Whenever someone asks me how many children I have I tell them two. Now anyone that knows me may be wondering why I say this. It is true that I only gave birth to one of my children but that does not mean anything. The day my daughter got married God gave me another child. It is true that I have a beautiful 21 year old girl that I have raised since birth. Now I also have a 20 year old son who was given to me through the act of marriage. I have two children that I love and support and would not have it any other way.
Some people might believe I let my daughter get married too young. She was only 20 years old at the time and her husband was only 19. I have many reasons for giving my blessing to their union. Although the circumstances were very different, I also got married at the age of 20. My late husband gave his approval for the marriage which in itself was a miracle, since he thought no one was good enough for his baby girl. One of the main reasons of my approving of the marriage was the fact that my son-in-law would be getting deployed in a year. After losing my husband, I wanted to make sure my daughter could have at least one year of marriage with her husband before his deployment.
I have heard people say that you can’t love a child not born to you the way you would love your own. I do not agree with this at all. I love my boy and try to take care of him with the same intensity I do my daughter. I do not believe that blood alone can make a family. In my opinion it is the love and commitment you show that make you a family. Blood ties alone cannot bring people together otherwise there wouldn’t be so many children who have been abandoned by one or both of their parents. The thought of ever abandoning either of my kids would never cross my mind. In my mind, a child is your child until the day you die. You can never love a child too much and you can never stop loving them no matter what they might do.
May is going to be a bittersweet month for me. I have two children a daughter and a son-in-law. One will be coming home and one will be leaving.
My daughter is in her third and final year of college. She will be graduating on April 27th with dual Associate degrees. She will have one degree in Culinary Arts and another in Restaurant Management. She has plans to become a pastry chef. After her graduation and finals she will be moving back home. She will be looking for a job and moving back in with me. My daughter was married last June but has continued to live with me when not at college. She knew when she got married that her husband was going to be deployed in a year. My daughter and her husband decided it would be best if she were to live with me while he is gone. They have a dog, which I gave them for a wedding present, that will be very excited when she comes home to stay.
My son-in-law is being deployed to Africa for 9 months June 1st. One day before their one year wedding anniversary. We have known about his deployment for over a year, but it will not make his leaving any easier. Currently he is attending college alongside his wife. He has to leave college to get ready for deployment one day before my daughter is to graduate. This is causing much heartbreak for all of us. We know his military obligations must come first, but the fact that he has to miss his wife’s graduation and their first anniversary both by one day is a tough pill to swallow.
My daughter and I have been through many difficult times in the past and came out fine. This will be just another test of our strength and faith in God. I will be there for my daughter everyday to help her get through the lonely times without her husband. We have learned to appreciate what we have and to take nothing for granted. Each day is a gift not a given and has to be treated as such. No one knows what will happen in the future, but we have to enjoy what we have now for it might soon be taken away.
The joy of my daughter coming home will be somewhat overshadowed by the sadness of my son-in-law’s leaving. They say where God closes a door he opens a window. I pray this will hold true.