I had a really, REALLY good friend in high school. She actually graduated a year ahead of me, from a different school, but we worked together and became very good friends. Some bad things happened in her life and her father, in the military like mine, received a new duty station. She moved with her parents, who closed ranks around her and shut out her old life to protect her and keep the same thing from happening again.
For a couple of years, I wrote her regularly. Eventually I quit trying. I never did hear from her, and I later found out that her parents never gave her any of the letters I sent her or any of the packages. I searched for her regularly online, and finally, about eighteen months ago, I found her.
I hadn’t talked to her in 20 years, but the time meant absolutely nothing. It was like the years never passed and we were 17 again. We talked for hours the first few weeks after we got back in touch. It was wonderful and beautiful.
One of the first things she asked me was what I was doing. I told her I was a homemaker in a small town in Kentucky, married to the most amazing man in the world and mother to three absolutely wonderful children.
Her reaction puzzled me and hurt me at the same time.
I’d like to pause here for a moment and give you a little bit of a background. I had a full Army ROTC scholarship for pre-med then medical school. I gave it up because my ex-husband didn’t want to be an “Army wife” as he put it, and if I used my scholarship then gained entrance into the Army Medical School, I would owe the Army over 20 years. Instead of medical school, I got a job working for a general contractor and ran their office for 12 years. In the interim, I had Kaylee, divorced him, met and married Gregg, and quit my job when Scott was born.
When she heard what I do now, she said, “That sucks. I expected that by now you’d be in some major metropolis savings lives and breaking hearts and taking on the world.”
Reading through my blogroll a couple of weeks ago, on Passionate Homemaking’s website I found the following poem. It perfectly describes my feelings about how awesome my job is, how much I love taking care of my husband and my children and my home. God has richly blessed me and I want to share those blessings with the world.
“She came tonight as I sat alone, the girl I used to be… And she gazed at me with her earnest eye and questioned reproachfully;
Have you forgotten the many plans and hopes that I had for you?
The career, the splendid fame, and all the wonderful things to do?
Where is the mansion of stately height with all of its gardens rare? The silken robes that I dreamed for you and the jewels in your hair?
And as she spoke, I was very sad for I wanted her pleased with me…
This slender girl from the shadowy past the girl that I used to be
So gently rising, I took her hand, and guided her up the stair Where peacefully sleeping, my babies lay innocent, sweet, and fair.
And I told her that these are my only gems, and precious they are to me;
That silken robe is my motherhood of costly simplicity.
And my mansion of stately height is love, and the only career I know Is serving each day in these sheltered walls for the dear ones who come and go.
And as I spoke to my shadowy guest, she smiled through her tears at me.
And I saw that the woman that I am now, pleased the girl I used to be.
– Author Unknown
Quoted in Womanly Dominion by Mark Chanski
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This post was linked to Heavenly Homemaker’s Gratituesday.