Sometime in late summer 1999, my meth addict daughter was at my house and whatever she did caused me to say "Oh my God, you are pregnant!" She looked at me like I was on meth! And then she thought about it. And then she went to the doctor and found that she truly was pregnant. Since she was on meth for part of her first trimester, some family members (her dad) were insistent that she have an abortion. I was just as insistent that she didn't. Her sister and I both made the commitment to take care of her and the baby no matter what happened. It could have been horrible. I am so grateful that we made that commitment and that the pregnant one went along with it. She moved in with me and we had a lovely 6 or 7 months of waiting for a baby. It was such a special time. We really didn't know if the baby was going to be "OK" or not, but we knew we would love the baby just the same.
On March 19, 2000, a perfectly perfect and beautiful baby girl was born. The father (another meth addict) was present for the birth and so were auntie and nana. She was born on my mother's birthday. It was the most wonderful thing to happen. I was a grandmother! My daughter was a mother! And she was a good one! The baby was not only perfectly healthy, but had a gentle and sweet disposition. They moved back in with me and I was in seventh heaven.
A few short weeks later, their nuclear family was assembled under the same roof, and it wasn't mine. In other words, they moved out. And they moved in with the father of the child. I expected a nightmare, but I was wrong. For a few years, they remained off meth and did a pretty good job of being responsible adults. (for a few years...)
In May 2000 I graduated from college! I was a Bachelor of Science - my major was Health Information Management with a minor in Healthcare Administration. I graduated Magna Cum Laude. I missed Summa Cum Laude by a very small fraction of a point. Oh well. I was done with school and very happy about it. My brothers and sister came for my graduation. It was a grand time.
As I was graduating, my boss decided to leave. I was promoted to be the Director of Medical Records in the department where I had been so grateful to start as the Administrative Assistant just 6 years earlier. The first day I had the job, I was at a meeting off grounds all day. I came back after hours and unlocked my office. I sat behind the desk and just looked at the chair where I had interviewed, desperate for that job. I thanked God for what had happened in my life and I sat and cried. I still cry (right now) when I think about this.
I still had to sit for the exam to get the credential that was required for me to have that job. It was the last year that every candidate for that credential (having a bachelor's degree in Health Information Management) gathered in a huge classroom on one day a year and sat all day and took that test. (the next year and ever since, it was done online) My advisor from the university shared with me later that I had the highest score on that test in the state. I don't know why I need to tell you that, but it meant something to me and there is never a tasteful opportunity to tell anyone that!
So many of my dreams had come true. Things that were truly impossible had happened in my life.
I have a little bit of a weird thing with the year after the "big" birthdays. After I turned 5, I didn't really care if I was 6. After I turned 10, I didn't really care about 11. After I turned 15, I didn't really care about 16, etc. Not that I wasn't grateful, because I was. But it all just seemed like MORE icing on the cake that was already about to fall over from all the icing on it. I have been so abundantly blessed by God, it astounds me.
If I got what I deserved, it would not be a pretty picture. Instead, I am given God's grace and mercy, and I will never stop thanking Him for it.