Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wonder Woman







It was every parent’s nightmare. It was her nightmare, too. She was pregnant at 14 years old. She waited to tell her parents. She waited until she couldn’t hide it from them any longer. She was showing and it would be all too obvious very soon. She knew deep in her heart she might be a great disappointment to her parents.

She finally chose to face the music and tell her parents. Against their wishes, she made the decision to keep the baby. By the time the baby was born, she would be 15, and he would be 16. And she would step up to the plate and be a mom- way too early, much too soon. She would change diapers and soothe the late night crying and bathe and care for a baby when she should be worrying about who to date, what lip gloss to wear, and how she did on her math test. Her decision meant she would have to drop out of school and get a job. She wasn’t even old enough to drive yet. But somehow she knew she had to be old enough to be a mother.

Her parents wanted them to get married. His parents said there was no way they would force children into marriage, and that if or when a marriage happened between their two children, it would be a decision they would make themselves, not their parents. There were lots of tears and lots of disappointment for a childhood lost, but when it came down to baby’s arrival day, all the parents would be as supportive as they possibly could be.

He stood by her and soon they had a little girl. All of the sudden their tumultuous teenage years were splattered with dirty diapers and spit up. They had to grow up faster than any child should. She had to face the responsibility of raising a child while still growing up and learning herself. He had to do the same, and it was a struggle for them both.

She could have passed off the responsibility to someone else. She could have let her parents raise the baby, or his parents, for that little girl quickly worked her way into the whole family’s heart. However, she had this stubborn determination to make it work and be independent no matter how difficult the road may be. So she worked as hard as she could, earning next to nothing to try and make ends meet. Having not finished high school, she didn’t make much money.

She stayed in the relationship which was on-again-off-again like most teenage relationships are. One minute totally in love, the next totally in hate. There were arguments and tears, but there was beauty and laughter mixed in too.

When he got accepted into the Marines, she followed him to California. Things soon became more difficult as she realized she was pregnant again. Her own mother passed away around her 18th birthday, leaving her 6 months pregnant and grieving fiercely. And then they made the decision to marry. At 18 she married the father of her soon to be two little girls.

Things continued down the same path with the two of them trying to be as grown up as possible in a difficult world of parenting, living hand to mouth, and often wondering where the money to pay rent would appear from. They both tried their best to raise two little girls the only way they knew how- to learn as they went along.

One day no one had planned on, he was in a car accident. It seemed he would be OK, but there was internal bleeding that no one knew was there. He passed away, leaving her 20 years old and grieving the loss of her husband, with two daughters to raise on her own.

And so she did. She did the best she could, sometimes just living each day from start to finish and nothing beyond. She made mistakes but she did a lot of things right. She missed a lot of moments from their childhood due to working hard to support herself and her girls. She went back to night school and got her high school diploma. She missed school plays and track meets. She missed lazy summer days and volunteering in the classrooms on holidays. But she sacrificed all of that out of pure love for her little girls.

And with a lot of prayer, hard work and perseverance, she now has two grown daughters with 5 beautiful grandchildren between them. That's a lifetime of accomplishment for not being 50 yet.

She is my mother. I am her oldest daughter, and can not tell you how proud I am of her. Not everyone would have made the decision she chose to make, or stepped up to the parenting plate at such a young age. I know that her decision is not the right one for everyone. Being a teenage parent is not glamorous. Being a parent at any age is the most challenging and long term job a person can undertake. She had so many curve balls thrown at her early on she could have easily thrown her hands in the air, and screamed “I give up.” But she didn’t, and that makes me unique and grateful for a childhood and life I might not have had at all, or might have had with a completely different family.

My grandparents (his parents) once told me that they believe all things happen for a reason. The great disappointment of him having children so young turned into one of the greatest blessings of their life. They realized after his death at 21 years of age that my sister and I were meant to be. I think of this often, as well as the best advice I’ve ever received from my mother. She once told me the following:

“God will not give you more than you can handle. Put your faith in him, and no matter how dark things seem for you, and even though you don’t know how, you will make it through with his help.”

I have watched through example how my mother has lived her life according to this advice. As a parent, she tried her best and loved us both unconditionally and that’s all I could have asked for. That makes her my Wonder Woman.


**This post was created with the intention of entering July's Write-Away Contest hosted by Scribbit, one of the blogs on my daily read list. It was a fun process, whether I win or not, and I will definately enter again.

15 comments:

Traci said...

YOU SHOULD WIN.....that was an amazing story. Give your mom a hug from me. Ok, going to get some kleenex now.....

Annie said...

I need my box of kleenex too. I still havent stopped crying.I don't like my sister when she makes me cry. LOL

Mom said...

Thanks sweet heart that was great! If it wasn't for God giving me my two special angels to keep pushing me on I don't know were I would be today! But I don't need to think about that as I was bless with two special Girls that gave me all their love, laughter, and frindship. I am so proud of the two of you, as my Daughters, my Best freinds and as Mothers! Love You! Mom

Johnny said...

You're just lucky one of your daughters met me, there is your real blessing right there.

Scribbit said...

That's just amazing--I'm so glad it had a happy ending. Wow.

for a different kind of girl said...

What a tremendous and beautiful testament to your parents, and the strength of your mother! She sounds like an amazing woman! This was simply beautiful.

Chas said...

Thank you every one for the kind words. I was hesitant to actually post something so sentimental and personal to me, but I'm glad I did.

Laurie said...

Your story is amazing. Every young expectant parent should read this. I have a friend, Spanish-speaking, who has a wonderful 7 year old that she had as a teenager. I want to her to see this. I think it will be an inspiration to her as well as many others.

Gilit Frank said...

Congratulations on your honorable mention. Sounds like you have enough material for an entire book or drama series.

Gilit

Fawn said...

I'm here via Scribbit's contest, and this is the first post I've read from the list that really touched me. Well done.

Alice Wills Gold said...

Yes, congrats on your honorable mention..it was the only one that made me cry and the only tribute to someone's own mother.....loved it!

Thanks for sharing you wonderful writing.

MoziEsmé said...

Great tribute to an amazing woman!

nellbe said...

wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! A truly amazing story, thank you for sharing it. Your mum is a true wonder woman. Congrats on your honorable mention at Scribbit.

The Motherboard said...

That was beautiful! You are lucky to have such a commited, WONDERful Mother.

Gabrielle said...

Through wet eyes I type to you....What a beautiful life! You are blessed to have such a mother and she to have such a daughter!