Friday, October 1, 2010

What Do You Do?

You know how it is when you walk into a roomful of strangers, and the first question they ask is "What do you do?"  I never know how to answer that one anymore.  I used to be someone's wife, but I've been alone for a long time now.  I'm a mom, but my kids are grown.  I'm a relatively recent college graduate, but I don't have a job.  Just who am I anyway?  How did I get lost somewhere along the way?

This is who I was in 1982.  Bruce and I had been married for two years.  I loved him with all my heart and soul.  We were already dealing with infertility, but we were happy.  And we were lucky.  Time and medical science gave us a daughter and twin sons.

Bruce with Don, Bran, and Jeana at Stonehenge 1990

We were also given the opportunity to live in some pretty amazing places thanks to the military.  It wasn't always easy being away from our families, but I would have followed Bruce to the ends of the earth.  North Pole, Alaska came pretty close.  

Don, Jeana, Janet and Bruce in Oklahoma 1996

And then, one day, after a very short illness......... Bruce was gone.  Just like that.  I will never forget having to tell our kids that Dad would never come home again.  It tore my heart into a million tiny little pieces.  Twelve years later, it is held together with gum and shoelaces.  But our kids?  They are made of such strong stuff.

Jeana, Don and Bran - Summer 2010
photo by Becky Novacek

Two of them have graduated from college (both triple majored).  The third will graduate next year. 

Jeana - Class of 2009

Bran - Class of 2010

Jeana got married this summer while home on leave, and is currently on her third deployment to Iraq. 

Jeana and Brandon - June 2010
photo by Tammy Burroughs

I am someone's mother-in-law.  If it hadn't occurred to me that I was getting older before then, well, it has sure sunk in now.  I will be turning 50 next year.  5-0.  I don't want to waste any more of my life.  I feel like I have been treading water for too long.  I do have this to show for some of my time:

Janet - Class of 2006

But I want more.  I want to live fully, not just exist.  If you could start all over again, what would you want to be when you grew up?  I am open to suggestions.  



1 comment:

  1. Wow! That is THE question. But my suggestion is: be whatever you want. If you have the freedom to do so, take a chance. If it doesn't work out, try something else. My job pays my bills (kind of) and in no way defines me; I think that's a rude question, anyway. If I could do things all over again, I would definitely have started taking more risks earlier in life.