Three blogs I read all the time have asked their blog readers to participate, so here is ours.
20 years ago, I had been married 10 years and was the mother of 4 sons, Fred 11, Terry 9, Eric 6, and Brian 2. My father suffered a stroke and was in the hospital, it was hard to see such a strong man ashen and unable to move, he recovered well enough to take his long walks again, but his lungs were damaged and he passed away 1 year later.
I worked full time at a health club working as a fitness instructor and weight trainer. Brian came to work with me and stayed in the daycare. The girls there loved him and took him out to movies and ice cream; he was and still is a charmer. My husband was teaching 50 miles away and he was unable to go to any of the kid’s functions. It was hard, but we survived. I was taking some classes at the community college and teaching one class for them, tuition was free.
15 years ago, I was 32, I became a mom to 5 and had my first daughter. Julia. I was president of Southern Arizona Fitness Association and Co-chairperson of City of Hopes "Workout for Hope". I ran the group fitness program and work and had a terrific staff whom were like family to me. I loved my job for the most part, my boss was difficult, but bosses often are. My husband was looking for a job in town to help more with our 5 children. The 50 mile commute was wearing on all of us, as we often had to take him to work.
10 years ago I was 38, Fred and Terry had graduated from high school, Terry had moved out pretty much after graduation, Eric was in HS, and Brian was in middle school, Julia was going into Kindergarten. I was working at another health club along with the first one, teaching 16 classes a week, all I did was teach, and it was great not getting phone calls from instructors 5 minutes before class to tell me they could not teach. I had my time and life back. Tom was working in Tucson and was finally able to go to parent teacher conferences and the kids school performances. I remember being upset that I gained 5 pounds I could not lose. :o) A whole 138 pounds, egads, I wish I weighed that now. Perimenopause was beginning, yippee!
5 years ago I was 43, Eric graduated HS in 2000, Brian was in HS. Julia was in 5th grade. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and weaning my then 2-year-old daughter Meghan so she would not be too upset when she could no longer breastfeed after my mastectomy. I went through 4 months of chemotherapy and attended my first cancer retreat. I took over a breast cancer support group after the owner left, I still run that. I had to fight to keep my job, apparently someone with cancer is a liability to businesses, so many people get fired when they are going through cancer treatments, and it is perfectly legal to do so if the employee is part time, like I was. FMLA does not apply for us. In December I was so grateful to still be alive I often had tears of gratitude in my eyes. I attended Nutcracker with Julia and sat there wiping tears away, I was also ecstatic to be able to see LOTR! Small things, everyday things, were more meaningful than they were before. My hair was one inch long.
3 years ago I was recovering for reconstructive surgery, I got a new job teaching at a new club, Eric took Meghan to school M and F. Fred got a job doing IT for a mortgage company, Terry came back home for a while. Eric was going to college and working for a resort, Brian was living in his first apartment, and going to college, Julia was in Middle School, and Meghan was going to Project Able preschool. Tom was talking about getting his masters degree. Eric and Fred were still living at home and I enjoyed having someone here all day with me (when they were not working or going to school)
One year ago we were getting ready to travel to Ukraine to adopt Kara,. Fred had lost his job at the mortgage company, First Magnus, they gave the employees one days notice, and many never got their final paycheck. Eric was put in charge of special events at his job, Terry was still working and trying to go to school. Brian was going to school and acting in many plays. Julia was a freshman in HS and Meghan was in 1st grade, home schooled through AZVA. Fred and Eric had moved out a year before that, and we were still getting used to not having them here. They did and do come home every week to watch our favorite TV show and have dinner. Life was centered on fundraising and paperwork, taking care of our girls at home, and enjoying being a family. Tom finished his master’s degree.
Today we have two new daughters, are adjusting to caring for two three year olds. Our sons are doing well, Julia is a sophomore, Meghan is in 2nd grade, and I am not working at all. I lost my teaching job after we adopted Kara, apparently I was not very reliable going off to Ukraine to adopt. I miss teaching, did it 25 years and feel like an integral part of me is missing now. Tom got a PT job , very PT, teaching at an online school. He still has his FT job. I take the girls to their appointments and home school Meghan.
Tomorrow I take Kara and Amanda to the eye doctor.
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