I was flying along, driving between Milwaukee and Chicago. I had ABBA Gold blaring from the little speakers in my 1990 Ford Tempo. I was belting out all the lyrics, smiling and thinking life couldn't get any better than this. The day before I had had my first date with a man I thought was "the one". We had been courting long distance for several weeks and finally were able to meet at a basketball tournament our schools were participating in. The day had been wonderful, and now I was speeding back to Chicago, where I was going to meet my new boyfriend's parents. Life was full of possibilities - everything was ahead of me.
January 29, 2012
I was awakened this morning at 3:35 by a crash. I leapt out of bed to see what had happened. I methodically checked all the children's rooms. The three boys were sleeping soundly in their room. My 2 1/2 year old was sprawled on her bed, snoozing, an act I don't take for granted with her! My almost 12 year old was propped up on one elbow in her loft, half awake. After a brief exchange, I determined the crash must have come from her room, and I went back to bed.
But I couldn't sleep. Though in its perpetually exhausted state, my mind wouldn't shut down. It began to wander, and I realized it was January 29th. I certainly don't remember the anniversary of our first date every year, but for some reason it clicked. My mind replayed the excitement - the anticipation- of that day 17 years ago.
Though the thought of marriage and children had certainly crossed my mind, could I ever have imagined five children and a husband whom I love more with each passing year? I don't think my mind was capable of truly visualizing what my future could possibly hold. I dreamt of those things - a husband and many children, but try as I might, my imagination wasn't really up to the job. There was no way for me to know then, at 22 years old, with my whole life ahead of me, just what joys were to come.
There have been many moments over the last seventeen years when I have not felt thankful. Or I have been too tired or frustrated to realize my life is full of blessings. But this morning, as I took stock of my life for the past 17 years, I thanked God for all He has given me.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.