After Granny passed
Not the worst of days and not the best
25 years ago, September 13, 1995, my life changed. I am still trying to decipher if it changed for the better or for the worst. Regardless, that was a dreadful day for me. The one person that I knew I could always depend on and that I knew would have my back regardless of my stupid decisions left this world. My granny always had words of encouragement and her support was endless. She unlike others knew and realized the potential that I possessed. She also knew that my awkwardness and my shyness would prevent me from going for all that I knew was out there for me. Let's not even touch on her cooking. Those homemade biscuits with gravy in the mornings were simply delicious. After the passing of my granny, my life changed. I know I have said that already and I will probably say it many more times, but it is the truth. After living with my granny most of my life, I now had to move in with my mom, 2 younger brothers, and my mom's then boyfriend (he's now her husband). It was somewhere to live. It was a house but to me it was not the "home" that I had grown accustomed to and loved.
My brothers were your typical teenage boys... ROUGH! Lord, they tried every last nerve that I had! Not sure of how you all grew up, but around here the "boys" seemed to get away with everything. They could do everything simply because they were "boys!" Whoever heard of such?! They were able to stay out as long as they wanted. They could go and do what they wanted. Me... Nope, I was stuck at home. Studying. What few friends I had I saw at school. Very limited outside interaction unless it was with people from our church. I think my entire life I went to one sleepover - besides the ones with all of my cousins. It was ok but not my thing so I guess it was not much of a loss. I was a bookworm, geek, nerd, or whatever phrase that you want to label someone that spent her summers reading the dictionary or encyclopedia rather than hanging out with the handful of friends that I did have. Not to mention, I was barely 80 lbs. going into my senior year of high school. I looked like a twig. Hence, the nickname string bean most of my life. If I turned sideways, I would disappear! No exaggerating at all.
Mom, was mom, we "chatted" on occasion but never any deep or heartfelt conversations. I was seeking validation and love in places that I shouldn't have been. Yep, you knew what was coming. I ended up pregnant! Almost two months after my granny passed, I found out I was pregnant and I cried like a newborn baby coming out of the womb! Don't get me wrong because I would finally have someone that loved me and vice versa. I was crying because I knew my mom was going to blow a head gasket. It was a cycle. My mom got pregnant with me around the same age. I don't know if she had any aspirations or dreams like I did or not. We never discussed things like that. I had aspirations! I had dreams! Yes, I could still achieve them but it was going to take me much longer than I wanted them to. How was I going to tell my mama I was pregnant? I wasn't. Plain and simple. She would eventually realize it.
A few months passed and one night after arriving home from a SCAEL (Scholastic Competition for Academic Excellence League) match. I found a note on my pillow. It state: "I know you are pregnant I don't know why you just don't tell me." My mouth dropped to my chest. How did she know? A mother's extinct or intuition I suppose. So, I finally had to come clean. Was she mad? I still can't figure out if she was mad or just disappointed or maybe a combination of both. I made through my senior year of high school with only a handful of people even knowing that I was expecting. More family knew than anything. Then one day while sitting in my College Prep English Lit class, I started having contractions. I asked my teacher to step out into the hallway and I said I think I am having contractions. Not sure if I'm in labor or if it is false labor but I'm definitely having contractions. She gasped! The look on her face was priceless. She said, "I didn't know! I noticed you had started to wear bigger clothes but I thought it was a phase you were going through!" I laughed so hard I almost peed on myself until another contraction hit.
In our little county we had a separate location for the delinquents. They actually thought they were going to place me there simply because I was pregnant. My mother put a halt to that quick. She actually fought for me for once. I was a straight A student, I was shy and withdrawn and they thought I would fare better better at the other location. It was an absolute no go for my mom on that. Basically, they wanted me there because I was a liability if I was hit in the stomach due to the overcrowded hallways (our high school is on of the largest in the state). After my mom had her say my schedule was adjusted accordingly, I only had two classes per day and I was released from school early every day until graduation.
Graduation day came, it was hot at 10 in the morning. Luckily, my last name started with a C and I was called pretty quickly. Just like that graduation was over. My mom and other family members had a small gathering for me at my Uncle's. I had no desire to go to any graduation parties... I mean really I looked like a saggy beached whale. NO! I ate and slept through my own graduation party! I'll never forget it. That was a story to tell the kids and grand kids.
A little over a month later, the docs decided to induce me. The day that the induction was scheduled I ended up going into labor around 3 am. Man! That was a pain that you will never forget! I labored all day and finally my little bundle of joy was born at 2:59 pm. I don't remember much after the epidural was administered though. I did not know when to push or anything. I did not even remember holding her. I was fussing. Y'all (I'm country) didn't let me hold my darn baby. They said we did but you were about to drop her so we took her! Slap to the forehead. The epidural had me loopy and hungry. I sent one aunt to Dairy Queen, one aunt went to Pizza Hut, mom went to Hardees, and I had my hospital tray! I mean I hadn't ate since about 8 pm the night before and I had put in work that day! When I finally came to myself, I held the prettiest little girl in my arms. She was something else. Already spoiled. When I say she didn't have to want for anything. She didn't. Her grandpa (my stepdad) didn't talk to me much during my pregnancy. He was definitely disappointed but now those two have a bond that only an act of God could break and now he has the same bond with her daughter. It is priceless.
There are some things that I reflect on and wish that I had done differently but I can't do anything about them now. All I can do is strive to do better and teach my kids a better way. Even after teaching them, it is still up to them what path and directions that they take. Do I want my kids and grandkids to have the life that I had. No, I want better for them of course. Don't we all want better lives for our children and grandchildren than we had?