Events that changed your life…and a new blog award

First, I want to say, “Thank you so much, Jennifer Eaton, for passing on the 7×7 Link Blog Award.”  I didn’t even realize I had the award until yesterday and I have to say, I’m very happy.  It pleases me to know others think of me and my blog when handing out these awards, especially when one considers just how big the blogosphere is.

I was going to answer the  award today (you have to do stuff for this award), but another post by Jennifer (click here to read her post on Ed Griffin, author of Once a Priest) made me decide to postpone this until tomorrow, and write about another topic…what event(s) changed your life, for good or bad?

When I think back on my life, there are many things that occurred to shape who I am.  We all have our bumps and bruises, our horrible or wonderful dates, opportunities we should or should not have taken, but what event(s) really changed the course of your life?

For me, I think I have to say there were 4 life changing events for me:  my birth/adoption, the death of my father, the births of my children, and the death of a soul mate.

I was born in Germany in 1960 to an unwed 24-year old German woman.  I have no clue who my father was.  The story had it that my mom had 4 other children and when she became pregnant with me, my dad said he’d agreed to take on the other 4 and marry my mom, but couldn’t afford one more mouth to feed.  So, my mom put me up for adoption.

I have to hand it to her.  Having kids of my own, I could never, ever give one of them away.  EVER.  I would rather die.  I’m very selfish that way.  And as far as choosing between a man and  my child…I’d take my child any day.  I know that sounds harsh, and maybe bitter and cruel, but I could never let a man, the father of my child, put those type of stipulations on me.  If abortions had been legal then, I probably would not be here talking to you today.  That’s a very sobering thought.

For many years, I was pretty messed up over this.  Not the adoption.  That didn’t bother me.  I loved my mom and dad.  They raised me, nurtured me and loved me.  They provided me a wonderful life, probably a better one than my real parents would have done.  But let me tell you, the rejection thing as a baby stuck with me, even to this day.  My self-esteem went down the drain years ago and it’s been a fight ever since to escape from the gutter.  I think it was my first deciding factor at how I looked at men.  My own father didn’t want me…a baby…a child he created.  That’s a difficult pill to swallow.  And then to be able to sway my mom to give me a way like I was a litter mate?  (yes, that’s how it felt for a very, very long time).  That hurt to know my mom wasn’t strong enough to fight for me.  Maybe she didn’t want me, either.

My experiences with the male sex continued on a downward spiral.  My adoptive brother (he and I don’t speak since my mom died in 2008) always made fun of me, called me names, never defended me.  In fact, he walked right by me when I was jumped by 4 girls in 5th grade while walking home.  They beat the crap out of me and he just kept going.  Sounds like the sort of relationship I had with men the rest of my life, except the beatings weren’t physical, they were verbal and emotional.  But that’s a whole other post, someday, maybe.

The feeling of abandonment kicked in high gear on July 10, 1972, when I got the news my dad died in a car accident in Buford, Georgia.  The one steady, rock solid man in my life was gone 2 weeks to the day before my 12th birthday, never to come back.  Life would never be the same.  My mom never re-married (it must have been so hard on her to raise 2 kids alone.  Certainly not what she bargained for).  My high school years sucked and the only 3 dates I had in school were disasters on so many levels.  And then Elvis died in August 1977, which just about killed me.  I’d been a fan since I was 8 years old and his music was always there for me to cheer me up when I was down.  When he died, it tore me apart, knowing I’d never hear a new song by him.  It was like another part of my ‘solid’ world was gone.  I began to believe I could count on nothing.

Then I got married (didn’t work out) and had two wonderful daughters.  Two of the best choices I ever made in my life.  I also decided to do natural childbirth outside of a hospital setting with a midwife.  My oldest was born in a birth center in Allandale, Florida, my second was born beside my bed, at home, in Tucker, Georgia.  I would never, ever change those two events, even if I had a choice.  My daughters breathed life into me.  I discovered motherhood was what living was about.  This was my purpose in life (my passion for writing had taken a backseat long before then).

After my 1st husband and I broke up, I fell madly in love with a  man and he fell madly in love with me.  I thanked God every day for giving me someone so special.  I had my soul mate in every since of the word.  The other half of me.  The one who made my spirit soar.  He loved my kids.  He adored me, and I him.  He completely turned my life around and gave me a whole new, wonderful impression of men. They weren’t all bad, and I had the jewel of all of them in my life.

And then he died.  Car accident.  Hit by a drunk driver.  My world shattered yet again.  Another man in my life, gone.

I eventually remarried, and was blessed with two beautiful boys.  My oldest son was born on my couch, my youngest in a birth center in Dunedin, Florida.  While my current marriage has certainly traveled a rocky road, my boys are my salvation.  I adore them.   My youngest turns 17 on Sunday.  17.  Where did the time go?  My oldest child is now 26 and has a 3-year old daughter of her own.

I smile.  There are five pieces of me in the world, and they are beautiful, strong and independent.  I know they will have their share of heartaches, but they’ll never know what it feels like to be abandoned, tossed aside, left behind or unloved, and if I do nothing else in my life, giving them that sense of security and unconditional love will be enough.

So, thank you, real parents, for being the first ones to change my life.  I am so much a better person because of it.

15 thoughts on “Events that changed your life…and a new blog award

  1. Jenny,you are an amazing woman. You are so honest with yourself and us. I’m very very impressed by your courage and your resilience, 🙂


  2. I feel the same way. *smile*. This post just sort of poured out of me today. I’m not quite sure where it came from or why I felt the need to tell the world, but when I tried to write about something else, I kept coming back to this. It was meant to be, meant to be said. God leads us in strange directions and there is not doubt I believe God has led me to writing, anything and everything. Who knows. Maybe something I write along the way will ‘talk’ to someone. I hope so.


  3. Wow, Jenny, I had no idea. Now that I think things over, some things make sense now.

    This was incredibly gutsy, and I imagine it was very therapeutic.

    Did my post actually bring this out of you? Holy cow! You never know how words will affect people.

    Hold on to who you are. All things happen for a reason. You are who you have become… not who you were.

    Your trials will only lead to reward.


  4. Jenny, this post made my heart ache for you, because I’m also adopted and can relate to your feelings on so many levels. I’m so happy that you have wonderful, strong children that have sustained you through the worst of times – that lifted my heart to read. Thank you so much for commenting on my artwork, because it led me to here, and I am now following you. I feel like I’ve made a new friend today, thank you. ~ Julie 🙂


  5. That’s almost heartbreaking, Jenny, but there’s a singular line of hope running all the way through it, right to the last words … like through it all, somehow, you knew ‘better’ was on its way. Hug those kiddos as obviously, they’ve done a world of good for you. 🙂


  6. Jenny, my heart both broke and soared for you reading your story. But look at where you are today (I know, you already did). What a testimony to not letting life get you down but persevering.

    I’m another 1960 baby! Yay! We’re not getting older, we’re getting better, to quote an old commercial.

    Love the new blog look too. Quite a switch from green to yellow, but very upbeat.


    1. Thanks, Claire. I firmly believe there are only two choices in life…give up/give in or fight for your life. I choose to fight every inch of the way to my dying breath.

      I like my blog change, too. It’s bright and colorful and it makes me happy looking at it. 🙂


  7. wow! jen that is one powerul piece of writing there!!
    Thank-you for sharing, it’s a very brave thing to do. I think that this shows how negative things can be positive and I love how you talk about your kids, I’m very close with my mam and think its beautiful how you talk about that relationship.
    Well done for sharing and just remember that all that you’ve been through can only help add depth and emotion to your writing!


    1. Thank you, Hannah. You’re a beautiful person and I’m glad I ‘met’ you. Your love for your parents is so touching. I’m glad to know there are young people who don’t hate their parents or talk badly about them. You’re amazing. Keep sweet. You’ll go far.


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