Life Changes, So Change With It This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 18, 2010
We sat down in the living room and I prepared to start the interview with my mother. She took off her shoes, put her feet up on a stool, and sat back with a package of crackers in her lap. I put my feet up in my chair and turned the recorder on for the project. After a few minutes of chatting about the interview and telling my mother her rights concerning what she said, I was not sure how to begin. I began with my first question and murmured, "So, how was it like growing up in a small town?" With a thought to consider, my mother slouched in her chair and began to talk.

"I personally didn't like growing up in a small town," she confessed, "and so, I was going to be a mother, I always wanted to be a mother. You know, meeting my husband at the door at night, who I would hand a drink to and sit down at the table where I'd made a perfect dinner."

Later in the interview, my mother talked about how her life came together, "I wish that I had not made him the center of my life, because, when he died, I was completely isolated and alone." She recalled memories from when she lost her husband. Her life was intertwined with his and she described her wants after his death that are her life now.

"When I finally sat down and said, 'What do I want to do?' I said I want to be a nurse. I wanted to be a nurse since I was seven years old," she told me. She also wanted the experience of raising children. My mother began nursing school in the years following her husband's death, and she adopted her first child during school.

Hearing the progression of my mother's life showed me how life does not always go how you expect. She was a girl who hoped to marry, have kids, and live a television worthy life from the sixties. When she was older, she had a husband who she loved, but she did not have children. He had adult children from his previous marriage and did not wish to raise another child. It was as if his death was the trade off for my mother to have children; it was after his death that she adopted. When my mother thought her life was decided, it started over and she had to find out what it was she wanted to do with it. She did not plan to experience her childhood aspirations in such a manner, but my mother had a husband and, without him, had the opportunity to be a mother.

We hope that life will come together in a certain way, but we cannot guarantee that it will follow that direction. As I learned how my mother's life changed direction midway through, I realized how spontaneously events could occur. We cannot foresee all the changes that happen in life and we cannot direct them; no one can say what will happen in the next ten years or in the next twenty-four hours. However, we can take the changes that happen and make them into what we want. My mother's husband died which is nothing she could have wanted, but she took the tragedy and used it to have children and experience her dreams from when she was a child.

The interview with my mother made me realize she made decisions in her life before I was in it. I heard stories about her husband before the interview, but I never grasped the impact his death had on her life now. She told me that I should be independent and not have to rely on a boy to be happy. When she talked to me I thought, "Okay, so you don't want me to get a boyfriend, got it," but when I listened to my mother tell about her life I realized that she had a purpose other than simple fear of her children growing up. The interview revealed to me the reality that my mother had a life before she had children, and her experiences from then are the reasons for who she is now.

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