25 Years and A Day

I was at work yesterday when it dawned on me that it would have been my 25th wedding anniversary. Sort of took my breath away for a moment. Yesterday, I would have been married a quarter of a century....WOW. That is a long time. Instead, I have been divorced for almost 14 years. (For those of you that are new to the blog...I married the same man two different times.....the 14 years is from the 2nd divorce) Once upon a time, that would have made me really sad. Yesterday, that was not the case. It would be nice to say that is not the case because there is someone new in my life or that I am in love but that is not it either. I have come to the place in my life where I harbor no hard feelings towards ex. I harbor nothing at all and, to me, that is even sadder. One of my pet peeves is when people say *I know you must still love that person because he/she is the father/mother of your children*. I don't. I do not feel anything at all towards him...no love, hate or animosity. I wish that we could have at least been able to share in the responsibility of raising our children but he chose differently. I now believe that is a good thing.

Twenty-five years and a day ago....I was a new bride with a bad perm. Wide eyed and sheltered and not at all prepared for the real world. It ate me up and spit me out. I was a high school graduate that thought she knew everything because she had a diploma. I was so wrong. I entered a world that I knew nothing about and that did not really care for me. We were dirt poor on top of all of that. Ex worked for his mom and it was nothing for her to hand out paychecks on a Friday afternoon and then leave town. More than once, those paychecks bounced. That was the world that I was stuck in the middle of. I was 5 hours away from the people that loved me. But, I was lucky enough to carry a precious treasure away from that time in my life. The treasure that I carried was this:


That precious face belongs to babygator. She was born February 24, 1982. This is the child that I grew up with.

Two days before her birth, I rode in the truck with my ex. She was not moving very much but she always loved it when I rode in the truck. The rocking motion of rolling down the road seemed to agree with her. The day before her birth, I wandered around cleaning house and packing my bag. Now I look back and see that I was nesting. Then, I was young and just thought I had energy. Heck, I was just young and naive and did not know a damn thing.

That night I had a huge supper from a place called *Feathers and Fins*. I went to bed and was soon awakened with contractions. I sat in the living room and watched some TV. I had been to the classes and read the books and knew that first babies always take a long time to come. At 2am, I called the hospital emergency room and told them about the contractions. They assured me to stay at home until I was really uncomfortable. They were sure that, if I came in, they would send me back home because I would not be ready. So, I stayed at home. At 4:30am, I woke ex and told him that I was no longer comfortable AT ALL and it was time to go. We were at the hospital at 4:37 am.

In the emergency room, the kindly older nurse looked at me and asked *First baby?*

Me *Yes Ma'am*

Her with that knowing look *Well, let's just check you out then. I am sure that this baby is just making its presence known. I bet it will be awhile yet. I will check you and then we can send you home*

Me thinking ~damn....It is going to get a lot worse??~ *Oh Okay*

Her *Let's go ahead and take your clothes off and check you out. We will do it here in emergency so we do not waste their time back in labor and delivery. So, off with your clothes young lady.*

Me ~feeling like a fool because I am stupid and wasted everyone's time takes off my clothes and slowly gets on the table~ *I really am sorry. I just thought...You know with the contractions and well....

Her ~head popping up from between my knees~ *DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE 9 CENTIMETERS DILATED????*

Me *eerrmmmmm no*

At that point, they did not even let me put my clothes back on. They wrapped me in a sheet and put me into a wheel chair and QUICKLY took me back to labor and delivery.

Labor and delivery is vastly different now. Then, they still strapped you down on the delivery table. Ex almost fainted. Wish I had a picture of that.

At 6:04 am, beautiful baby gator made her entrance into this world and my life has never been the same. The girl name I had picked out was Whitney Dianne. I took one look at her and knew that was not who she was. So, she was named Baby Gator. ~laffin.....If you really want to know her name and do not already know it....Email me and I will share it with you~

Eight months later, ex left me in my home town with instructions not to come back home.

My life has been filled with many paths over the last 25 years. Many were terribly hard paths that I took because I was too stubborn to take easier ones. Other paths were rocky because of my poor choices. Some were paths that I was placed on because of other people's choices. All of the paths have made me into the person that I am today. I am very happy and content with the person that I am.

I would not have changed anything if it meant that I would have missed out on my babygator.

25 years and a day have been so totally worth it.

Comments

  1. *Sometimes*, the best things in our lives happen as a result of the worst things. Even for me, with all the *bad* in the recent past, one big smiling happy "HEY THAT'S MY GRAMMA!!!", makes up for it.
    And I think it's a good thing you changed your mind on her name, lol.

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  2. I love you, Mindy.

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  3. if he really did say to you"dont come back home"i WILL kick his butt!!!!!

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  4. He really did Baby Brother. But he is gone now, and we only have to deal with him on our terms.
    Mom Gator-I love you so much. thank you soooo much for this post. There have only been two posts that I have ever printed out. The one about me and Grad school and this one. I hate that you had to go through all of those things, but I look at it as...those things made us who we are today. I probably wouldn't be the "strong willed" person that i am today if you hadn't taught me that. I love you so much.

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  5. (((((Mindy)))))
    That is an awesome story. Thank you for telling us about it.
    P.S. Did you get the recipe?

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  6. AWWWWW, Mindy...sweet, sweet, sweet.
    I love that story and that Baby Gator, too.

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  7. Thanks for this. In some ways our stories are similar. I know what it is to look at a former spouse and feel absolutely nothing (except extremem irritation when we disagree regarding Rosemary). But I don't regret a thing because of that precious daughter of mine. And now that I think about it, I believe we grew up together, too.

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  8. Mindy thank you, today I find myself in a hard place at the moment, and you have given me hope

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  9. Strong-willed is SUCH an understatment when it comes to BabyGator. ha ha!

    This is a great story. You have a couple of really cool kids. I'm certainly glad things turned out like they did.

    (By the way - you should totally AUDIOBLOG the bus story.)

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  10. This is so so beautiful Mindy. I'm so glad to know you, and have you in my life.

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  11. Great story, Mindy. You've done well. There's so much for you to be proud of.

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  12. Mindy, it is always hard to know what to say to a bittersweet story like yours. My heart hurts for the young innocent that you were, for the pain of those years, and for the pain that probably sometimes still descends, but it also rejoices in the joy that I see in you, and the strength that you have developed through all these things.

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  13. I love you, too. You are beyond awesome.

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  14. Beautiful tribute to your "little" one.

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  15. Thank you for a phenomenal post. Now (SIGH!!) you'll just have to be bookmarked as a favorite! Peace!

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