Thursday, September 1, 2011
I have mentioned in my Blog that we recently visited Colorado. We went out there to attend Charlie Bell's surprise 50th birthday party which was thrown by his lovely wife and my best friend of 16 years..Allie. When I was 23 years young, I threw all my belongings into a Ryder truck and moved out West with my fiancee, Mark. We rented a little 1 bedroom apartment in Longmont, Colorado and our next door neighbor was Allie. She seemed so strong to me; a big career girl and very organized in her work and personal life. She went out of her way to welcome Mark and I and to let me know she was interested in a friendship. I started to unravel a bit with panic attacks and a pending wedding. I was dropping weight fast and basically falling apart. Mark had to leave me to go start his next project and Allie was my ROCK. Imagine how shocking it was for me then to learn of her painful past...
Allie's mom was only 16 years old when she had her. She was sent to Kentucky to be with relatives during birth but made the choice to keep her baby girl and brought her home with pride to their little Midwest town. With the full support of her mother (Allie's Gram) they provided a loving and stable home. When Allie was only 18 months old, her mother was killed in a car accident. Her Gram took over the job of raising her until her health declined and she could no longer do so. At 4 1/2 years old, Allie was adopted out to a local family that her Gram knew and had interviewed extensively. It was an open adoption. Her early years were happy as she was extremely close to her adopted father, but her adopted mother was never able to warm up. Unable to conceive on her own after trying for 8 years, she went along with the adoption specifically to please her husband. As Allie entered her teen years, her adopted mother became very cruel, verbally abusive and hateful. Allie chose to move out as soon as she graduated highschool, but since this was her decision, her adoptive parents said they would not support her in any way. Although hurt, Allie was not worried because her Gram had set aside a savings account with her biological mother's social security checks had been deposited over the years. This was Allie's money for college and life. Allie was still a minor, not 18 yet, so the account was in her adopted father's name. When she went with her Gram to retrieve the funds, there was barely anything left. She confronted her adoptive parents and they said that she didn't deserve the money; that they had used it to raise her and that she wasn't smart enough to go to college anyway. So..Allie walked away and never looked back. She took the few funds she had, moved to the city, went to school from 8am to 4pm and worked a job from 5pm to 11pm. Her story goes on from there and she built a great career with the Limited Corporation but I think you get the gist..
This girl who comes across so strong and so loving and is so giving to me in my life came from this? I remember asking her after I heard her story, "how do you do it--how do you be this strong, confidant and happy woman when you come from so much hurt?" And she said, "because it's a choice Annie; there are lots of people who come from broken homes, an abusive past--you can either continue the cyle of misery or choose to live differently--to be better." I was amazed by her in that moment and have continued to be amazed by her strength and determination for 16 years. Allie is and will always be my ROCK. And it's really not fair because I'm the one with the solid childhood and the supportive family--I should be the rock in this relationship. Allie has been a reminder to me so many times over the years to be grateful for what I have. She inspires me that way. She has a beautiful network of friends that she has adopted as her family. She is part of an amazing group of women referred to as the "Goddesses" who support and love eachother through life. They take girl's trips together every year. She is an amazing mother to 3 fantastic kids..Dustin, Julian and Hudson. She has a strong marriage that she works hard at and she has developed a loving bond with her in-laws. She's a great homemaker--the best! She feeds her family healthy, organic foods and she manages the family schedule like a pro. To meet her, you would never guess that she came from this broken place. Over the years, Allie has been there for every major event in my life..marriage issues, becoming a mother, losing my father, etc. We have never been in a fight. It's not that we never disagree; there is just such mutual respect, trust, love and admiration for one another. We talk through things and it's safe--always safe. Everyone should be lucky enough to have a friend like that. Thank you God for my rock...Allie!
Posted by prenni5 at 10:22 PM