Sunday, July 29, 2012

Knocked Down But Not Knocked Out

I grew up in suburbia. I went to a private school. I had two brothers, my own room, and a mom and dad who loved each other and to this very day still do. Yes we had family dynamics that were far from perfect but as an adult looking back on my childhood I don't think the proverbial picket fence could have been any whiter.

I left the comforts or the not comforts of my private school after middle school and finished my freshman year at the local public school with a 4.2 GPA. However, that summer my life began to change course. I got a job and more or less just stopped going to school. I tried a few alternative high schools and ended up getting my GED after meeting a boy, getting pregnant, and officially moving out of my parents house at 17.

As a child when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I always responded with, " I want to be a mom." So at 18 years old when I held my first baby boy I was in Heaven. I was living my dream! A few months after my firstborns birth his father and I got married and all that was left was to live happily ever after.


We lived happily for a while having two more children. My teenage love went to school and landed a good job with potential for advancement and one day a solid career. I did day care and taught Karate at a school near our home. We owned our own house in suburbia, and our very own picket fence looked pretty dang white until the day my teenage love picked up his bags and left our family after having an affair with my best friend.

I was knocked down but not knocked out.

I would soon remarry and not long after that have my fourth baby..... Makenzie.  We struggled to find our way as a blended family but we were happy....... and then tragedy struck.

Once again I found myself knocked onto my knees. This time however it was not going to be so easy to get back up.

Shortly after Makenzie's accident my second marriage began to fail and on top of everything my little family was going through I began to plan what I would do if I found myself in the role of single mother to 4 kids, one of which had many needs.

I completed a three week CNA course, got a job with a home health care company caring for Makenzie, and shortly after I got my first paycheck my 2nd marriage ended. So three years ago I joined the single mommy club to go along with my membership to the special needs club I had joined just two years earlier.

I found myself flat on my back but still breathing.


Life moved on. My family and community stepped in to help provide modifications on a new house, an adapted van, costs for many of Makenzie's therapies and other help in all forms. Slowly but surely over the those 3 years I  began to dig my heels back into the ground and stand up straight again. I am happier today then I think I have ever been.

Over the last two years Makenzie has done so well and my boys are growing up fast. I have done a lot of soul searching. Part of that process for me has been reflecting on the question which has been asked my whole life...... "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

I have thrown a lot of things around. I have called many schools and set up meetings. I have looked into shorter certificate programs. A year ago I filled out and submitted FASFA paperwork to 3 different schools. I studied for placement tests and then did nothing. At the end of last school year I signed up for a professional photography class at a technical school and got excited. I finally was going to do something.

Over the summer and after some more soul searching I decided that while I love taking pictures and hope to continue to learn and improve my skills in that area, photography was not what I wanted to do as a career. So I did some more searching and kept ending back at the one thing I was the most excited about and scared of at the same time.......becoming a nurse. 

A degree in nursing is not for the faint of heart. It is a process that still to this day I am not sure how I am going to survive as a single parent. It is scary and exciting.

In the past few weeks I have jumped through many hoops at the college. On Thursday my plans where to take Makenzie to a appointment to get xrays done of her hips and then to the college to take their placement test. During that appointment I found out that Makenzie's right hip is in trouble. The first thought was...... Makenzie would never tolorate surgery or a full body cast. The next thing that crossed my mind was...... how in the heck was I going to go to school if Makenzie needed this huge surgery and months of intense recovery and rehab. After processing the news for a couple of minutes I had two things to say to the surgeon. The first was "Makenzie is not in any pain and my God is bigger then this, so for now I am opting to do nothing" The second thing I said was " I AM going to school and this time there is nothing that is going knock me off of the path God has put me on. "

I left the surgeons office and went to get something to eat. While I was there I met a man who spoke kind words to Makenzie and then proceeded to tell me he had lost his child in March to SIDS. I cried. I sat down with Makenzie and prayed healing over her while I ate and then headed out the door. As I was leaving the same gentleman stood up and handed me his business card and a little finger ring he had brought back from the Holy Land. He told me that he would be praying for us and smiled. I cried some more.

I picked up my son so he could sit with Makenzie and headed to the college. I was bound and determined to trust in God's plan for my life. I was going to stand tall and strong in peace and trust.  I was not going to fall down again. I was not going to give up on my dreams. I am too strong and determined for that.


The placement test took me just over an hour and a half. I placed very high in English and exactly where I thought I would in Math after 15 years. I walked out of that room with a smile on my face. I left with a confidence in myself that I have been trying to find for a long time.

Life has tried to get the best of me but it will not win.

I have officially registered for my first 3 classes. I have resolved to start and not worry about the logistics of nursing school just yet. God has taken me this far and I know he will take me the rest of the way.

In four years I WILL have a Bachelors of Science in Nursing.  Hows that for positive self talk!?

As for Makenzie's hip..... the x ray was not the best picture so I am hopeful that it is not quite as bad as it looked. Our PT is amazing and agrees that with or without school, now is not the time to consider surgery because Makenzie is not in pain. Makenzie is getting phenol in Tuesday which should help a bit and her stander and braces will be getting a much better work out both at home and school. We will re evaluate in 6 months with new x rays. Please pray for a miracle!

Believe... Prayer Works!


The Henrys said...

How exciting! I wish you all the best of luck as you begin this new phase of your life. You are a very brave and strong woman and I have no doubt that you can make this happen!!

Lucia Dawkins said...

Hi! What a blog entry-action packed! What a roller coaster you've had and what a woman you are! Congrats on your decision of nursing school. I'd love to get together and remeet w our girls. Juliet and Lucia

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