It’s Still A Wonderful Life – My Childhood Vision Of Adult Life

This post is inspired by WordPress’ Daily Post.  The question yesterday was “How does life as an adult compare to what I envisioned as a child?”

My Vision

While growing up, I envisioned life as an adult to be similar to my childhood.  My sister and I would graduate college, find good paying jobs with plenty of opportunity for moving up the ladder, marry the perfect men, and have perfect children (probably 2 each). Even though I did not have a strong desire to become a mother, I figured once I met Mr. Perfect, my desire would change.

I saw the same for my two cousins.  The four of us would get our families together for birthdays, cook-outs, and holiday dinners with the one cousin who lives out-of-state attending when his schedule permitted. When not able to come to Ohio my sister and I would take our families and go visit him and his family.  Our children would grow up together and be like brothers and sisters to each other.

Those of us who live in Ohio would attend church together, the same church 5 of our ancestors founded. We would be active in the community, with possibly one cousin working at the sheet metal shop our great-grandfather founded.

But my vision did not come true.

Pop! Goes The Bubble

Well that bubble burst.

My sister went to college out-of-state, fell in love, got married, had children and still lives out-of-state.

Our cousin, who has always lived in Texas, is married and has a child. He also got laid off after 10 years with a telecommunications company and now stocks shelves. His lovely wife works and they are raising a wonderful daughter.

The other cousin has worked in a factory for 30+ years and married but got divorced.  He also followed his dream to be a rock star.  It did not work out but at least he followed his dream, which is more than what most people do.

As for me, I:

  • graduated from Kent State with a Communications degree.
  • moved to Texas.
  • moved back to Ohio.
  • fell in love.
  • got married.
  • had no human children.
  • became a parent to a golden retriever.
  • had careers in retail, banking and collections.
  • got promoted to Team Leader (Assistant Manger) in a collections call center.
  • got laid off after 13.5 years in a collections call center.
  • became a widow at an age society considers young.
  • started this blog.
  • became a loan officer.
  • had an offer to enter into a relationship with a married man in his late 60’s. (EEEWWW! Gross!)
  • became a freelance writer.
  • took a seasonal job in a high-volume call center.

There are items on this list I never dreamed would happen, including getting married because men my age were never interested in me. That is why I always knew I would go to college and enter the work force as the boys all ran away from me in high school.

I also never envisioned the periods of unemployment I have gone through.  The toughest was the one that started in 2009, just a year after Joe’s passing.

Looking Back

Even though life did not turned out as expected and has been very painful at times, it has been and still is a wonderful life filled with joy.

May you feel the same way about your life, even though it may not have turned out as you envisioned.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, co-facilitating a grief support group, and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog


The Oldest Thing I Own – Not Including Myself

The answer to this topic was not obvious when I read my email from WordPress’ “The Daily Prompt” last week.  I thought I had an answer but now I am not so sure.

My First Thought

My first thought was the red, orange and yellow glass vase. Each color blends into the other and is wrapped with burgundy horizontal lines reminiscent of twine.

Mom found this vase after cleaning out Uncle Odie’s house after he moved to heaven. Various relatives had custody of the vase through the years and then one day the vase moved in with me.  The vase then became known as “Uncle Odie.”  No matter where we lived, he was displayed in a prominent place.

My “Uncle Odie” and I have lived in Texas and Ohio.  Once day Mom’s cousin “D” asked her what happened to that ugly old vase from Odie’s.  Mom said “It is in Texas with Michele.”  Cousin “D” was surprised to find it was still around and that someone wanted it.

Then one day “Uncle Odie” and I moved back to Ohio in hopes of making a fresh start after the savings and loan I worked for went belly-up.  We did find our fresh start back here in Ohio with Joe.

“Uncle Odie” looked great sitting on the entertainment center when Joe and I lived in our apartment, because we had Mom and Dad #2’s orange couch and love seat with dark brown wood arms.

Through the years he has been dressed up with bandanas to coincide with Christmas and Easter.  Silk daisies, roses, fall foliage have over-flowed from him throughout the years.

“Uncle Odie”  and his wonderful citrus colors are now on top of my china cabinet so he is out of this klutz’s way. It would be just my luck that he would break and I would find out “Uncle Odie” was my rich uncle.

After deciding “Uncle Odie” was the oldest thing I owned, I remembered my maternal grandmother’s cedar chest.  It dates back to the 1920’s and I do not know the age of “Uncle Odie” but I suspect he is at least as old as “Grandma.”


Joe and I got “Grandma” when we moved into our apartment shortly before our marriage.  She is about 3 feet long reddish in color with brass plates on the front and back panels in the bottom corners.  She also has brass lock and hinges.

When Grandma had the chest it was at the end of the bed in the guest room and held various blankets.  When it moved in with Joe and me it served as a coffee table.  Now it is in the little nook area of my living room and contains afghans and comforters.  On top of it is the case that holds the flag which draped Dad’s urn at his funeral. There are also various family pictures and a white silk orchid flower arrangement next to the flag case.

Once Rommie moves in with Joe, “Grandma” will once again become a coffee table. For now, Rommie needs the space on the blue, multi-colored floral rug to roll around on.  I like to think she is practicing her snow angel making technique, but I think she is just using the rug as a napkin.

Those are the two oldest things I own.  Although I get the feeling I missed something – oh yes, the corner cupboard in the living room.   😉


The Daily Post Writing Prompt: The Pitchfork Murders

I received a writing prompt from WordPress’ “The Daily Post” a few moments ago.  The suggestion for a blog post is to explain what happens when your favorite painting, sculpture or the graffiti next door comes to life.

Instantly an image came to mind.  It was the man with the pitchfork in “American Gothic” by Grant Wood running around with his trusty pitchfork in his right hand on a murderous rampage.  Among the bodies hitting the floor is that of his lovely wife.

Yes, I know my idea is sick and twisted but what do you expect from someone who grew up watching Dark Shadows and reading some Stephen King novels?

Can’t wait to see what the Blogging University’s “Writing 101” prompt is for today. Hopefully it will lead to a more joy filled post.     😉