When I was a twenty two, it was a humongous pivotal year for me.
Mike and I had just moved out of the trailer park and just bought our first home. I was full and bursting with heaviness of my second pregnancy. I was young and still trying to swing this stage of my life.
My Dad, who had fought an evil illness for many many years had come to a point that was just. to. much. for mom to try to handle alone. She had fought tooth and nail for years by his side, but along with her back, her emotions and spirit were being broken also. The gut retching decision to put a 49 year man into a full time nursing home had come, and it broke all of our hearts. To make matter's worse, he fought this transition and cried and pleaded to just come home! He was not only trapped in his only body, he was now taken from his home.
During this sad time, I would make the 45 minute drive many times a week to the city to visit him with little Tatum in tow. She was a bright spot in his day. She was 3 and a half at the time and she knew no better. She saw no handicaps in people, and was just a happy little sprout that would hop along and greet all. She had grown up around wheelchairs and such, and disabilities did not faze this girl at all. She did great at the nursing home, and was more interested in seeing the house's dog or grandpa's fish. She helped so much. I really would like to credit this part of her life that is still seen in her spirit today. She works with handicap children in the gymnastic classes she teaches, and she is taking special classes next year in school to help her academically open doors for working in this field in the future :)
During those long drives to the city, I would listen to my Alanis Morrisette tape Jagged Little Pill, to the point that 3 year old Tatum would sing along and know all the words. Still when I hear any of her music it makes me think of this time in my life.
Yes, it was sad, but it was a special time too. My brother's daughter was born premature during this time and Dad got to see Tim's first baby. Jake was born that September. Dad got to hold him a couple of times...
Mom says God does things for a reason, and she thinks maybe that year where Dad was in the nursing home was for a good reason. It gave her a year to be use to be home alone. To not have him in the house, but yet not gone yet. Kind of baby steps. I don't know.
Anyways...Twenty two... Big year.
This week I approach a big numbered birthday. I was trying to reflect back on some on the years that were pluck able. Stood out. Made me who I am. This one definitely stood out.
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