Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lessons in a Wendy's

Today I found myself truly reflecting. I was working in Mount Pleasant and was cold and wet so I decided to stop at Wendy's for a cup of chili and a little break. As I sat at my table by the window it suddenly occurred to me I had been here before, a very long time ago.

It was Spring of 1996 and I had just started a new job with Enterprise Rent A Car in Columbia, SC. I was dating a security guard and we had gone to Charlotte to see the Hornets (yes I know they are the Bobcats now, however, they were still the Hornets back then) play on Thursday night and after work on Friday we came to Charleston for a weekend get away. Well little did I know how changed I would be after that weekend.

I had started having severe low back pain in Charlotte, but just figured I had over done it washing cars at work or something. Saturday night I learned it was much worse. I had a miscarriage, right there in the hotel room. I was only 22 and it was quite a shock to me as I had been denying the fact that I was "late" and well, it is what it is.  The next day security guard and I, quite in shock, stopped in Mt Pleasant, while trying to have a "normal" day, and ate at that very Wendy's.  I remember feeling so scared, upset and just in shock. I was so afraid that this meant I was never going to be able to have children, something I had dreamt of since I was a little girl. I was upset I was going to have to tell my mother what had happened and feared for her disappointment in me, which of course was just plain silly!

Security guard eventually moved to Alabama and although we tried to make it work, me driving after work on Fridays to Alabama and leaving late on Sundays, it just didn't work out. **Note to any young girls out there, when a guy's own Mother and Sister tell you that you are too good for him and he doesn't deserve you, you might just want to pay attention.

Fast forward to today. I find myself reflecting on all the water that has passed under the bridge in these almost 14 years (wow 14 years?? I'd seriously have a 13 year old now???).  All the relationships, friendships, heartaches, trials and tribulations that have lead me to where I am now.  I wouldn't change a thing.  All these things make me who I am now. I still have a lot to learn and am figuring things out everyday, but I am a mom to 3 of the most adorable, bright, well rounded kids (no, I am NOT biased) and a wife to a man I have spent the past 11 years with (9 of them married). 

I think what would I tell this 22 year old, somewhat naive young woman? I don't think I'd tell her much, because I honestly wouldn't want to change much at all. But I would tell her to follow her instincts, stand up for herself (especially at work), and to follow her heart.  Advice all young girls should have instilled in their brains.

It really is nice to sit down and reflect sometimes.

*Note to my brother, I know you recently had a similar experience, I only wish I could capture mine as eloquently as you captured yours, but aren't they amazing moments?


Will Shealy said...

Mandy, your honesty is the sharpest eloquence. Not everybody could ever reflect on something so painful, let alone begin to put it into words. I regret that we were so distant for so many years, and that I could have, and should have been, there for you when you really needed me. Here's to making up for lost time.

Will Shealy said...

Dammit, the comma's in the wrong place. So much for typing in the dark. Why can't we edit comments?!

Mandy said...

I really could have written so much more, but decided to sensor myself, imagine that! See I am learning!

Will Shealy said...

Don't censor yourself! You have so much to say!

Mandy said...

that should have been *censor.

Mandy said...

trust me, if I hadn't censored myself it could have gotten quite long and really, who wants to read all that??

Doc said...

Sometimes reflection is good as long as you don't live in the past. It seems like even though that was a bad situation things certainly worked out for the best for you.

Mandy said...

I need to look no further than the beautiful eyes of my children to know things absolutely worked out perfectly. Sometimes relection can help us to realizE that although we must endure some really tough lessons in life, they do pass, and it is in those moments that we find happiness. But you are right, you must not live in the past. There are too many joys ahead to spend too much time there!

Jenny Meredith said...

Isn't it interesting to come full circle and sit in the same spot and reflect. Glad you have no regrets. That's really the way to live life.

People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built. - Eleanor Roosevelt