Half A Lifetime Ago



Half a lifetime ago. That’s what I realized as I was driving down the road, sunroof open, on one of the first warm spring days of the year. Before I was a mom, before I was a wife, I was just me. I worked in retail and would find myself driving the 45 minutes home down back roads on summer nights, the stars clear and bright as I looked through the moon roof of that ‘89 Saab I bought, my first car. Dave Matthews Band came through my speakers and the word “future” stated with a capital F, undoubtedly exotic and exciting. Nothing was set in stone. Do you remember what freedom was like?

Today I find myself following the checkmarks on my to-do lists. Laundry, dishwasher, grocery store, and most of the time in my minivan is taking kids from school to activity to next activity. Routine.

Oh, but the beauty of that routine. Of blankets tucked round little bodies sleeping in beds. Of bread dough punched down and left to rise. Of coffee beans and tea bags. Of bags of groceries, stacks of homework, and piles of dance shoes. Soccer schedules, water bottles, and chocolate chip cookies.

20 years.

And in 20 more years the minivan will be a sedan. The laundry will be manageable. The dishwasher will sit empty and my grocery runs will be smaller and spaced out further. And I’ll be driving down the road, wondering what the next 20 years will look like.


Where were you half a lifetime ago? Tell us about it in the comments.

Brenna D'Ambrosio
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2 thoughts on “Half A Lifetime Ago

  1. Brenna, 20 years ago, I had been married for 5 years. In the throws of having a 6 year old adopted child in first grade, and not doing well, our child, now we know had many issues from her young life prior to us and we didn’t know anything. I didn’t know how to help her. I had a 4 month old son, and this was my first baby. I loved both of them. I home schooled for 16 years. Fast forward to now. I have grown children, and I also have 5 and 6 year boys old whom we adopted, and we have grandchildren. Never was on my radar, wasn’t in my plans. But, I can look back, and see an unfolding for things now that I would have never put pieces together. God now has me in with very good adoption counselors, digging looking for answers, starting an adoption support group, and also being asked by our church to help them with some training for various areas. This also was not on my radar. But, I feel a peace, and I know I didn’t qualify myself, God has. Our marriage struggled, but with so much work, it is better than it has ever been. Are these good plans? Yes! Are they hard plans? Yes!
    Blessings, Joanne

  2. Brenna, half a lifetime ago (31 years ago) I was a new-ish mom with a 5 and 8 year old. I had finally decided what I wanted to be when I grew up and was embarking on a journey of back to school to finish my A.A. then onto getting my B.A. in teaching.
    Parts of those years make me happy (my children learned a lot of self-reliance and my husband stepped in to help and support me) but part of those years make me sad, as I was only partly there for my kids.
    They are now 36 and 39 and wonder of wonders, still love Jesus and me. My daughter (the 36 year old) often chides me, “Mom, we’re fine!” but I often remind young moms to make the most of being with their children when they’re young–you never get those years back.
    Thanks for asking….it’s good to put some of those thoughts into words.

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