I was just a little thing many years ago when I realized that this life is full of lumps and bumps, twists and turns, screaming in horror and screaming in pain. It had been written in stone, or could have been in words as a curse, that with all of my white blonde curls, round red cheeks, Cupi-doll lips singing giggles all day, chubby arms aching for hugs, and a heart filled with sweetness, that these tiny feet would walk in the dark, be lost in confusion, and keep searching for ‘HOME.’
It was when I was in my early twenty’s, when it all went sideways once again. All hope for happiness in my eighteen year old mind for a man who would love me and stay with me forever vanished in a poof. New suitcases in hand and my two-year-old’s arms grabbing tight around my neck, we walked into a new darkness that might lead us somewhere. Our apartment was small and lonely at night. After an evening shift at the hospital, with the desire for long-needed sleep, it’s silence was blaring. As it was close to Christmas, there were some party invitations on my table. I picked one up and went.
All of the others at the party were about my same age, many of them friends. But, I felt like an outsider speaking some other language. How do I fit with these people who do not know about being married at eighteen, adopting a baby at twenty-one and divorcing at twenty-three. It was working full-time, finding expensive babysitters who would watch my son on evening and night shifts, and caring for him when I was home. Their worries were, what car should I buy next? What is the trendy restaurant this season? Where should we vacation that we haven’t been before?
While a group of us were sitting in a circle on the floor talking and singing, the most beautiful Mexican guy came and sat next to me. His hair was black and wavy. He was tall and broad-shouldered. His smile lit up every corner of the room. His eyes were big and black and stared right at me. This would be the night that my whole life changed! That very night I brought him home. The next morning he sat on the couch while I called all of my boyfriends and told them that I had found ‘The One.’ You may be asking, why would you do that? The answer is: We both knew that this was IT! He moved in the next day and the rest is history. He loved Max as if he was his own child. We went on to have a girl and another boy. My Manuel and I never stopped seeing fireworks when we looked at each other and never could keep our hands off of each other. You can ask my kids. They will tell you.
We were married on July fifth! It was the best wedding I had ever been to. We all had too much fun! I am not saying that it was all perfect. I am saying that I felt that God was making up for the disaster that was my childhood and gave me happiness. Together Manuel, I, Max, Crystal and Alex began an intricate, colorful tapestry of our lives that we had lovingly sewn over thirty years one fine stitch at a time. When you were ripped from my life, I thought it had thoroughly unraveled leaving me cold and alone. Today I see that the fragments of our story remain intact. Tapestries are made with two threads, the weft and the waft. It is made sturdy enough to endure any manner of tragedy it is presented with. The miracle is that the fabric does not deteriorate or fall apart at the seams. No. It goes through a process of metamorphoses. not unlike the butterfly, our masterpiece is hidden in a cocoon for a time to merge the past with the present. We are all still a family, the five of us. That will never change. What is so clear to me today is that the bond that fuses me to Max and Crystal has been fortified, I see a future for us, we have new goals and aspirations. Thank you for choosing “us”. I would not be the person I am today without you in my life.