Friday, February 10, 2017

Reflections on a Life Lived

As I approach my 70th birthday next week, I have spent some time contemplating the last seven decades of my life.  I have, like most of you, had good times, bad times, sad times, scary times and amazing times.

My childhood was one spent in a very small country town, but somehow inside I always knew I would reach out into this huge and interesting world of ours.  Graduating from High School, my first job began on June 4, 1965 at the FBI!  What a baptism by fire for a small town girl.  I married a month out of high school to a man I thought would be my lifetime partner.  Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out that way.  That marriage however, produced four beautiful children, and tons of life experiences!  I was blessed with all the ups and downs being a parent brings.

I was able to have my first European experience in the 70's when I traveled to Paris, London and Munich!  I will never forget standing under the Eiffel Tower with tears running down thinking how amazing it was and realizing that I had never really thought I would actually see it in person.  What a mind expanding trip that was.

I went back to college at Salisbury State University/Peninsula General Hospital School of Nursing after my first two children were born and graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1973! It was the culmination of a dream.  Oh, it wasn't easy for sure, but I have never regretted those years and the opportunity to care for others that being a Nurse afforded to me.

I have had such marvelous adventures.  I spent six weeks one summer sailing the Bahamas with a friend on a 37 foot catamaran.  Wow! The experiences we had and the things we saw.  There were beautiful fish, spotted rays, sharks and baracuda! There were waterspouts that chased us at one point! At that point I was trying to decide whether it would be better to stay aboard or jump overboard.  I decided to stay aboard and we avoided the spout with a sharp left turn!

I have gone on many cruises, from the Caribbean to Alaska and am looking forward to a Mediterranean Cruise later this year. I look forward to sharing this next adventure with my husband of twenty-five years and two of my children and two granddaughters!  I just got back from Marakech, Morocco in December on a trip with my youngest son, and only a month before was in Banff, Canada with my daughter and two granddaughters.

I have been to Puerto Rico proper and warm and lovely; most of the Caribbean Islands, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Belize, Mexico, Cayman Islands, St. Maarten, St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John and more in the lovely Caribbean.  I have visited Paris and London more than once as well as Italy, Switzerland, Monaco, Germany, Spain, Thailand, Shanghai China, and more.

I have had the opportunity to get to know Buddists, Muslims and cultures that I never dreamed existed.  I have met many, many wonderful people along the way.  It has taught me that people around the world all have the same basic needs and wants.  We want love and peace and the ability to raise our children without fear.  Whether it is in the rain forests of Belize, the jungles of Thailand or the Cities of London and Paris, I have seen kindness and generosity and love.

I've lived an adventurous life.  I have a Private Pilots license.  I have sailed the Bahamas with a friend on a catamaran TWICE!  I have opened and owned my own Restaurant.  I have worked as an RN in Home Health and Radiation Oncology and actually held many other jobs in the interim.  It has NOT been a boring life.  I have definitely LIVED.  From the tiny town in Maryland to Florida, Georgia and now Utah, I have managed to see much of our beautiful Country.  I have seen my four children grow into productive, independent adults.  I have 7 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren who are growing up all too quickly.  I wish for them a world of love and kindness.

I have had many joys and sorrows, and as I reflect back on the past 70 years and all that I have experienced and learned, I find that sometimes the greatest growth is in those tough years.  I am looking forward to this time...the best time of my life with my husband and family.  I have been trule blessed and have truly lived!

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