Twenty Five years ago I planned to take my husband Fred out to dinner to celebrate his birthday. He would be 36 years old on August 10th and I wanted to give him some great news - we were pregnant. I was actually farther along than originally thought (about 16 weeks) and after my pagan life style I was sure that being married and expecting a baby meant God was finally blessing me.
I was working for Social Services at the time, in the Appeals Unit. Fred and I had been married since April 25th and had had one false pregnancy already. I was 31 years old and wanted to be a Mom.
The last thing I said to him was "I love you" and I hung up the phone. By the time I arrived home from work, Fred had drowned in the backyard swimming pool. Three hours later I lost our baby.
My descent into total alcoholism and madness began and I did not get sober until May 4, 1992. I have not had a drink or a drug since May 3 which means I celebrated twenty years of sobriety this past May.
I am currently on Catholic Match and willing to date but you want to know somethin kind of weird? No one, in twenty years, has ever expressed even the slightest interest in wanting to date me let alone want to marry me.
Well, almost no one: there was the fake Vietnam Veteran Rick Seguin. He did not want to marry or date me; rather, he wanted as much money from me as he could get and I very stupidly went along with it until I found out that everything he had told me about himself was a lie. Then I got my stuff back, kicked him to the curb and stopped looking for a man who 'needed my help'.
But that's another story....a funny one, too.
No, I think what is interesting is that I am often told how pretty I am and how smart I am and blah blah blah but in reality men are not attracted to me. And that used to really bother me a great deal until my committment to being Catholic Out Loud began to grow stronger. Now it is a little sad sometimes and kind of lonely (single Catholics are not exactly exalted in the pews - all the emphasis is on strong families and how to be good parents, which is fine with me. Those people need some help) but most of the time I find it just plain odd.
Today I have to say I miss my husband, and I wonder what my 25 year old son would be like right now? Would he be serving in the Army with his cousin Ryan or married and providing me with gorgeous grandchildren to spoil? Would he be a priest? Would I be visiting him in prison? Would he be at work saying, "Do you want fries with that?" as he tried to make his way in the world?
I am pretty sure he would be handsome. We have handsome people in my family.
Well, I am grateful for the life I have today. I am even grateful for the pain of losing my family and the lonliness I sometimes feel as I trudge the road of happy destiny. I get the chance to learn so much today and do so much today. I find it difficult to believe that what might have been could be better than what it is right this minute.
Norm used to say we might have missed out on our own lives by 'seconds and inches'. I agree with that; seconds and inches may have given me a life much different than what I have right now but I am not sure it would have been better.
Thank you, Lord, for my life today exactly as it is because quite frankly I would not change a thing.
Even if I could.