Monday, July 10, 2006

Chapters of Life

Our lives are chapters of books to which we will not read the ending. As children we all want time to hurry so we can be adult. How many kids have looked toward their 21st birthday for reasons like voting, drinking or just getting out of the house or school.Jobs are an important start to real growth. Amanda moved in with us before her junior year in high school. Until then, as a child of divorce, we saw her every other weekend and a month during summer. We were a little surprised, yet happy when she decided to move in with us. She had a taste of "life in the big city" and liked it. After all she'd most of her life in the small town of Edna. About 100 miles from Houston, Edna is the typical tiny town where not much happens and what does isn't always good. And of course, everybody smells your business almost before you've done it. Jimmy and I left a similar town in 1999 and have never looked back.

When Amanda decided to move in with us, her mother told her that she wouldn't be happy and would never make it here. How wrong she was. Amanda did very well. She went from a high school of less than 2,000 total to nearly 2,000 per class. Then she found a part-time job and worked up to management. After she finished school she got another full-time job and gained experience and saved enough money to move out on her own. She started out renting a little house with her cousin and later moved to a larger house that she and her brother and his girl-friend and her son shared.

That's when the problems started. That house turned out to be a giagantic money pit. The house had some serious problems that for some reason the landlord would not fix.It cost a fortune to stay there. So about the time Amanda had her surgery, she and her brother and his girlfriend decided to part company. By, this time Amanda was mired in debt for many reasons. So after her surgery, she moved in with us to try to save money. In the process, she sold her truck and bought a used car. Naturally the payments and insurance are huge. Not saving any money that way, right? Then she learned that her younger half-sister was becoming difficult to handle. Her sister is nearly 16 and has multiple retardation issues. It has become increasingly hard for Amanda's mother to handle her. In fact, her sister has become combative and uncontrolable to the point that she soon will have to be put in a home. Obviously this has distressed Amanda's mother who feels that she has failed as a parent. But now, Amanda feels guilty and afraid that her mother will break down after her sister goes to a home. So last night Amanda announced to us that she has decided to move back near her mother. She's going to see if she can transfer to a store near Edna. Here in lies the rub. While we sympathize with her and her mother, should she give up her life her to go back to the small town and "hold her mother's hand"? I've know several people who gave up their lives to go home to take care of family. My father moved form Texas to Alabama to be with his elderly mother, even though two of his brothers already lived near her. He gave up his life and they didn't. Amanda's mother is not elderly and has a husband. I hope that Amanda will be ok. I admire her willingness to help, but I hope she's not jumping into something that will ruin her plans to get back on her own. She's already got enough problems of her own and now she wants to take on more unending, difficulties. It's a lot to put on the shoulders of a 22 year old girl. I hope that she will be strong enough to be her mother's crutch and continue to grow into the woman she is destined to be.

I guess her Houston chapter is closing and the Edna chapter is opening, or should I say re-opening. She always said she loved it here in Houston and never wanted to leave. I really don't think she has thought this out completely. She's having debt problems now and I fear she will just end up digging herself in deeper. But hopefully she will learn from this. Her Dad and I think this is a mistake, but we wish her the best as she reads this difficult chapter in her life story.


Pixie said...

Sometimes all you can do is let them go & learn life's lessons on their own. I will hope & pray that all goes smoothly for her & you guys too.

B.R.L said...

I will pray that Amanda will make the best choice.
I like a small town and i am concerned about our choice to move to the city.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your views. My biggest concern, other than her money problems, is that her mother is a master of manipulation and may be trying to lure Amanda back for the wrong reasons. I just pray that Amanda will have the strength to handle this difficult situation.

Duez said...

I must agree with Pixie. She is 21. It is time for her to make her own decisions. But, it is wonderful to know what you and your family have done for her. I am sure that gives her a safer feeling, knowing that she has friends in case things get terribly bad.