As a child, I thought I would be special – and I was. I had a good mind; I was able to learn. My body was healthy and strong. I had a good education and lots of opportunities to become whatever I wanted to be. I had a loving family – not only parents but extended family. I was taken care of with adequate medical care, good food, a warm place to live and sleep. In short, it was perfect.
I thought I would make a difference in the world, as most children dream. Whether it was in being a teacher, a scientist or an artist, I believed that I would succeed. That didn’t happen. So what got in the way and does it matter?
I married and had a daughter. I became a stay at home mom, volunteering in the community, occasionally substitute teaching, learning how to paint, displaying my paintings and now and then selling one or two. I pay the bills, manage some of the family finances, do the taxes. I learned how to write well, to program a computer, to build websites, to work with photoshop and indesign so that I could do online publishing. All good things, but they don’t count as success, not as the world sees success.
Mom and dad moved to San Angelo, and I helped care for them. I continued to communicate with my sisters, helping them when it became necessary. After mom and dad died, I handled their estate, portioning out money and possessions as they wanted. Then one sister died and then another, both unexpected. Then there were only two of us – the youngest and me, the oldest.
The youngest has always had health problems and has never been good at handling money. I became a care giver of sorts, a solution when she couldn’t pay her bills or needed visiting in hospital and nursing homes. After a few years the youngest sibling died.
How does what I have done with my life show success? It is not success as the world knows it or admires it. My life is little and unimportant in the world’s eyes. I will never be famous. No one outside my small circle of friends will ever repeat my name. No one will ever say to another, “I knew her when”. When I die and am buried, only a few will care.
But I am at peace with all that. I believe that I have used my abilities to learn and to grow, though I might have learned more. I have taken care of my health, although I could have done better. I have loved those who were given to me to love, perhaps I could have loved them more. I have prayed for them, helped them financially and emotionally when I was asked to help. Though my “career” isn’t what I thought I might choose for myself when I was young, it has been useful to others. And I have come to believe it is what God chose for me. I don’t know why – somehow, perhaps I fit into His plan. Maybe someday I will know how and why.
Being little, being unimportant to the world is okay for me right now. In fact, it is more than okay. It is perfect. Thank You Heavenly Father for choosing the absolute best for me.