Thursday, January 6, 2011
The Gift of Life
I was twenty one years old when I got married. Entirely too young. Thought I knew everything. Thought I was ready. Many people have heard me say, because I believe it so strongly, that no one should marry until you are thirty years old. I think it should be a law. A legal law. I maintain, that between the ages of 20 and 30, you will change more in your life, than all of your years together. Your views will change, your opinions, your needs and wants, your common sense and logic. Your LIFE will change in that ten years, immensely. And with all that changing and growing, how could you possibly be responsible enough to know who your life partner should be?
For me, unfortunately, it was not possible. And it didn't take years for me to realize it. It happened as quickly as the night of my honeymoon. I cried. And I wondered to myself, what had I just done. My ex-husband worked a lot of hours trying to make a living for us. The first few years, he was at work more than he was at home. He worked a lot of nights. I worked, but my schedule usually had me at home by dark. I was lonely and homesick. Horribly homesick. One night, sometime during the first year, I left my new home, and drove to my parents house. It was midnight, and not a light in the house was on. There was a swing in the backyard that had a million of my miles on it. I got out of my car, walked across the backyard, and sat in that swing. In the dark. And cried. I wanted so badly, to go back in that house, go to my pretty yellow bedroom, and climb in my bed. It was just not the time for me to have left home. It was too early, and I was not ready. Not mentally or emotionally ready. But it was done. So, I left the swing, climbed back in my car, and drove back across town.
Six months later, I found out I was pregnant. I cannot begin to tell you how that transformed me. From the minute I found out, I was a changed girl. I had a purpose. I nurtured that baby with all my heart. I sang to it, I read books to it. And I rubbed my tummy so much you would have thought it was a Jeannie's bottle that I believed to have magic inside. I think I knew. I am pretty sure I knew from the start, I did have magic inside of me. I not only knew it was magic, I knew it was going to be a boy. I didn't have any tests, no one told me, but I knew. And would believe no different. I think some of my family were a little concerned about me. I wouldn't even discuss it being anything other than a boy. I had his name picked out from Day One. No girl names. At all. And I would get truly angry should anyone suggest anything different, other than, my magic miracle was a boy.
The day was here, and my baby was going to be born. The pains came hard and fast, no slow labor for me. On the last push, the doctor announced, you have a son! Of course he did, because I knew all along...I was having a son. My first phone call, while lying in a hospital corridor, still on a gurney, was to my parents. My first words after they said hello was, "How do you feel about the name Joshua Ray?" Talk about whooping and carrying on. Joshua after my PaPa and Ray after my Granddaddy. Oh he was perfect. Absolutely perfect.
He always has been, absolutely perfect. I am serious when I tell you, I had only to discipline Josh once in his whole life. One little pop on the top of his little hand. When he was about 1 1/2 he wanted so badly to touch the pretty Christmas lights on the tree. Back in that time, people used those big bulbs that get so very hot. I was so worried he would burn his tiny fingers. With that one little pop, his little eyes expanded to twice their size and the pitiful look that came across his face was heartbreaking. He never touched the lights again. Never gave me cause again, to pop his hand or his behind. A look would always do. You know..the look.
Never a problem with school, almost always straight A's. He was like a grown person in a small body. Never had to tend to him about homework, class work or projects. He carried these traits right on through high school and became Valedictorian of his senior class. Joshua was a dual enrollment student and graduated the 12th grade with an AA degree. His 12th grade year of school, Joshua was Gadsden County's Student of the Year. He earned/received a 100% Bright Future's Scholarship and was 18 years old, beginning his college career out of high school as a Junior. He graduated from FSU, Magna Cum Laude. He took a few years off in between, but worked. As a matter of fact, Josh worked from the age of 15 years old until he was 23 years old at Quincy Joist. He worked every summer and after school. He began as an Engineer Tech and was an Estimator when he left in 2009. He was finally ready to go back to school. He applied to several places and was accepted at several as well. He made his final decision to attend The University of Alabama. A fully funded scholarship with a stipend to boot. He was ready to earn his Master's degree...he was ready to become his life long dream..a writer. Josh has been writing as long as I can remember. That his dream will come true is not a question. Joshua is also a teacher now. And I know, when listening to him talk about how his day went, he is a wonderful one.
Joshua was the first person to save my life. My first hero. And I will never forget it. My first unborn child helped transform a child into a woman. Baby's are the miracles of life. They truly are, angels here on earth. I will always know, I was made to be a Mama. The good Lord took a chance on me, and gave me Joshua. When I needed something the most, he was given to me. The gift of life, gave me life. Again.