So in my continued efforts to take care of myself in 2012, I am writing a few love letters to myself to honor myself for the life I have chosen to live, so far. This is Love Letter #4:
Dear 44 Year Old Self…(Deb Cross)
The previous 2 years were brutal. You lost everything you owned in a house fire, 2 weeks later your mother died, by fall you were divorced and by January more than half your children moved over 800 miles away with their father.
Breathing became something you had to remind yourself to do with a little note in your pocket.
You created a home in a little pink 2 bedroom house with your 4 little kids and then Alex and Stephan came back so 7 of you were squished into a 2 bedroom home and they still talk about how it was the best time of their young lives!
You made it fun for them arranging your work and school schedule around their school schedules so you could see them for awhile after school everyday. Sometimes you came home, packed the van and took off for Steinaker Reservoir to play in the sand and water til dark! With a limited budget you looked for fun things your kids could do and you enjoyed this time with them more than anything else in your life!
You felt blessed while scared out of your mind that you would not be able to pull off supporting them alone. You lost weight til you wore size 4 shorts. ridiculous when your tops were still large, but your days were from 4am til 11pm every weekday and you pretty much ran on adrenaline.
You dealt with sexual harrassment on the job at the radio station, served your community as a library trustee and for over 6 years on the counties Public Lands Committee, making a difference.
You would eventually run for Uintah County Commission using that opportunity to educate the populace on the public land issues which were critical to the viability of said county. Your courage in that political race would pave the way for the election of the first woman to that position in the next election and she was grateful to you.
With 4 young children in tow, you left the small town, after a lengthy search for work in another state, only to move your family to Salt Lake City to begin new adventures. Your first job was 2 jobs for the same guy who still to this day has never paid you for your last month of work. Shabby treatment of the single mom who helped him morph from active treatment practice to consulting and lecturing in his specialized field. But no matter what happened to you along the way you managed to keep a roof over your kids heads and pretty nice roofs at that!
You always lived in nice homes in nice neighborhoods, with kids for your kids to play with. Your kids have friends they have known since they were young. You provided the opportunities you could for your children which is reflected in some of the things they love today.
You have said, your life has never been a picnic, and yet, you always seem to have a kind word for everyone, making sure you thank your server, bagger, checker and often have dollars to share with the homeless. You may not feel like you have much to show for your life, but you do. You continue to touch the lives of others by purposefully reaching out.