Thursday, October 1, 2009

Some Days We Are Reminded of Our Age

My niece turned 18-years old today, and although it’s been wonderful watching her grow into a young woman it’s also taken a toll on my mind and body. All right, I can’t blame her for the condition I’m in, but it does remind me of my age and of the past.

I thought back on when I was 18-years old at this time of year and what I was doing recalling it as being a confusing time in my life. Even though I attended the community college, the decision of what I wanted to do with my life, or where I wanted to be haunted me. At eighteen, teenage years still clung to me while adulthood loomed overhead forming a dark cloud that matched my mood. I met many guys and began partying more to the point of neglecting my studies and job. It was easy to forget about my troubles after slugging down a few beers.

During that year, another difficult thing to deal with was my boyfriend, my first love, left for college while I stayed behind figuring out what to do and worrying about what he was up to. This was before the cell phone frenzy and GPS systems. I remember crying on the phone when I did get to talk to him, and the few times I made the trip to see him. It was a vulnerable time, and during that vulnerable year, I lost my first love to another woman and my cousin to death.

Now, 23-years later I think about the things I’ve accomplished, things I learned and the happiness and heartache I experienced. I can say I’m satisfied. It took many lessons for me to learn and plenty of falls to finally stand up straight. I have a great paying job, but my future is set to change. Within the next year, I hope to have a new job, a new home and settle in with the man I love. Through my life, the one thing I learned about is ‘real love.’ It may have taken me 41-years to find it, but it was worth the lesson and wait.

Today, I hope my niece gets the pleasure of experiencing happiness along with heartache and that she learns from both. I pray her life is full of wonder, and the next one is always right around the corner. Someday I hope she remembers the times I corrected or lectured her about something, and that my words turned out to be true. I pray safety follows her wherever she goes, and continues to grow as the beautiful woman she already is. And most of all, I hope her travels are fulfilling, her heart open to new things, and she always remembers the importance of family.

Happy Birthday, Nays! Who loves you? Who will always love you? Who will love you whether you do right or wrong? Yes, the answer is me.


  1. Oh gosh, the memories. Eighteen ... I graduated high school, went to college, was dating my high school sweetheart, and we're still together more than two decades later. Lots of life and lessons learned, bringing me to a pretty good place right now.

  2. Eighteen, I was a schlub. Just out of High School, not skills to speak of, no real job. No future.

    Today. Not much has changed. :D

  3. Joanne, It's wonderful to hear about long lasting relationships. Congratulations.

    Ed, I'm sure you've come a long way. Sometimes we don't even bother to see the little changes and they are pretty significant.