Sunday, May 23, 2010

Firsts: From "Slice of Life" Prompt

I think my first BIG first....you know the first thing that gave me a real sense of freedom and accomplishment was getting my own apartment. I was in the middle of a yucky divorce and I had a job that paid a little more than minimum wage at Foleys. I was living with my two toddlers, at the women's shelter in Conroe, TX. It was not a fun time for me. You had to share a room with one or more other mothers and their children. And of course not everyone has your same beliefs or way doing things and that could be stressful. Add into that that the kids all had a hard time as their own lives were being turned topsy turvy and you can imagine the stress and tension felt by the adults. We also had to have our kids in bed by 8pm if I remember right, so that we could meet back down stairs for our resident meeting every evening. After that we would split up and do our chores before going to bed ourselves. Well with being in a strange place and Mom being gone all day, you can imagine that my two boys didn't really want to go to sleep. It was then that I developed our bedtime routine that would become a blessing and a memory for my two oldest for a longtime there after. I would read a story out of the picture Book of Mormon. Then one other story of their choice. Then we would say prayers and I afterwards I would sing song after song till they fell asleep. It is so funny, I remember feeling so good about my singing after a fellow roommates daughter put in a song request. I was always so afraid that I would miss the deadline to be at the meeting and get kicked out, but I was always blessed. The kids would fall asleep just in time. But you can imagine my relief when my application for an apartment through HUD housing,( government assisted housing), came through. The apartments were in the worst part of town. Later I was told that it was the area where cops refused to go. My Dad was so worried about us going to live there, and the only way he reconciled himself to it, I was told later, was that their was a lady there that he knew that said she would keep an eye out for me. The apartment wasn't mutch. there was no carpet. It was all linoleum tile. And not the pretty kind if there is a pretty kind, lol. It was the stuff you see in hospitals. The walls were all white. It was kind of dingy but it had two bedrooms. There was no little porch but it was on the first floor and that was a blessing in some ways. Eventually the behaviors of the other people there would drive me to seek shelter till another application went through, but in those first days I was so excited! I was thrilled to be out on my own. Atlast! I was going to be taking care of myself and I was proving that I was capable of it. I was so excited about my little space that I asked everyone over to celebrate Christmas Eve at my house.
I wrote my Dad a poem that year to go with a picture of he and I in my first snow together. This is me reading it to him. The poem was a thank you for believing in me. He had just helped me to buy my first car, so that I could continue forward. I remember my parents brought down my Aunt Lynn that year from Oklahoma. She came to visit too. It was the last time that I would see her before she died. We bought her pink pig slippers because that was her favorite thing to collect, pigs. She loved them as you can tell by the picture. I thought that my Christmas tree was the most beautiful thing ever. It was the one thing that I asked my husband, at the time, for. The boys and I had decorated pine tree cones and I bought ice garland strands. I loved that natural theme and built on it year after year till I remarried and had to merge our Christmas's. In the I even commemorated that first Christmas on our own in my own apartment by buying an our first Christmas ornament.
I have it to this day. I know most people would think that is weird since those are usually for a couple's first Christmas, but for me it's still important to remember that first. The knowledge that I could stand on my own two feet and make it. I think everyone should know that. To have that innate belief in themselves that they can make it, no matter what life throws at them. Lot's of firsts for me that year and definitely a year to feel grateful and blessed.

6 comments:

Lori E said...

I usually skim over posts quickly because of time constraints but I must say I slowed down to read all of this.
I loved your story. Thank you for sharing it. Wow.

Texasblu said...

That is a beautiful first slice of life. Keep doing it - I know it's tough & time consuming, but your grandkids will be blessed for it. Standing on your own two feet IS an important first... and I was proud of you for doing it.

(((HUGS)))

hummer said...

It was a special Christmas, and I am so glad you kept up the belief and fight. Wonderful sharing.
Hugs!

Cindy said...

It is wonderful, that you were able to stand on your own two feet!! I love the part in your story of singing to the children. Traditions are so important!

Little Miss Sunshine said...

Thanks everyone for your comments! I was suprised where this took me. LOL. It was supposed to be one first, lol.

Lori E said...

Thanks for stopping by my ancestors site. Tell your son that there is more to that story already published on the blog including a modern day connection. Just click on Hebert in the label list.