1. The men (boys) I dated before meeting my husband, and the experiences that I had while living on the street (my choice) and hanging out with the punk kids that I hung out with. These experiences, although not one specific experience showed me different ways of living, and things that I did or did not want in my own life (drugs, alcoholics, people with little or no ambition.) The choices that I made as a teenager, and moving to
2. Meeting Will and falling in love with him so fast that I didn’t even realize it had happened until after the first miscarriage. He was not at all what I thought I wanted. Not at all what I had been looking for. Not at all what I expected. Yet he made me feel complete and still does. We fight, we disagree, but I wouldn’t want any one else by my side. Getting pregnant with Rhayn, and breaking things off with Will, was very hard on me, even though the break up was my idea. Neither of us has ever fully gotten over it. It still affects how we deal with each other to this day, because of broken trust. I needed to grow up.
3. Rhayn’s birth and her birth defect. This was hard for me because it shocked me so fully. I expected her to be perfect; I thought she would have brown eyes. I thought, I assumed, and my first dose of parenthood made me realize NOTHING should be taken for granted.
4. Gwennie’s birth. This has been the most important, empowering thing I have done in my life. It has given me courage and strength, and shown me that no, life isn’t easy, but it is worth it in the end. Although her birth gave me her, and healed me from not being able to nurse Rhayn, it also gave me a sense of power.
5. Will joining the Army has been tough on us all. It has brought us closer and torn us apart. It has given us so much and then ripped my heart out. It has been one of the best things for Will, and one of the worst things at the same time. For both of us.