We all have defining moments in our lives. Those times encapsulated in our minds that forever changed the direction of our lives.
I have a few.
1980 Senior year in high school I planned on majoring in piano performance in college. My first theater audition, first show, first tour and I was hooked. No longer piano but vocal performance.
1983 Engaged at 20 and four months before the wedding, I was cast in West Side Story in college and my life drastically changed. My self esteem blossomed, my performing intensified while my engagement was called off. The direction of my life altered.
1985 I was working in a theater in West Palm Beach, FL and talked a director, a stranger to me, into hiring me for a show in Rock Island, IL. Thirty hours of driving, one month of rehearsal and three months of performing later, I was engaged again. 25 years of marriage later I can definitely say this was a defining moment.
1988 Only married a few months but wanting a child already. A few months of trying and finally a positive test at the doctor’s office. I remember Tim mowing the grass when I came home with the news. Such an answer to prayer.
2000 Went to our prospective adoptive kids’ Grandma’s house and were introduced to B (age 10), S (20 months) and M (11 months). Butterflies in my stomach. Heart pounding. I remember B coming home from school and just looking at us with such detachment. We were given a picture of the three of them and I carried that picture around with me for weeks.
I remember each of these moments like it was yesterday. My location. My emotions. My dreams. Who I was with. These events changed my life forever.
But today I remember a defining moment that I wish desperately had never happened. My sister died suddenly on October 2, 2000 at the age of 53 from a massive heart attack. She would have celebrated her 65th birthday today if she had lived.
I remember the phone call. The rush to the hospital. Hearing the news she was gone. Viewing her body in the emergency room. Staying strong for her daughter and my parents. Funeral plans. Giving the eulogy. It is a blur but I remember.
It was a defining moment in so many lives. In my life.
I miss you, Brenda.