Dear Chad, Kelly, Corey and Bryan,
Once again I was lying in bed and a story popped into my mind and I had to get up to write. Your poor Dad was so tired but he helped me out to my chair anyway.
I know some of you question whether you believe in God and I have, too. But since I’ve been sick and have had time to look at my life more clearly I am amazed at the miracles that have happened.
This morning my thoughts went back to the beginning of your Dad and I. Remember when I told you that Dad and I only dated a few times before we decided to get married? Looking back on it now it probably wasn’t the smartest thing we ever did but it just felt right. I never dated much and only had one serious boyfriend before your dad, so falling in love and marrying your father was almost like a miracle and I never knew why but I never looked back at my decision. The funny thing is that I wasn’t a good decision maker at that time and almost always questioned my decisions but for some reason I didn’t question the biggest decision of my life.
We got married and invited 600 people to our wedding reception but the reception hall only had the capacity to hold 500 people. It was stupid on my part but somehow our guests all fit. Did I mention that I was a poor college student and Dad’s small Navy salary probably put us at poverty level? Yet somehow we paid for that wedding with the help of a $500.00 gift from my parents but looking back I’m still not sure how we did it.
We took off for Baltimore with a $500.00 loan from my Dad because I pretty much spent all of your Dad’s earnings and savings on our wedding. Right before we got married we bought a stereo but had no furniture. Again, stupid. After getting to Baltimore one of the first things we bought were matching gray sweatsuits from K-Mart because we wanted to start jogging together. It was another stupid purchase that we made because we hardly had enough money for food and rent but again we made it work.
Your dad got out of the Navy and we moved back to Muskegon and without a job Mr. Cryderman, the manager at Beverley Hills Apartments, rented us an apartment. Dad got a job at Bofors Lakeway Chemical and a few months later the company went on strike. Again we had no money because our only income was $25.00 a week for strike pay. Chad was about three months old at the time so we signed up for food stamps which helped us buy food, diapers and formula. At about the time we would run out of money your Dad would get a side job and we would be able to pay our bills but it felt like a miracle every time it happened.
Sending you kids to Muskegon Catholic felt like an unachievable financial goal at first so we didn’t do it the first year we wanted to because we didn’t want to start you kids at a new school and not be able to continue. Somehow the second year felt right and we made the move. Again, this was a radical move on our part and you kids were scared to death and sometimes hated our decision but it felt right to us and it still feels right. Every year the tuition would rise and somehow our incomes would rise, too.
When Chad and Bryan were foreign exchange students it was expensive but somehow were able to do it. When Kelly and Corey decided to go to two very expensive colleges, I’m not sure how but our incomes would increase enough to make it work without risking our financial future.
When I decided to retire we were nervous about losing my income but it didn’t hurt us. When your Dad decided to retire people thought we were nuts because he was so young but it felt right and it was right because now he’s able to help me. The timing of making our retirement decisions was miraculous in so many ways.
The decision to write this blog was a crazy decision because I am not a writer but we happen to have Corey, a gifted writer, in our family to help me. And because of all of you I’ll always have amazing things to write about.
Miracles are happening all around us if we just find time to open our eyes and hearts to catch them.
I love you all.