lonely at only 17 years old may not be normal, but so many things
had happen in my life to make me feel like my world was crashing
down. Growing up poor had never been easy, but somehow I managed
to live my life around it. My mother, a single mother of 4, was
struggling to make ends meat working at our local McDonalds. I was
the oldest and just a year before had all the hopes and dreams of
any normal 16 year old girl. I was moderately attractive and at
times, perky and outgoing. Always striving to do my best, I managed
to squeeze out some pretty good grades. I took college prep classes
in the hopes of someday being a nurse. Although I dated in high
school, I was a “good girl” who didn’t “put out”.
into my sixteenth year, my mother’s boyfriend, like so many others
before him, had decided to high tail it out of our lives. I was
saddened because I really thought that maybe, just maybe, we would
finally be a real family- have a house,a car, take vacations,and
the whole nine yards. Even worse, my mother started making me stay
home from school during days she worked day shift to care for my
3 year old brother. Eventually she insisted that I needed to quit
school all together.That is when the loneliness really started to
set in. My dreams of going to college were washed away in the blink
of an eye. My friends became few and far between. I was now assuming
the role of a mother to my little brother, taking on all the responsibility
of any stay at home mom. When my mother worked nights, my responsibility
grew to two additional children who were school aged and all that
it entails. Most nights I would go to bed exhausted and depressed.
I often wondered if my life was ever going to change. When I would
cry to my mother about my pitiful life, she would call me selfish,
and threaten to quit her job so that we could go back on welfare.
That even meant living in even more poor than we already were. So
I would just shut up and live with it, feeling like I had no way
I sulked one day about all that I had missed in school, and all
that I would eventually miss, my mom tried to enlighten me by telling
me that she worked with a young man who had a younger brother my
age, who just moved here from Cincinnati, Ohio and didn’t know anyone.
She got his number and wanted me to give him a call. I tried to
call one afternoon and got one of 3 of his older brothers. The brother,
Brandon, said that the one who I was calling for, Scott, was in
Cincinnati for the week visiting old friends, and he didn’t know
when he would be home. He flirted drastically on the telephone and
invited me to a party that evening. I was not at all interested
in him…I hated cocky, forward guys. But lonesome and feeling like
I had nothing to lose, I called my best friend up and asked her
if she wanted to go with me. I figured at the least, I would just
get out of the house. Since neither of us had cars, we called one
of her sisters old boyfriends up for a ride. He drove us to this
party way out in the country. But when we arrived, there was no
party. The guy who lived there said he called it off. After driving
around for hours, just cruising like a couple of old women, we decided
to stop for a burger at the McDonalds where my mom worked, and call
it a night. While there, my mom introduced me to the brother she
worked with, Bruce. No sooner were we introduced, at that very moment,
and in walked this good looking guy I had never seen in town before.
I looked at my mom and said, “Wow, look at that guys eyes”!
The moment he walked in, our eyes locked. I honestly could not hear
what everyone else was saying. When he walked, it was as if it were
in slow motion…just like in the movies. Typically he wouldn’t
even be my type. He had on a long black trench coat and was smoking
a cigerette. And to my surprise, he was walking right up to me,
my mom, and this guy Bruce! All of a sudden, Bruce looks at me,
and says, “By the way, this is my brother, Scott! “.
lost in my own thoughts, while gazing into his eyes. I fumble over
my words…”huh”? He repeats…”This is my brother
Scott…Scott, this is Tara”. We simutaneously said hello and
shook hands. But when we shook, we held on for just a moment longer
than most. Looking back, I wonder what my mother must have been
thinking at that time. Among the rustle and bustle of the restaurant,
I was in my own little world.I said, “Soooo your Scott.”
He went on to explain how he and his stepdad had just drove in from
Cincinnati and were just stopping for a cup of coffee before heading
home. I didn’t want to come on to strong, but I couldn’t possibly
pass up on this moment, I asked him if I could call him when I got
home.He said, “I was going to ask you the same.” When
I got home, I did in fact call him,we talked for 5 hours…well
into the night. Two days later, he came to visit at my house with
a single rose in hand. Shortly after, young love blossomed, and
in 6 monthes, we were engaged.
was soon regretting our meeting. What was supposed to be just a
date or two, was now love out of control. But maybe our love wore
off on others. That summer, my mother ran into an old flame, and
tied the knot on October 23rd, 1993. Scott and I also decided for
a fall wedding. On November 13th, 1993,one week after my 18th birthday,
we exchanged vows in front of our close friends and family. Many
were unhappy about our wedding, including his parents who didn’t
even come to give their blessing. They informed us that we wouldn’t
last 3 monthes. Last year we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary!
January 2005 will make 12 years we’ve been together. We have 3 beautiful
sons and have outlasted many other marriages, including my mothers,
which lasted a mere 2 1/2 years.
have endured many trials and tribulations in our time together.
survived financial hardships, the death of both of his parents,
and my father and sister, an affair by him 5 years into our marriage,
loss of jobs, sickness, and most recently, December 26th, 2003,
the morning after Christmas, our house burnt down. We lost everything
but our lives. What hasn’t killed us, has only made us stronger.
Marriage is not easy. Unlike most, our first year was quite easy.
We were young and irresponsible; spending most of our time in bed.
The hardships began the second year. And of course, when he cheated
on me in 1998, while I was pregnant with our 3rd son, I didn’t know
if I could get over that. He begged for my forgiveness and promised
to be a faithful husband. From then on, things began to get better
between us personally.
weathered that storm, and everything after seemed so easy. I even
got to start nursing school in 2000. We made a commitment to eachother
when we were probably too young to be. But we knew we loved eachother
from the start. Who knows where I’d be today had fate not thrown
me into that restaurant all those years ago. Today, we are closer
than ever. And I finally have a real family. When I asked my husband
last year what he wanted for our 10th wedding anniversary, he said,
“Ten more years!”