Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dreams Can Come True

Babies 1 & 2, a love fest.
At 29 I was newly pregnant with my second child when I found out I had cervical cancer. The doctors felt it was in the early stages and that I should be able to carry the baby to term, but recommended a hysterectomy afterward. My mother was beside herself and wanted me to terminate the pregnancy and have the hysterectomy immediately. Terms of Endearment and Steel Magnolias were two popular movies at the time and my mother felt sure I would die.
My husband weirded out. I can't say what happened to him. He just quit talking to me. He would disappear for days at a time. When I asked him what was wrong he would say nothing.
My daughter was two at the time and I worked full time so we carried on as usual. I figured once the baby was born and I had the surgery Tom would return to normal.
My son was born on February 12 in the middle of a horrible snowstorm. I was staying with my mom because I was close to delivering; I had quit work to have the baby and stay home with the kids throughout my recovery, and hopefully, raise them until they went to school. My mom called my husband to tell him I was in labor and he showed up, but was extremely angry. My sister kept him out of the labor and delivery room so that he would not upset me.
Three months later I found out my husband was having an affair with another woman and had been almost since the beginning of my pregnancy. When I confronted him, he left me. I had no job and two babies. I moved us closer to my parents, found a job and went back to work. I refused the hysterectomy because I just did not have the strength to go through it at the time with everything else that was going on. My doctor removed my cervix, but told me he was just buying me some time. I had cancer screens every three months.
My main goal in life at the time was to make my children's life as normal as possible and fill them with memories. There were no guarantees. My husband moved to Tucson, AZ (we are in Michigan), so for the first two years the kids barely saw him, only on holidays, and talked to him on the phone once a week. He finally returned and then took them every other weekend.
When my son was nine, he went to live with his dad because he was too much for me to handle and needed his dad. My daughter was very involved in softball and volleyball and her dad made sure to attend her games. My son played football and I attended all of his games. Every weekend we acted like a "normal" family participating in our kids’ lives.
My son moved back home in tenth grade. I "adopted" one of his friends, whose parents died of drug overdoses. My ex-husband "adopted" him too, acting as a surrogate dad. Now the kids are 27 and 29. There were many tough times, but lots of fun too. All the kids are doing well.
My daughter just got married, and her dad and I danced together at her wedding. The DJ announced us as Mr & Mrs. Thomas Grover. My poor daughter almost died, but we laughed. She is graduating with her Master’s in Education Leadership in May and works for Hillsborough County schools in Florida as a peer evaluator after teaching for five years. Her supervisors are encouraging her to apply for an assistant principal position next year.
My son #1 did his four years in the Marines, and after some readjusting the last few years, he seems to have finally settled down. He’s got a great job at U.S.Steel as a crane operator and hopes to apply to the electrician's apprenticeship program.
My son #2, got a Bachelor's in Accounting from Central Michigan University and passed all four parts of the CPA exam. He works for DOW, is traveling all over the world doing internal audits, is married, has two dogs and owns his own home. My ex goes up to his home all the time to help him work on his house.
I never thought, 27 years ago, everything would turn out as well as it has. Now that the kids are all established I am living my dream of being an attorney. I went to law school at 47 and graduated at 52. At 55 years old I opened my own office. Life is good. I am happy and so are my kids. All things are possible.

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