Mother Lee and I are really close. Two years apart, we have walked lock step through our lives together. We talk almost every day. Even though we live 3.5 hours away from each other, we make a point of being included in each other’s lives. Family is really important to us. I think being orphans makes us both appreciate our own small families and want to create memories for our children, because we know first hand that it’s those memories that matter. If I were to die, I would want my son to know who I am. I would want him to know, above all, that I love him.
We were children when our mother was murdered. We were teenagers when our father’s drug and alcohol abuse finally claimed his life. We were blessed to have loving family that took us in and raised us. We grew up on a Goodwill budget. I remember in grade school, we couldn’t afford winter coats, so we layered sweaters. We lived in apartments and mobile homes. We moved a lot. We couldn’t afford a lot of the luxuries that other people took for granted. Growing up this way has made us both insistent on creating safe, stable homes. Mother Lee has even fostered our nephew to give him what was given to us. A home.
We both went to college, taking out loans and applying for grants and scholarships. We have both made a point of trying to be better than where we started. I think all parents want better for their children than they had for themselves. I think this is even more true for orphans. Creating a home and a family for child has helped fill that empty space in my soul. It has also made me think about what I wish I knew. My mom died and left so little behind. Did she breastfeed? How was her labor, her pregnancy, her recovery? What did she worry about? She barely filled out the baby books. So this blog is an effort to leave more behind. Just in case. Because life is short and unexpected.