It is June 1978. Once upon a time a young lady graduated from college in Connecticut. She’d just spent four years learning how to be a special education teacher. She’d had a great time with her college roommates. Just several weeks earlier they had all gathered at their apartment and walked to the college grounds to be part of the whole graduation process. They parted ways and vowed to always stay in touch.
At 21 years old she had a whole lifetime ahead of her. She had pie in the sky visions of a long teaching life, eventual marriage and children on her mind. Ready for an adventure, she was ready to move clear across the country to California.
Her parents drove her (with their trusty trailer in tow) as they traveled from state to state to state. A little sightseeing, a little family visit time in Arizona with a beloved aunt and uncle, and then the final leg of the trip into San Jose, California.
She brought with her very little in the way of possessions. Her clothes and her small personal stereo system. She needed little else at the time because she would be living in the dormitory style housing that Twelveacres provided.
Life at the age of 21: Simple and uncomplicated. Naïve, perhaps. Happy! Excited to be putting her college knowledge to work. Ready to take on the world! Believing in all things good!
It is June 2023. At 66, this same ‘girl’ has lived a lifetime of joys and sorrows over the forty-five years since she arrived in California.
Marriages: 3 Husband deaths: 2 Children: 2 + 1 + 2! (Bonus kids, ya gotta love ‘em) Grandchildren: 4 Places of employment: Roughly 5 - - but job titles, too many to mention Homes/Apartments lived in: 10 Number of cars owned: Can’t remember all the ones we had with Mike, but after him there have been 4 Number of major surgeries: 1 Minor surgeries: 4
Along with those figures are other things such as vacations, other losses of family or friends, hobbies and such. Oh – and those college roommates – they have remained close over this time period! That is, perhaps, one of the few constants in life.
Possessions include so much more than that small, portable stereo system she had when she arrived. Way more!
All told, it has been quite a life. It is so far-fetched from what that 21-year-old girl dreamed of. The visions she had did not turn out to be what life gave her. Yet, sometimes we have to believe that God had other plans for us. So many things factor into how life plays out for us. The only thing we can control is how we react to what plays out before us.
Admittedly, we wonder how life would be “if only” …. What would my life look like if Mike had lived? All that followed would not have happened, right? Conceivably my life would look drastically different. Better? Or not? I will never know the answer to that question. Instead, I have chosen to take each twist and turn in life and use it as a life lesson to learn and grow from.
I can definitively say that who I am as a person today, while so far away from what I envisioned for myself as a young person, is far better than I could have imagined. God is the potter, we are the clay. We are constantly being molded and shaped and re-molded by the experiences we have. I love who I am today, I am more content today than ever. I am still being molded and shaped as that
is a lifelong process, but I will take each day as it comes, knowing when I am done with this life I will have made the most of it.
Then, I was young and naïve….. Now I am older and ‘seasoned’….. that’s called LIVING!