Where does one start? I have attempted writing to you several times, thinking it would be easy to tell you my life story in just a few paragraphs, but it’s not. First, as a mother, I would want to know if the baby I gave away at birth was OK. So I will tell you, I am more than OK, I am great! Don’t get me wrong, I am no different than most, having had my fair share of ups and downs, but I’ve taken life in stride for the most part. I am very fortunate to have a loving family and friends. Both have been my support and rock and are always there to guide me and put me back on course when necessary. I have maintained a positive attitude throughout my life, primarily due to the people I have surrounded myself with. I wouldn’t be me without them!
My parents, both loving and kind, slightly old-fashioned with traditional values, have always had my best interest at heart. They were typical parents, and yes, they drove me crazy sometimes, but I’m sure I was a handful. I know I was a handful. I was an only child, which had its advantages. Grateful I didn’t have to share the limelight, and at times, I wished I had a cohort to share in my childhood adventures. That said, not growing up with siblings taught me to be outgoing. I made friends wherever I went. It came naturally to me. Maintaining those friendships was and is still extremely important to me. My parents taught me the value of those relationships and how they would play a significant role in my life. They were right.
The term nature vs nurture rings true for me; there were so many instances I often wondered, was it genetics or something I learned? You don’t know what you don’t know.
Music has always been a huge part of my life. I can still visualize myself in the backseat of my father’s old Ford, singing along with the music on the car radio. My passion for music continued to many record albums later. So naturally, dancing went hand in hand. I learned Russian folk dance as well as ballet. And if you let me, I’ll find any excuse to break out my dance moves;)
As for my school years… let’s just say I wasn’t an academic; I enjoyed the arts and anything relating to design. I dreamed of becoming a fashion designer, and my passion for design didn’t stop there. I loved anything to do with interior design and architecture. However, it wasn’t until my adult years that gardening took centre stage, making this an extension of my home. I often found myself outside working in the garden, getting my hands dirty, discovering this to be one of my happy places.
I’ve loved only a few and am lucky to have loved. There was a boy in grade 3 who would frequently drop off little gifts and notes at my home. He was my first crush. Once I got to high school, many boys were on my radar. I was a bit boy-crazy. That said, I was smitten with many but had only one serious boyfriend; we dated for five years; he was my first Love. It took a trip to Europe at 21 to realize that I needed a change. After all, a vast world was waiting for me to explore.
While I was exploring…I met my husband. We dated for four years and were engaged while travelling to Japan. We married that same year. I thought of you on my wedding day; not sure why, except to say it was an important event in my life. It was a perfect day. The ceremony was held outside on a sprawling lawn with breathtaking ocean views. I think it was a beautiful wedding (I guess all brides say that). If I could have bottled that moment for you, I would have. The marriage lasted almost 27 years. We shared many great moments as a couple; who knows why or when it fell apart… I would do it all over again.
Sadly, a couple of years after we married, I lost my father to cancer. He was 75.
You have two grandsons. The oldest is 22, he recently graduated from university, and the youngest is 19; he’s in his second year. They are the absolute world to me, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. They are loving, full of energy, funny and passionate about many things. I treasure our moments together. The stories, conversations and debates are endless, bringing a smile to my face every time.
Giving up a baby 55 years ago would have been extremely difficult. It’s hard to imagine my two grown boys were once my babies; perhaps they’ll always be my babies. To have missed any memorable moments in their lives would be inconceivable.
I have had an amazingly full life, so yes, I’m more than OK; I’m great, and I owe that to my wonderful parents that raised me and loved me, letting me become who I am today.