More About Me

I have been married to a wonderful man, my soul mate, since 1979. Yes, he has his faults, just as we all do, but he is wonderful for so many reasons. Not the least is the fact that he married me and took on the responsibility of helping me raise my two children from my first marriage. He has always made sure sound financial decisions prevailed over my frivolous impulse buys, and that helped so much with us managing to pay out our mortgage ahead of time and put enough in savings that I was able to take an early retirement.

I am a grandmother to three wonderful grand-kids. My oldest grand, Sabrina, was born in 1994, and (lucky me!) she has discovered her own love of scrapbooking & card-making. Next is my grandson Brett. Brett was born in 1996. He has always been a special blessing to us and has always had such a tender heart, not to mention a good communication link with God. When he prays we see the prayers answered. And then there is McKenzie, who was born in 2004. What can I say about McKenzie? Oh Me, Oh My. That child was born with more brain and logic for her age than I have seen in any kid. It keeps her in trouble though. When she started K5 she truly challenged the school administration. Once when told she had to follow the rules just like all the other children she informed her mom “I’m not like all the other kids. The other kids are all just like each other & they can follow those rules but I'm different than they are and I just can't follow those rules". And she does her best to not follow rules. She is a very strong willed (read stubborn as much as strong willed) child. She troubles me that she has such a good mind and she chooses not to use it for school. She stubbornly refused to let me try to get her to participate in any activity that even slightly reeks of learning schoolwork. But she picks up on stuff and floors me with how well she comprehends what she sees and hears.

Both of the girls belong to my son, but they have different mothers. He has chosen to put distance between himself and the rest of our family. I somewhat understand him being the way he is towards me. But I don't understand how he can make a conscious decision to separate himself from his girls the way he has. Separating from me was his solution to me voicing my opinion in regards to the choices he has made in not being very involved with his girls. It was not easy to process, understand and accept early on, but I am okay with it now. And I am happy to have a friendly relationship with both of the girl’s moms so we get to see them on a pretty regular basis.

Brett is the only child of my daughter. She also has three step-kids, and she is now the step-grandmother to a baby boy born in June 2010. She married an older man who was divorced with three half grown kids. They are all now grown, one married, one engaged and the third is the momma of the step-grandson. She is not all that connected to the family these days due to poor choices on her part. My daughter and her husband have legal guardianship of the baby and they are now raising him. He is a little sweetheart – mischievous and quick on his feet – full of energy and very inquisitive. They will have their hands full with that little fella.  

I could say that I have three step-grands, but they don't really see me as any relation to them other than the fact that I am their step-mom’s mother. It's not that there is any strained relationship there; it's more the fact that they were as old as they were when their dad and my daughter married so they never really spent enough time at our house to develop a closer relationship. And they have their own grandparents that they already had a relationship with so they didn’t need to form a grandparent/grandchild relationship with us. And that is fine, we see them for family gatherings and keep it touch “just” enough.

I married too young the first time around. I got married 4 months before I turned 18. And I did my best to make it last for the "Till Death Do Us Part" thing, but because he was not as committed to the relationship as I was the Do Us Part preceded the Death part. Well, actually, the death part was probably closer than the parting stage at times, but I at least had sense enough to realize that I needed to get myself out of it before it got any worse. He not only had no commitment to the relationship, he also had no respect for me as a woman, as his wife or even as the mother of his children. He was unfaithful in our marriage and he was physically and mentally abusive towards me. I could go on about the dysfunction of him and his family, but that would take a few chapters in an autobiography. I do have to say though, as dysfunctional as I feel my immediate family is sometimes, they have not reached the level of dysfunction his family maintained on a constant basis.

I grew up the second child in a military family of nine. My father was in the Army when he married my mother and stayed in the Army until 1973. During that time we traveled a lot, as most military families do. During my childhood we lived in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Texas and Virginia, as well as overseas in Germany, Japan and Okinawa. I have an older sister and a younger sister and four younger brothers. Three of my brothers are biological and the fourth is my older sister’s biological son that my parents adopted. Here too I could write several chapters in my autobiography about the dysfunction of my parent’s family, but that will all have to wait until I write that autobiography, if I ever do.

I am a recently retired (well, not so recently anymore, I retired the end of Dec. 2008, but recently enough) from AT&T. I actually started my telecommunications career in 1978 when I was hired by South Central Bell. At that time South Central Bell was a subsidiary of AT&T. In 1983 there was a settlement reached in a Department of Justice antitrust suit against AT&T which required AT&T to divest itself of the 22 local Bell Operating companies. During the divestiture some people were sent with AT&T and some were sent with their respective BOC. I was sent with the BOC, South Central Bell, who eventually re-branded itself to BellSouth. Over the years there were various acquisitions and mergers among many different telecommunication entities. And so it happened that in 2006 AT&T (which is actually SBC, who bought AT&T but opted to retain the AT&T name & logo for global recognition) announced the intent to acquire BellSouth. And so I was again under the AT&T logo. There is another entire chapter (or two or five) in my autobiography regarding that metamorphosis as well as my trek through those 31 years).

So, I put in 31 years with telecommunications and 6 years before that working at fast food, waiting tables and retail. Boy, am I ever glad I was able to retire early. The last few years at the telephone company really put some stress on me. To be honest, had AT&T not acquired BellSouth and my job not changed as drastically as it did with the acquisition I would have stayed another 10 years – because I loved my job before the acquisition. :)

I look back at some of the stresses and the dysfunction I lived through this past half-century or so, and even though there were times that I didn't know how, or even if, I would survive some of it, I did. And I look at all of these experiences as part of the fabric that has been woven into the me that I am today. I have often said "If I am happy where I am today, then I can't resent or regret the past that brought me to this place".


(Last Edit: 07/28/12 - Update to current circumstances.)