Sunday, February 14, 2016

Identity Crisis

Growing up there were some absolutes in my life.   I wanted to above all be a wife and a mother.   I hadn't decided on a career yet but knew being a mom above all else was so important to me.  I was the oldest of 4 and most of all the protector of my little sister.   Jodi was born healthy and happy, but when she was nine months old, she contracted the measles which led to a high fever followed by seizures which caused brain damage.   I knew at some point in life, Jodi would be my responsibility when something happened to my parents.

I wanted to marry someone who had the work ethic of my dad.  Someone who would work and support his family and above all that serve God.  Someone whose faith would be the foundation of our family and  our life together.

Once I graduated from High School - I left home to attend college in San Jose.   It was there that I decided to work with little ones as a  teacher and direct preschool centers.   Working with kids was my world.  I taught kindergarten for one year for Fremont Christian School - my favorite job to date.   While working as a center director I met the man whom I would marry.  

I moved away to be near him.  We did get married.  There were many issues in his life that made our marriage extremely difficult.    Because of issues beyond my control - bringing a baby full term  never happened.   I don't think that anyone can understand the immense hole or pain unless you have gone through it.  It was part of my identity that I had fill with something else.  We moved back to Nevada hoping to start a brand new life.

Because I had to support my household, I threw myself into my work.  Unfortunately, I got really sick and Lupus began define my life. So once again I go from being in a career working with children to having to scale back and deal with a stupid disease that has wreaked havoc on life.

Because I was starting some very potent drugs, I was forced to make sure that I would never have a baby, so that dream was crushed.    Eventually the disease won and I could no longer work.  I was approved for disability and that began to define who I was.

Because I was not working, I was able to be more hands on with Jodi and would be with her everyday after her work program until mom got home.   I felt like I was doing the most important thing in the world by being there for her.  

So as it is with life, my life goals and identity have changed again. I wasn't a mother, I was no longer working and soon I would be divorced.   The only absolute was that I was Jodi's sister and caregiver.   There would be a point where it would be her and I.  I was  ready for that.      

I began to throw myself into crafting and creating lots of fun things.   Crafting gave my purpose - I felt inspired .   I began teaching classes and started to redefine myself.  I was gaining confidence and enjoying life.   During the divorce - church was negatively affected so yet another way I had to redefine myself. 

Then as life will do another curve ball was thrown into the works.  Jodi started failing and we could not come up with why.   3 hospital stays, one surgery, many months of home care etc. and finally hospice care, life changed.  Jodi entered Heaven on January 5th.  

Now in this thing called life - I am having a huge identity crisis.   The things that I thought were absolutes and my hearts true desires are no longer there.   I am not sure where this leaves me.   Right now I am focusing on being a daughter and together with my mom trying to navigate this mourning process.   It is not easy.  God has opened doors and brought a wonderful pastor and a new church family in our lives.   I need to establish myself again in a place where serving God is top priority.

I am trying to get my creative juices going again. Creating is the one constant in my life and so I am sure that will help fill the voids.   I have learned that documenting and telling life stories is important and at times healing as we navigate this life.

What is next?  Only God knows for till then I move forward.