Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Repeat, Because It's Worth Repeating

Today my firstborn celebrates his 32nd birthday. It doesn't seem possible that so much time has passed since his arrival in this world.

Happy Birthday, Jim. You changed my life for the best!

During my junior year in high school I took a ceramics class. One of the assignments that spring was to make a slab box and fill it with things that told something about oneself. This is my box, this is what was inside, and this is my story.
In some ways it is a complicated story, and in other ways it is quite simple. During the summer of 1979, my neighbor's cousin came to visit him. The cousin and I became friends. We played Frisbee under the street lamps, hide and seek in the cornfield, and one summer night in late August he gave me my first kiss. I was fifteen. Young romances seldom pass the test of time and soon we were no longer a couple. We did, however, remain friends. During the course of time this friend of mine needed a place to live and my parents agreed to become his legal guardians. (Complicated part.) Sometime between my parents becoming legal guardians and my junior year of high school, this friend again became more than just a friend.
By the time my art teacher gave this assignment, we were "in trouble" and my heart and mind were in turmoil. The heavy hearted couple on the lid of my box is us, and inside are bits and pieces of Martha; my class pin, a lock of my hair, a small magnetic stone bearing my nickname... a flower, some seashells, a bookworm bookmark my mother once made me... an Apache tear from my brother, a poem I wrote, and a small metallic cross. The slab box with the couple on it's lid is also a music box which plays the "Skater's Waltz". (I originally asked for "Music Box Dancer" but the craft store didn't have it.) Each item inside says something about me or something I treasured but only hinted at the crisis inside my soul.
Much of the spring of 1981 is still a blur. I know I cried a lot and worried about what would happen to me, to us, and to our baby. I was certain I could not abort my child, I had seen pictures of what happened to tiny unborn babies, but when someone I trusted asked me if I wanted to do that, I momentarily wondered if that was really a solution... It is a frightening thought because I realized how easily a young girl could be convinced that aborting her child is the answer. I thank God that He had given me an answer to that question years before. I considered adoption. There was even a couple at our church who told my father they would take our baby. The tears flowed and my heart broke every time I even tried to consider it. In the end, my father ended up signing for both of us to get married. James' sister took us to New Mexico about a week or so later and in late September we became the parents of a beautiful baby boy. We were both seventeen. There have been hard times, yes, but being together and having our family together is something I wouldn't trade for all the world. I'm so glad we were given the chance. Sometimes it's hard to believe the two little people on the lid of the music box are really us, they look so sad. But we aren't there anymore. God has taken us beyond and given us life and hope and for this I thank and praise Him.


  1. Oh Martha...what a glorious story...
    I have tears in my eyes...
    You are truly blessed..
    Your parents are to be congratulated for sticking with you and James, during those days...
    Not many parents would have...

    Happy Birthday to the young Jim...

    Your sculpture is awesome, and certainly tells the story of true love...

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story

    Linda :o)

    1. Thank you, Linda.
      I first posted this story five years ago and my son sent me a link to Kenny Chesney's "There Goes My Life".
      It certainly was a bittersweet time, but I wouldn't change it for the world now.

  2. Happy Birthday to that first born! :) Yes, it's a story worth repeating....and it has a happy ending, too!

    1. It does have a happy ending, yes!
      That's the best part and also why it's worth sharing.

    2. I hope Mendon Pond doesn't have 'do not feed the critter' signs. lol....

      Love your list...each thing looks so fun!

    3. Birdseed is more than welcome on the Birdsong Trail. It is where the chickdees eat out of our hands.

  3. Thanks for sharing this story. What a wonderful ending as you celebrate your son's birthday!

  4. Definitely worth repeating! Happy late birthday to Jimmy!

  5. It all turned out to be fine. It really was a tumultuous time. You could cut the tension with a knife. I'm very glad that you didn't abort or give him up. What would we do without him?!!!!!!?

    1. I can't even imagine. I am eternally grateful for him and his life. What a blessing we would have missed!