Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Teresa's Wrinkles

Teresa does not like negative things of any kind. She does not like to be around negative people, nor does she like to hear bad news. Although Teresa has had her share of bad things happen to her, she is always positive about whatever challenge she faces.

The greatest joy in Teresa’s life is her 12-year old son, Allen. She never thought she could have children, and in fact had tried for over a decade using infertility medicine, taking her temperature, keeping up with ovulation charts and more. After she and her husband divorced (they had grown apart), Teresa eventually remarried and became pregnant immediately. She had her miracle baby and now her greatest hope is to never take her son for granted. Teresa said a lot of people park their children in front of the TV, pawn them off one someone else to take care of, and generally don’t pay attention to them. She acknowledges that sometimes she treats Allen too much as an adult, but her intention is to treat him like a person. It is obvious to all of Teresa’s friends and colleagues that she deeply loves her son and would die for him if she had to.

Teresa saw her Mom struggle to make ends meet as a single parent with three children. Her mother earned too much money to qualify for assistance, but the family was regularly faced with no electricity, no telephone, lack of school clothes, no rent money, and few groceries. Teresa said that after experiencing financial insecurity throughout her childhood, it affected her entire adult life. She made a decision to have only one child in case she ever found herself in her mother’s position – on her own. She felt she could always find a way to support one child, but wasn’t confident she could handle more. Today, Teresa constantly saves money and is very thrifty. Her vehicle is showing its age, but it’s paid for; she only owes on her mortgage.

True to form, Teresa rarely splurges and is teased by her family as being a tightwad. She once told her mother that she found a cheaper way to bury her: discontinued caskets online are less expensive than buying from a funeral home. Thrifty though she is, Teresa is still a very generous person. In addition to providing for her own home, Teresa is the main breadwinner for her mother, who is 65 and lives alone on $575 a month from disability pay.

Teresa and her husband have been married since 1995, a strong case of opposites attract. It didn’t bother Chuck that she was divorced, but his old-fashioned parents refused to attend their wedding because of the divorce. They also refused to welcome their grandchild into the family for years. The relationship finally turned around one day when Teresa and Allen were in Wal Mart buying Chuck a Christmas gift. Chuck’s father approached Teresa and told his buddy, “That’s my grandson.” Allen looked at Teresa and asked, “Mommy, who is that?” Teresa and Allen are now invited to family functions, although they still don’t feel welcome. She is still bothered that her husband in the past chose to spend Christmas with his family rather than with his wife and son, who he left at home alone.

However, Teresa doesn’t focus on any of that. Instead, she embraces the good in her life and welcomes each day with honesty, good will, and gratitude for what she has.


Blogger Lynnster said...

Yet another great wrinkle! Teresa's positive attitude is inspirational.

The BF & I are still undecided on kids (tho it's getting kind of late for it anyway), but I'm not sure I can. But I also would personally be afraid of the infertility drugs, I think. He has twins rampant in his family, and with my luck I'd wind up with quadruplets or something.

Glad you are feeling better today!

4:35 PM  

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