I have never been bothered by an age as I have always felt that age is just a number, all that really matters is how you feel. I would have never in a million year imagined, dreamed or thought about the life altering changes my 40’s would hold in store. I am amazed at how much crap could happen to one person during only a 10 year time period. The person I was before is not the same person I am now.
my 20’s, I became a mom three times, my Daddy died, we had moved twice and I
located and met my birth mother. The person I was before I became a mom changed
the day Jenn was born. It was no more just about me as I would love and
sacrifice everything for my daughters. When my Daddy died, I became an orphan
with no family left. There was no one left on this planet that knew my past
since I was an only child. Moving changes everything about a family and that person
since you leave all your friends, familiar surroundings and have to put
yourself out there to make your way in the new place. Finding my birth mother
was not the wonderful “Oprah” moment I had imagined. I learned very quickly
that I was a mistake she made in her past and she wanted nothing to do with me
or my girls. I also found 5 siblings that are just as messed up as their mother.
In the long run, I was thankful she had chosen to throw me away from her life
and allow me to be normal. Of course the child I was in my teens had grown up,
moved onto being a mother and making a household for myself. The dreams of a
child had been made real and were not so nice.
|My 13th Birthday|
|Cheryl, Mom and me April 1983 I was 17|
|August 1996- in my 30's|
|April 2002- in my late 30's|
|Heather and me-December 2002- in my late 30's|
In my 30’s, most of my days, weeks and years were spent with the girls in activities, school and AWANA. We became a homeschool family and very involved with the state level of AWANA. Our weekends were spent traveling to different portions of the state to do training or events. I think this was some of the best opportunities my girls had to learn about hard work and perseverance. It was time our family spent together that I would not trade for anything. Jenn and Heather both graduated, both learned to drive and all three got their first jobs. The girls were growing and changing and of course the person I was changed again. I had to learn to let go and let the girls make their own decision and have their own consequences.
|My 40th Birthday at Mall of America September 2005|
|My 41st birthday Iowa, September 2006|
On my 39th birthday, I made the biggest mistake of my life in finding and speaking to my birth father. I actually called him on my birthday. There was something missing in my life and I felt that maybe my birth father might hold that key. Finding my birth mother answered a few questions but I was still searching for me. Looking back now, I was misled and fooled, which not easy to do. I let down my guard and allowed this vile, evil person into my life and into my family. I put my family in harm’s way by a very powerfully deceptive man that took us all for a ride. I flew to Iowa to spend my 40th birthday with my birth father. Again, I believed this man cared about me. We went to Knott’s Camp Snoopy and he bought me so many things. He just couldn’t seem to spend enough money on me. Of course, what child wouldn’t love to have this kind of attention? He gave me a birthday card everyday of my visit and we had the best time ever. Little did I know that he was already checking me out sexually, just waiting for the right moment to strike.
|My family, California Adventure March 2006|
For a brief moment in time, around my 43rd birthday, life was good. Heather was in remission and I became a Mimi. We were all together for the birth of baby Violet, Snooks. I foolishly thought that I had survived the greatest storm of my life but the toughest fight was just about to begin. No one should become a Mimi and bury a daughter within 10 weeks of each other. The overwhelming joy mixed with unimaginable sadness is just not right. It was not fair to my family or me to have to leave behind the people we were to become the new ones we are now. We will never to be normal or whole again this side of heaven.
Shortly, after all this happened, I learned the hard way that the man I had loved as a dad had very perverted ideas and expectations for me. It would be the ending of a relationship very abruptly and a call to the police. This was a very hard lesson for me to learn and accept. I felt violated in the worst way as I allowed this man to share my Heather and my Violet. I allowed him to join my family and share my life, which meant I trusted him. Never again would I allow myself to be taken advantage of by family, mine or Bill’s.
|Margie and me August, 2033|
My 40’s seemed to end on a happy note as both girls are married, Snooks is thriving and we added my little Toodles, aka Ellie, right before I turned 49. I have gotten 3 tattoos, been to Alaska and the Bahamas, practically lived at Disneyland, made two visits to Walt Disney World, eaten at Club 33, bought a huge new truck, learned to shoot a handgun, remolded most all of our house, worked at Disney and Harkins and also recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness. My dear friend, of 37 years, Margie, die from cancer, but not before we were able to make a few more memories. I also made some huge memories with Sandy, my BFF for 45 years with a girl’s weekend at Disneyland. The end of my 40’s seemed to be better than the beginning, but Heather is never far from my memory. The person I was when I entered my 40’s disappeared the day Heather died, changed forever. The “Sherry” I was does not exist anymore, she died the same day.
As I look back on my life, I am nowhere near the same person I was when I began my 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. My 40’s were some of the darkest, happiest and life-changing years of my life. You cannot go thru cancer of a child and then the death of a child and not be changed. I would like to go back and do some things over again. I would laugh longer and love deeper and make a few changes with people, but as for Heather, I would never change a thing. The moments she was in my world were life-altering and I would not give most of them back. The 33 days in ICU I would give back… But my life was enriched and made whole by Heather being in my world even though the time was short. As I look back I have learned so much and I have changed. As I leave my 40’s and reach for my 50’s I pray that these 10 years can know some peace. Somehow I don’t think it will as time doesn’t stand still for anyone and I know that deaths and cancer will invade my world again. I just hope this time it isn’t so close to home.