Life’s Unexpected Waves

I love my godmomma. She is the quintessential woman, strong, motherly, charismatic, caring and nurturing. She is everything that I could hope to be someday as a woman. I was talking to her the other day, just catching up on the little things. It was great to hear from her, but what was even better was hearing about all the good that has happened in her life.

Let me first give you a little more background: My godmother lives in Michigan, where my entire family is from. She is my mom’s childhood best friend. We have always been really close. We even share the same birthday (September 10!) My godmom has two kids who are about 10 years older than me, Joy and Joel. They are both married and have kids.

The cool thing about my godmom and her kids’ story is the struggle it took to get where they are now. Looking at how beautiful and happy their family is now, you wouldn’t know all they had been through to get there. My godsister, Joy, struggled with getting pregnant, and dealt with the loss of numerous miscarriages. In his twenties, Joel went through an untimely and devastating divorce. I remember my godmom telling me of how she would just sit and talk with her son, while he sat crying in her arms. Two difficult situations. Circumstances that were unplanned and seemingly out of their control. Situations that could have defeated them.

 

Twenty Something Advice (for Anybody):

“But life inevitably throws us curve balls, unexpected circumstances that remind us to expect the unexpected.” Carre Otis

 

That is not where their stories end. My godsister now is a mother to three beautiful children. My godbrother is remarried and now a father to three kids, as well. It’s an amazing story, a story of loss, of suffering, of triumph, of overcoming, of perseverance. It’s the human story, something we can all relate to.

I wanted to share their story today, just a reminder to all the twenty somethings out there: Keep going. Life is guaranteed to knock you down. Life will hand you the unexpected. Expect it. Anticipate the curveballs. When you get knocked down, remember it is always your choice to get back up again or to stay down. You decide. My godmom reminded me of this by sharing with me this beautiful story of heartache, loss and new beginnings. I wanted to share in hopes that wherever you are and whatever life has handed you today, that you would keep going. Happily ever afters are possible, but it’s gonna take going through something to get there.

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All six of my godmom’s beautiful, healthy grandchildren

-Stephkt

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A Selfless Kind of Love

Tonight for dinner I made my grandmother’s homemade cabbage soup recipe. It took a lot of cutting and a lot of time and effort. My motto is a meal is only good when it is made with love. Tonight the kitchen was full of love as I sang along to one of my favorite singers, Ben Rector, and I reminisced with my mom over some funny family memories.

Eventually my mom and I’s tour down memory lane led to us talking about my dad. I started to remember several times growing up where my dad had really shown me his love for me. Throughout my adolescence I have more than once found myself in some uncomfortable, unhappy and confrontational predicaments. One was at a family reunion in downtown Detroit where a cousin and I had gotten into a really bad argument. We were only about 10 so of course the argument was extremely dramatic and completely unneccesary, but I remember being really upset. I called home and my dad, being the hero he was, volunteered to come get me. It had to be going on 10 that night and we were about 30 minutes away in downtown Detroit but he volunteered to come get me! It meant so much to me. It made me feel safe, protected and loved to know that whether I was wrong or right, no matter what situation I found myself in that my father would always come for me.

Almost 10 years later when I was 20, I found myself in a similar situation. My boyfriend and I at the time had gotten into an argument and I broke up with him. To my surprise it was no quick fix. He didn’t come after me. He wasn’t calling or trying to talk and make a mends. So I called home to my dad crying. This was a wintry February day in my college town. We had just had a week of snow days and it looked like we were headed for another snowy night. As I was crying on the phone to my dad explaining how hurt I was, he listened patiently as I explained the breakup. He only interupted here and there to ask a question or to reassure me. The majority of the conversation was spent with me in tears and him sitting quietly on the other end. What I do remember him distinctly saying was, “Do you want me to come pick you up?” Mind you I was 20 years old, an adult by most’s standard. I was at my university, which is about an hour and a half from where my parents live in Tulsa. Also, all of northeast and central Oklahoma was getting hit with a huge snow storm that night, but my dad still volunteered to come get me!

My dad put me before himself. It always seemed like my dad was willing to do whatever it took to come save the day and rescue me when I needed help. My dad’s love for me is selfless and I don’t think it really hit me until now at 22 years old the kind of man I have for a father.

Thinking about how my dad has treated me since I was little girl really got me thinking about any future relationship I may have. It made me think that all the waiting and this in between season is worth the wait until a guy comes along who will care for me and love me with a selfless love. I want a guy who will be willing to lay down his pride in an argument and not fight to be right but fight for a resolution instead. I want to marry a man someday who is willing to put me before himself and who I’d do the same for. I want to be with a guy someday whose love for me will be selfless the way my father has loved me since I was a little girl.

I think when you really love someone it shows by how you treat them. I think love is sacrifice. It means having a willingness to put someone before yourself. It is selfless. The kind of love I am talking about is not an easy thing. It can sometimes mean doing the complete opposite of what you want or what you feel like doing and doing what’s rightor what is in the best interest of the other person.

I recently heard about an amazing act of selfless love. Last week, Mindy Sigg of Colorado reportedly called police and turned in her 17-year-old son, Austin Reed Sigg, to authorities for the murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway. According to reports, her son admitted to killing the girl to his mother and she made the phone call to police. Ridgeway went missing in early October and was last seen walking to school. Her body parts were found weeks later in a park in a Denver suburb.

Jessica Ridgeway

When I heard this story I was mortified to say the least. How could anyone hurt a little girl? My eyes got teary when I first heard the details of the case. She was just a little girl is what my thoughts were screaming. How could a person hurt someone who is so innocent and fragile? My heart breaks for the girl’s mother and family. Honestly, I never thought much of the Sigg’s family in the whole scenario. I never thought of how their family must be hurting too until I heard that his mom was the person who turned him in. It baffled me that a mother could turn her son in to the police. I can only imagine how excruciatingly hard that must have been for her.

A mother’s love for her child is strong and passionate. It does not fester or wane with time. It possesses so much strength and dignity. When I heard of what Mindy Sigg did for her son, I was amazed. Now my heart not only broke for Jessica Ridgeway and her family, but it also broke for the Siggs as well. I think Mindy Sigg should be commended for doing what was right in the name of justice but also for doing what was right for her son even if she didn’t want to or even though it was hard for her.

Her son committed a crime. He took a little girl’s life. He was undoubtedly guilty. For his mother to turn him over shows a selfless kind of love that will do what is right even when it is hard. I think by turning her son in, she put him before herself, before her desire to keep him close and before her desire to only see the good in her son. Instead, she chose to turn him over to justice and by doing so she let him go, which I think is by far one of the most selfless acts of love.

Do you have any stories of a parent’s selfless love? Any acts of selflessness that stand out in your life or that you have heard in the lives of others? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

As always, thanks for reading!

Stephkt