- According to the Social Security website .. the average life expectancy of a female in the United States is about 86 years. That means that once we turn 43 we are, indeed, "over the hill" If this information is correct... I have approximately 32 years left. I want to make the most of these three decades, but that adds a bit of pressure to life.
- After nearly 25 years of being a full time mom... my youngest moved out of the house leaving me with the proverbial "empty nest" Now, I am not complaining; this is not all bad, especially for an organized neat-freak such as myself. But it is a defining moment when the life I have known for a quarter of a century is dramatically changed.
- While it is not true for all, it so happened that both my parents passed away close to my 50th birthday. As my husband admitted when both his parents passed away... that makes us orphans. And for me, it also meant I became the matriarch of the family --- and the image of Angela Channing of Falcon Crest instantly comes to mind (trust me, she was not a loving, compassionate character...). This is not a role that I would search out myself; I much prefer to be behind-the-scenes in any dramatic situation.
- In a two week timespan I not only became the matriarch... but a grandma. Not that I mind that role (I absolutely adore Brynn and she seems to enjoy my company as well)... but I am not fond of the title. "Grandma" conjures up the image of a frail little old lady with gray hair and arthritis. I hope that I am not that "old" for a long, long time.
- And... I look back over the past half century and I wonder....what have I accomplished to impact this world? A lofty question and yet one that I feel I need to answer. Is it teaching? Hardly. Perhaps I have motivated a few to do their best...and inspired even fewer. But I fear there is a greater number whom I have discouraged, who perhaps had an interest in writing but I pushed too hard. Is it catering? A very part-time career that was fun and creative, but did it impact the world for the better? I doubt it. Is it market research analysis? I know for certain it is not. Does it really matter if a study is conducted in order to perceive customer reactions to charging for ATM transactions? I don't think so. But is it being a mother? The one job that does not compute on the 21st century scale of profit margin and measurable improvement....
Megan, my eldest, has grown into the most amazing mother. She is far more patient with her daughter than I ever managed to be... and she edifies, encourages and inspires Brynn to reach her full potential. While Megan did not gain these skills from her own mother, I am so pleased and proud that she has overcome childhood detriments and become an extraordinary mother to her own daughter.
Brian has had a future in music since he was five years old. He has always had a song in his heart and quite the stage presence... but in 9th grade he self-recorded his first song and was hooked on audio engineering. He has parlayed that experience, along with his natural talent for videography, and is making quite a name for himself in Nashville, the Music City. His latest claim to fame was to record Martina McBride's recent behind-the-scenes video at the Grand Ole Opry. Brian recently married his high school sweetheart and they are going to take the city of Nashville by storm.
And then there is Mandy, my youngest... and the one who is probably most like her mom. Mandy loves to read.. and she loves to bake. She is tender-hearted and takes life, perhaps, a bit too seriously. But Mandy also has an amazing writing style (and as a high school English teacher, I think I can recognize that without too much prejudice). She has maintained a low-profile catering business for the past two years and has just recently started her own blog, Treats and Tidbits, which not only showcases her baking ability but her writing talent as well.
My children are now grown and independent. They are leading productive lives and are happy and well-adjusted. What more could a mother hope for? What is more important in life than to help raise a next generation who will positively contribute to this world? Nothing, I say. And my heart is full....