1: What has retirement allowed you to pursue that career/child-rearing prohibited? Those still working, should speculate.
A: More child rearing for the second time around until about a year ago. Lucky me huh?
2: What advice would you give your grandchildren?
A: The same advice I have been giving him for the past ten years. Do NOT bring me home a baby to raise, or I will drown ya both. I will say to you all however; just kidding.
3: Right now, my favorite thing to do is:
A: Rest and recoup from all the child rearing for the past 49 years nearly non-stop. :o)
4: My favorite place in the whole wide world is:
A: Ain’t in this world and I ain’t got there yet. ;o)
5: Any interesting things left in your bucket list?
A: Sure, how about another baby to raise? NOT! Truly, I would love to take just one cruise before I go. Would also love to visit the European countries . Scotland, Ireland, France and England foremost. Never give up your dreams huh?
6: Feel free to add a question and have fun with the answer. I chose this one: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
A: Hopefully where my Mother, Father and the love of my life Nicky are, and at peace.
Someone once said, “Life is not about the destination, it is about the journey.” Or put another way, “Life is a journey….. not a destination” My journey for the past 50 years has led me to many adventures, but not yet the final destination. I can only hope that will be in a place I have strived a lifetime to gain.
My journey has had many peaks as well as many valleys. Some of those valleys have been pretty steep; but, with the “Willox sense of humor” and the “Thompson will of steel” I have scaled them all and survived.
Looking back, my first two major peaks have to be my two children; my beautiful daughter Darla, now 47 and my handsome son Darin, now 46. From them came my next two major peaks. My two adorable grandsons; my soon to be 25 year old Paul (you may remember him as PJ from the 40th reunion when he was chasing me around with the video camera), and my soon to be 17 year old sweet Drew. It is PJ whom I call “the child of my heart, the light of my life and the pain in my butt.” I became his “GrandMommy” very early on in his life and we all know that all of the above is what our children are. That is their jobs don’cha know? :o)
In between peaks one and two and three and four , I did manage to squeeze in a little time for myself and attended college at the age of forty. I left there in two years with my high school diploma (finally) and two AA degrees; one in Criminal Justice. The pride in this was that I graduated with a very high GPA; something that completely eluded me in high school. And I also thought it good that I graduated and got a diploma before my eldest child did. :o) I beat her by six months!
Shortly after this I was injured, and that is why I got to be a stay-at-home Mom with PJ for the next twenty-four years. Re-entering Motherhood was quite the challenge by the way. It was so completely different the second time around. But I did manage to survive all the way through; even graduation. He is my little “Bomber of 2005″.
While PJ was in RHS (that would be OUR Columbia High folks!), it was at this time that I founded a new adventure in my life. I managed through thick and thin, ups and downs and everything thrown my way to make this venture a success. It lingers still today; however, it is not as vast as it once was. Age, health and the death of the love of my life prevents the full scale of what once was. And this is okay, because I take great pride in the success the new adventure became.
I have hit the peaks here; but no, I did not enter the valleys. As far as the marriages and the men of my life ~ wellllll, I did say that I was not going to visit the valleys ~ did I not? ~LOL~ Suffice it to say that the true love of my life died over two years ago, and that is okay too. I told him to let go as I did not want him to suffer. I kissed him, told him that I loved him and that I would see him on the other side. Nicky was a true high peak of my life; and because of that, I did suffer one of my deepest valleys when he went Home.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that since the step forward out into the real world, and each step I have taken in the past 50 years ~ right or wrong ~ has led me to where I am today. Alive, a survivor and always moving forward. I do, however, hold onto the old and cherished memories of Richland; going to school here, the things we did as kids, and all the people and friends I knew and had those years we grew up here. That is the one past I do visit from time to time. Ah, the beautiful memories they are. I can’t wait to see you all at our fantastic 50th reunion! I love you, my dear classmates, and God bless you all!