Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Three Chances at Life

Three Chances at Life

I don’t know many people who can honestly say they’ve had three chances at life. Mine came by way of four incredible people--first, of course, my parents. If they hadn’t met in high school and fallen in love, I would have never formed in my mother’s womb or drawn that first burst of air into my lungs. For the first two people I ever loved in this world, I am grateful. Next month, they will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. Later this year, I will also celebrate that many years of life…thanks to them. I was their firstborn son.

Chance number two came in the most unlikeliest of ways—adoption. I had not done any research, hired an attorney or contacted an agency. No, in fact, I had just come out of the darkest period of my life in 2001 and getting that fateful call in August wasn’t even the faintest blip on my radar screen. But it happened and without time to even catch my breath, I said yes to idea of adopting a six-week old, bald and blue-eyed beauty, my Baby Sweet. I didn’t realize what a difference becoming a father would make in my life, most notably on my heart. I’ve always said that my oldest daughter saved my life. And maybe that sounds a bit melodramatic, but as I said, the year prior had been the darkest year of my entire life. Adopting my daughter made 2001 the brightest year of my life, followed three years later by the adoption of my youngest daughter, a mocha-skinned, brown-eyed beauty with the thickest and shiniest main of dark, “stick-up” hair.

Then came my divorce, making the last half of 2012 another dark and gloomy year for me. Separated from my daughters by more than 400 miles, I cried many tears and fought like hell from slipping back into a blackness so dark it seems like there is no escape. That’s how I had felt 12 years earlier and I had determined never to go back there again.

Chance number three at life came after I crossed the item off my bucket list that read “Play in a rock-n-roll band.” While it wasn’t the band that saved my life, per se, it was befriending the bass player in that band who would later become my best friend and lover. She helped me to believe in love again, then she delivered. Speaking my love language so fluently, she swept me off my feet and made me a very happy man. Ideally, I would have custody of my daughters, then I could say I’m the happiest I have ever been. Still, I am very content in the love I’ve found, a love that caught me off guard and came as quite a surprise at the very end of 2012. I am so thankful to have found her and to have found real love.

Very few people get that many chances at life. I’ve had three and I thank God for each of them and for those four very special people--well, five--who helped to make my life complete.