Monday, March 24, 2008

Love Letter

As a kid growing up, I was sure that my life was not going to happen in Georgetown County. I was certain that I was going to have a Big Life as a singer on Broadway, and spent most if my waking moments dreaming about the day my life would begin.
That day never happened, or so I thought. Honestly, I have no one to blame but myself. I'm the one who didn't study hard enough in college and lost my scholarship. I'm the one who was always too afraid to learn to drive, so I never worked up the courage to just pack up and drive. It's easier to dream than it is to do.

That was almost fifteen years ago, and I realized when I woke up this morning that I've wasted the last fifteen years still waiting for my life to begin. What's wrong with the life I have now?

I have a good life. No, wait--scratch that. I have a great life.

I have a husband who loves me. Really, really loves me, and I see it each time he turns his eyes to me. I feel it every time we're in the same room together, and every time we talk on the phone. Richie is my best friend--he accepts me for who I am, and doesn't try to change me. He's given me everything I've ever wanted and more, and I really don't give Richie the credit he needs for being the awesome husband that he is to me. In fact, I've probably taken advantage of his good nature, I'm ashamed to say.

I have a sweet, loving, funny and talented son who has never been mean or disrespectful to me. The entire time he was living with us, I kept waiting for the "you're not my mother" card to be played, but he never did. He was always ready to help me out, whether I asked him to or not. In fact, he was usually disappointed when I would turn him down. I regret not watching him play baseball more, because it's truly something fascinating to see. He's the kind of player that plays with passion, and works so hard at his game that he makes it look easy and effortless when he's on the field. I'm so proud of him for winning MVP last year, and I can't wait to post a picture of his name on the wall at Mike Johnson Park. I'm looking forward to watching him play American Legion baseball this summer and at USC Lancaster next spring. I'm so lucky and so proud to call him my son.

Cathryn is a wonder to behold. She's a melting pot of the Thames family and the Jones family all rolled up into one energetic ball. Looks like Richie straight on and me from the side. Loves hunting, fishing, and baseball with her Daddy. (From what I hear, she's not afraid of the ball, which means that she's already a 100% better athlete than me!) Loves reading reading, singing, and musical like her Mom. Writes her own songs and loves to bang and strum them out on the keyboard and her guitar. Loves to shop like her Granny--she's already a pro at age six-and-a-half. Loves the beach and outdoors like her Pappy. Loves black fingernail polish and tattoos like her Aunt Tracey. And of course, every little thing Cathryn does thrills her Nana to pieces. She's sweet and spunky at the same time, and is never afraid to jump right in and make friends. Most importantly, she never lacks in self-confidence, and that will take her far. God really knew what He was doing when He blessed us with our sassy little diva.

I have a loving mother and sister who never judge me, even though I'm the first to confess that I can be judgmental. My mother still worries about me eating enough, being warm enough, having enough, even though I'm thirty years old and in charge of these things for my own family. My sister is my complete opposite, but she can make me laugh like no one else. She's an Elvis fan, and I'm a Beatlemaniac. She's a Johnny Cash-loving Goth and I'm practically Elle Woods. We love sending each other email surveys, just we can laugh at our differences. I'm the cynic, believe it or not, and she's the open-hearted one who wants to help people. Tracey should have been famous, too--her personality is much too bold and eccentric to be contained by our small town.

I have wonderful, incredible, and diverse friends. Friends from high school who even though we're separated always are able to pick up right where we left off. Newly discovered friends that I knew in school and never realized we had anything in common until we reconnected as adults. Church friends who make me laugh and make me think; good--no, great moms who made me realize that motherhood is a gift from God, not a job. Friends who have an infectious enthusiasm for life. And I cannot forget the women who've been spiritual mothers to me.

Then there's Beth. She's all of those women rolled up into one. She's more than my friend--she's like my sister. She's the epitome of the Proverbs 31 woman and an excellent example of I Corinthians 13 love. My love for her is indescribable, and I'm thankful everyday that God put us in each other's lives.

Speaking of God, He's given me a ministry and a calling, not to mention all the other wonderful people I've written about today. I get excited thinking about children's choir, and all the directions Leslie and I can take them. I research and study new ways to teach class and relate to our students. I get the joy of passing my love of music and performance on to these kids each week, and I am eternally thankful. He gave me salvation and life and confidence that I never could muster on my own.

All these years, I've been waiting for my life to begin, and ignoring the life God gave me. It's time to start appreciating the so-called "small life". I just didn't know what I'd been missing.


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