I was asked by my co-host this morning to be thinking about my year in review, and then he mentioned he was ready to share his biggest disappointment.
It’s odd he chose this word this morning to associate with any part of his year because I have reflected over this year many times, in many ways and the only word that tends to surface to the top is disappointment.
I, too, knew immediately my biggest disappointment this year.
I have not written a blog in quite a while and my reason is keeping me from logging all the joy in my days, but I just can’t seem to gather my thoughts clear enough to compose what I assume will be this blog entry.
I remember the day…Thanksgiving Day 1995. I had been vomiting for about 48 hours and the next thing I knew I was sitting on the edge of the bed with a positive pregnancy test in one hand and Jason’s hand in my other.
Disappointment was the burden I was wearing at that moment. I knew my parents, friends and family would be disappointed that I was pregnant before I was married and finished with college. No formulated plot for our future had been formed, nor did we even know what we wanted to be when we “grew up.” And before I could even make that decision, I was about to be a momma.
“Let’s go tell mom…if no one else is, she’ll be thrilled,” said my future husband.
With shrills she immediately had tears overflowing from her eyes. She always had the best reactions to good news. I’m not one of those people…I absorb information slowly, and react in private. I have had to literally make myself be more expressive to people over the years, because I learned from my mother-in-law that a great instant reaction is the best to receive. I’m refining mine still, but hers…oh hers were the best. She got it instantly. She could see a grandbaby and she was thrilled.
She called one day to say, “I know what the baby is going to call me. Nana.” I was only three, maybe four months pregnant at this point. It consumed her…it’s all she talked about. She even had her own nursery and received gifts at the hospital when I had Madison.
She was so simple. She never once thought that we had stepped off the wrong track in life, we just had gotten a little sidetracked. She knew we would have hard times but she didn’t let it define her reaction or support of us. She loved to live life simply and she simply didn’t see what the big deal was that we were not college graduates yet, or married with a home. She just saw a family budding.
With every pregnancy she was the one I never hesitated to tell. She always found joy in the journey for us. The following years were difficult, but when anything exciting happened she was the first I called. Every lost tooth, first step, or new job…she would treat it like it was the biggest news she had ever heard. When we built our house I had been consumed with naysayer’s who said negative things about our choices, or that we had bitten off more than we could chew…if you will. But not her. The first time she toured the house after we had moved in she just stood in our bedroom and wept tears of joy. She just hugged us and kept telling us how proud she was for us. We did bite off a lot, but it was our journey and she was always there to encourage, never discourage our dreams or visions. She even sent me a Peace Lilly on our wedding anniversary for years, until she figured out I just killed them.
That’s a gift…a true gift from God to be able to make people feel like they have worth and their decisions are ok, and even good. For a long time Sharon was the only person around me who made me feel that way.
She co-parented with me for a long time. My babies spent almost every day with her once she was home from work. She worked until 1:00 p.m. and I left for work at 2:30 p.m. She was exhausted, and would complain, but the truth was she loved having them. She just loved to fuss sometimes…and that’s ok. I miss that, too.
Over the years, the babies grew up and no longer required a babysitter, and she began a lifestyle of camping. At that moment we stopped spending the time together as we once had. Just the transition of life, I guess. The time slipped away so quickly between visits. When we did get together she was always laughing.
In April I was headed to Dallas for work and she was headed into the first of many medical procedures. She had a brain tumor removed, later a lung, and for many months she battled and beat cancer. Then she battled a lung infection until Sept. 26.…
Today they set her headstone.
She left a legacy for me that I will attempt to duplicate as I someday become a mother-in-law. She and I didn’t agree on everything, but she always supported me.
I have had many personal disappointments this year but the resounding one that has altered my very core is losing this woman who loved me, and I loved her.