She has learned in the fire that the very best laid and well-intentioned plans can go awry, leaving one not entirely sure which way is up.
She certainly did not expect her marriage to fall apart, her two children to come quite as quickly as they did, and her husband to leave, their deal for him to finish school, then her, suddenly off the table. She didn’t plan on vicious bouts of postpartum depression. Not a single thing went like she thought it would, and before she even realized how bad it really was, she found herself moving in with her former mother-in-law until she could get back on her feet, her new identity as a single mother to a baby and a toddler not quite learned and certainly not prepared for.
That was almost four years ago. And since then a great deal has happened—some of it painful and awful and heartbreaking and not bearing repeating; but, thankfully, some of it so very good and worthy of celebration!
She’s learned to focus on her children first and foremost. She’s learned to prioritize, to manage time, and to set big goals (and reach them!). She’s learned that quitting isn’t an option—not if she wants what is best for those kids. She’s found another piece of her identity as a very successful nursing student at Bellarmine University, and she cannot wait until she’s in the field caring for people.
She knows what it is to fall asleep at night wishing that she would just not wake up come morning. And she knows what it is to suddenly realize all is not lost and that she has reason to hope.
“There is no such thing as a perfect life,” she says, a wry smile breaking across her lovely face. “And now I choose to think of all the bad stuff as just having been fertilizer. All that stuff that got dumped on me—on us—now it’s just fertilizer for a really incredible future.” She sees new little things shooting up out of that mess all the time, she says, and that tells her that there are some beautiful things waiting for her and her children.
“My kids, they talk about going to college all the time. And they talk about when we have our own house, just the three of us—and our dog.” If you ask her what kind of dog, she’ll laugh and say, “Oh they already have it picked out! A Bull Mastiff—black, and named Midnight.” And then she’ll tell you they could not have done it without Family Scholar House. That at FSH she’s learned there are people who really care, who are willing to go to bat for you, who want you do to well.
She knows which way is up, now. And she’s heading up with her head held high. Her children right there with her all the way.