Ok, so I have to think back on the last 15 years, that's tough since I've suffered "momnesia" after giving birth to Ms. Maddie, Duchess of Wisconsin.
What would you tell someone that you hadn't seen or talked to in 15 years, what would you say to sum up your life?
You get 10 bullet points. A list of 10 to summarize the last 15 years....OK, here goes.
- 15 years ago, February 17 1993, to be exact, I was finished with my tour of duty and discharged from the ARMY...free at last. My friend Mike drove to California to pick me up and we spent the next 2 weeks road tripping home. We went every where, grand canyon, beautiful Colorado, couple nights in Vegas. When we arrived home, we had $5 between us. This trip would define our relationship as friends, awesome! We have travelled all over the country and the world together.
- Once home, I met the man I consider my soul mate. The following summer, we moved to Colorado together. He was working on his Masters project, I got a job working for a rancher. The first part of the summer, I lived in a one room cabin in the mountains with no electricity or running water (I'll post more about this another time). I picked out my beloved dog Brier and she was a faithful companion for the next 13 years. My niece was born while I lived in Colorado. I remember I was putting a saddle on my horse getting ready for that days cattle drive and the old ranch hand Cebe came up to me and said "your sister had a girl, her name is Bailey." and then he walked away leaving me crying in a heap. I don't think my sister ever forgave me for not being there... My soul mate was killed in a car accident about a year after we got home.
- By 1996, I was living in Florida lamenting and quite honestly "fermenting" over my loss. I stayed there about a year and a half before I finally realized I needed to go back home. My nephew was born while I was in Florida (another unforgivable). I had fun in Florida, but it is a much different place to live than to vacation. I also discovered that my very straight hair turns into an Afro in the Florida humidity...its never been the same. My road tripping friend once again came to get me and we road tripped home, had a blast!
- 1998 I was home, these next few years are what I would consider the "quiet years"... Aside from a few road trips and a trip to Europe. Lived at home with mom for a while before me and my road trip friend Mike decide to live together.
- I met my baby daddy (that's the only credit he gets) shortly after Mike and I move in together. This puts a huge strain in our friendship. Mike is gay and could clearly see this was not a good person to be with, but bless him, he put up with it. I made a clean break and started a new job were I met a friend so unbelievably dear to me. We were assigned seats next to each other and we were both pregnant and told our boss on the same day. We ended up having our girls 5 days apart. Our girls are best friends and we are best friends, I thank God for her.
- In October 2003, I had my wonderful Maddie. Baby daddy is long gone...only Mike remains. Having a child in the house does not fit his lifestyle, he meets someone and up and leaves one day. We do not see each other again until my mothers funeral. I move with Maddie and Brier into a charming apartment above a gift store.
- August 2006, my mom woke up and couldn't walk, we assume its MS, which she has slowly struggled with (although in denial) for several years. The following day, my dad had a massive heart attack on a cruise in Alaska. Our attention is focused on my father, he had quadruple bypass and makes a full recovery. After several MS treatments, moms walking hasn't improved. After another MRI, late September, we are informed that oops, its not MS. Cancer and MS apparently look the same and she has cancer with no options for treatment and is expected to live 6 months. I'm devastated.
- November 19. 2006, my wonderful mother died, three days before thanksgiving, and only a month and a half after she was finally diagnosed. She did not want to live through the holiday...she said she didn't want to put us through that. I believe she set her mind on death and death quickly followed. I wonder if I'll ever be the same. Mini the wonder dog comes to our house, per my moms request. Mike attends the funeral and we put the past behind us...20 years as friends is too long to give up.
- March 19 2007, my best friend and companion for the last 12 years Brier, died on my dining room floor. 4 months to the day my mother passed. This has been very difficult to explain to my Maddie as she is so young and struggling with these concepts. She has gone on to associate Nana and Brier dying together.
- Present day...still struggling trying to make sense of it all. With my moms death, I lost my brother, sister and eventually my relationship with my father because I choose to stand up for myself rather than letting people walk over me...I would rather do whats right as opposed to whats easiest. Sometimes that's hard because I feel so alone. I continue to work hard for my family and support my daughter like my mom supported me. She set the bar high. I am still waiting for mister right to come along. We are happy and healthy and we will take life as it comes and enjoy every bit of it....
That's 15 years in a very small nutshell. I tried not to focus on the negative, but there are negative moments that have changed me forever so they were worth mentioning.