Recently I was asked to describe the best years of my life. When I was younger, I remember summers going on seemingly forever. What wonderful times, playing tag or touch football until dark with the neighborhood kids, staying out until you had to come inside to take a bath and jump into bed. Endless, wonderfully carefree summer days.
Marriage and Babies
Marriage and the subsequent birth of my three boys followed. Each of their births is etched indelibly upon my memory. My oldest arrived two weeks early, dark haired and perfect, a little miniature human being. Always active and a handful, but a wonderful, compassionate person who turned 24 this year.
My middle son arrived screaming, as if he could hardly wait to enter the world. He was the head banger. If he fell, he always managed to hit his head. Following his speedy arrival, he’s been laid back ever since and has a wonderful, dry sense of humor. That was a memorable 22 years ago.
My youngest son was a real surprise when I discovered myself pregnant at 35. We were whisked into the delivery room with only twenty minutes to spare. He arrived screaming, eager to see what was going on. I’ll never forget the moment my husband looked at me and said, “You make beautiful babies.” That beautiful baby is now 16.
The best years and memories are scattered so delightfully throughout my life, and most center around family. At times the images arrive in vivid, fresh detail, as if I’m looking at a photo album.
When my husband died, there was a long time I didn’t think I’d ever be able to say “the best years of my life” again. I felt stuck, emotions running from lonely and confused to isolated. I tried to understand, but many days I felt as if I was drifting with no purpose or passion.
In a gradual process, the darkness lifted. Five years later, I realize there are many days that I will be able to look back and say, “These are some of the best years of my life.” I have become so much more empowered from the experiences I’ve been given, managing to take something good out of each “sad” experience.
I now find it exciting, knowing there is so much before me, and some of the best years of my life are yet to come.