I remember driving around in the car with my college roommate. I think maybe we were coming back from a class at one of the magnet schools because I can distinctly remember the road we were on and it wasn't our usual drive. It was my sophomore year and this friend and I weren't particularly deep thinkers. Most of our conversation consisted of what we were going to do that night, who we hoped to meet up with and what was on TV. But on this occasion, out of the blue, she asked, "If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?"
That was a deep question (at least for us), and it needed some clarifying. Could I answer ANYTHING even if it wasn't actually possible or was I limited to what could be accomplished THAT day in Lawrence Kansas? She opened the door wide open, "what is the one thing you want to accomplish before you die?" Oh that's easy, "I would have a baby." Not the typical answer for a soon to be college educated girl on a liberal campus. But to me it was a no brainer. It wasn't that I was just dying to be a mom. I wasn't even seriously dating anyone at the time. I had met the man I would some day marry, but we weren't "serious" yet. To me having a child was a way to live forever so to speak, to pass on a legacy, maybe that sounds selfish, but at the age of 19 that's what I thought.
Having that child however didn't turn out be as easy as I thought it would be. There were times early in our marriage that it seemed it would be that one dream I would never have. There are many people who have no trouble getting pregnant and carrying perfectly healthy babies for 40 weeks. That wasn't the case for us. We lost our first two pregnancies. No one knows why, there was no medical reason, just two unviable fetuses. I really don't like those words.
Last night I sat on the sofa next to the man I have loved for 18 years, surrounded by our 3 perfectly healthy children as we all watched a movie together. It is moments like this, the everyday, nothing special moments that I treasure the most. As I took a moment to look at each of the people God has given me to call my own, I thanked him for each and every one of them. He answered that prayer I prayed back in college as a drove around with my roommate.
This year, as every year, I am thankful for Erik, Isabella, Nate and JT. They have given me a joy that goes beyond words.