Do you ever look at your life,
and wonder how you got to be here?
Did you see this as your future,
when you dreamed as a child?
Other than to have children,
I did not really dream too much of my future.
My only wish was to be happy.
As a teenager.
life conspired against me,
and I struggled.
More happened to me as a teen,
than most experience in a lifetime.
I was left battered and bruised.
But as the saying goes,
“That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”,
proved very true for me.
This was all brought into focus for me,
by a five year old boy.
I was driving a gang of six children all under nine,
home from school one day.
They had overheard me telling a friend,
that I had repeated my final school exams years before,
as I had not done well enough to get into nursing.
Now being a clever and responsible mother,
I had always told my children,
that I was the perfect student!
So now they had me captured,
within the confines of the car,
the questions flowed.
“Why did you repeat?”
“Were you bold?”
“Did you not study hard enough?”
I did my best and came up with an inspiring,
but totally fabricated tale,
about how few places there were for nursing that year,
and what huge grades I’d have had to achieve to get in.
I also told them that I worked so hard,
that the following year I achieved those high grades,
and got my hearts desire!
(My mother would say two things at this point,
a lie wouldn’t choke me, and I could say mass!)
They were suitably impressed,
and heaped praise on me for my huge efforts.
Then my son who was five at the time, said,
“Wasn’t it great you failed?”
The others, all female, shouted at him.
“Were you not listening?”
“Did you not hear how hard it was and how disappointed she was?”.
Then he said,
“But she did get in the next year,
and met her best friend,
and went on holiday with her,
and met Dad there,
and had US!”
And so there it was.
A five year old could see that,
the extraordinary twists and turns,
and seemingly endless upsets and disappointments I had had in life,
had all been worth it.
Today I take stock again,
and the truth remains.
I have been very very lucky.
If I had to be so unhappy to become this happy,
It was all worth it!