life, and I am so impressed.  I actually look up to my youngest daughter.  She is devoted to her studies and gets A's & B's.  She has a boyfriend who we all admire and respect.  He's a good young man and very devoted and respectful of Sarah too.  Everything that a parent could hope for in a relationship for their daughter is wrapped up in Walker (at least for right now).  We hope that it lasts as long as they hope it to be.  Parents never want their daughters or sons to suffer a broken heart or get hurt.  Yes, I look up to Sarah.  She is everything I wish I had been when I was in high school and more.  A shining star.  And in just a few weeks, she will be 17.  Where did the years go?


If I reflect on Kathleen's life, as difficult as it has been for her and for me too, I sure do love her and I am very proud of her.  She is strong and fearless.  Capable and beautiful.  Articulate and Intelligent.  No, she has not always used her best effort to improve the course of her life, and she doesn't always use her best judgment either, (who does that sound like?  Me, of course!) but that is her decision and she has to walk her own rocky road without my interference. Still, I know she will come through these difficult years stronger and more beautiful of spirit.  I have faith in Kathleen.  It's just taking her a little longer to find stability and security and create a family of her own.  But when she does finally reach her goals and her life path, I know that she will be remarkable.  That's just the way Kathleen is - remarkable.


If I reflect on Kimberly, I see a life amassed with heartache and heart surgery.  I see the most beautiful blue eyes and the window to her soul is funny, strong, and gloriously adorable.  I see myself in Kimberly in so many ways.  The good things.  She is funny, intelligent, beautiful, and loves being a wife and mother  (if I may say so myself :) She is completely devoted to her husband, her daughter, and her entire family.  She loves to clean and organize, she loves to share her life as a mother with me nearly every day as I do with my own mother.  Kimberly has wrapped her soul with the beautiful experience of maternal love.  A love so deep and so pure it could move mountains.


Kimberly married a wonderful guy in 2007.  They love and adore each other.  They are great parents and savor every moment they can with their precious baby girl, Reagan.  I sit back and watch them make memories that will last a lifetime and I smile, for I know together they will lasso the moon.


I have 3 wonderful daughters and 1 magnificent son - Matthew.  He is so much like his Dad.  They spend a lot of father-son time together and enjoy it too.  I am so blessed to have a son who is smart, funny, and a good boy (even though he is a teenager and the hard years are just around the corner).  I think Matthew is going to ride right through the teenage years and high school without a scratch. He's a tough little guy with a big heart.  My Bear Cub.


Then there's Glen.  My grandson whom we've been raising since he was 2 weeks old.  With all his challenges (Glen has Asperger's), he is absolutely the most delightful, sweet natured little boy ever.  He's a real trooper, and smart as a whip.  I can't imagine what my life would be like without him.  Not nearly as wonderful as it is with him in my life.


But, with Glen, I've learned something important about parenting.  I've discovered that as a parent, if we really try to get to know our children - how they think, what they love to do, what they enjoy doing, how they learn, how they play, who their friends are, and so much more, that we can help our children move mountains.  Parents need to take an active roll in their children's lives.  I believe that many parents sit back and let their child (or their children) just do their own thing.  We should all be completely involved in our children's lives.  They need to know we love them and we care, even when tough decisions and discipline kick in.  Still, I think Glen will be exceedingly successful.  I'm convinced of it.


Yep, Bob aka Big Bear, is my rock.  He has firmly rooted our family like a father oak.  For 18 years, through the ups and downs and the roller coaster of our marriage, we are stronger and more in love than ever before.  We are each other's best friend. 


I hope that in your life, wherever you may be in your life, that you are happy, secure, and blessed.  I hope that as you take your own journey, that you recognize the little things that make up the blessings.  I hope that someday, you can look back on your life with humility, able to admit your failings, and having learned many things along the way.  And, that even though these lessons may come with making errors of judgment, I know you will see the blessings, the seeds of hope, that were planted along the way.


I wouldn't take back not one day.  Even the tough, heartwrenching days of past were filled with hope and love and lessons. 

So, to my hubby, I love you with all my heart.  Thank you for 18 years of walking side-by-side with me.  Better hold on, for another 18 years are just around the corner.  Happy Anniversary Darling.  I am so proud to be your loving wife.

Thank you to my readers, for taking time from your day to read my stories and share in my life.  Writing it down is cathartic to me.  I am so glad I have a home here on the web where I can share my stories, my thoughts, my pictures, my crafts, my paintings, and more, with family and you - my friends - all of which, I might add, have been encouraged and inspired by my Big Bear. 




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