Monday, February 18, 2008

The Flip Side of Yesterday

Do you ever wonder where your life would be if you'd taken the other road? I think everyone has one of those crossroad moments, a this-a-way or that-a-way decision that ultimately changes their entire future. Now please don't get me wrong, this isn't an implication of fate, because I firmly believe that God's leading all our lives but I also believe He gave us free will which leads to decision making.

I was thinkin' about that pivital decision for me the other day and started pondering where I would be if I'd made the other choice...

I graduated in 2001 with dreams and intentions of becoming a Pediatric Oncologist. Aside from being a wife and a mother there was nothing in the world I wanted more than to be a doctor, working at BC Children's Hospital making sick kids feel loved like so many of the staff made me feel on the occasions that I was there. After a lot of debate and talking with my parents I decided to take a year off, work, go to Chief's Hockey (Woot!), take a sweet trip to Mexico ("You're on Bacation no one will ever seeeeee you again!") with my Mom and upgrade a class or two to make sure that my entrance requirements were up to snuff for the program I wanted. By May of 2002 I'd decided on either Mount Royal College in Calgary or the University of Calgary, my applications were in and all I had to do was wait. Well, wait and also sooth the burning fear in my gut of the change that was iminant. Then it happened, after a weekend spent in the Okanagan I decided that I was going to put of moving way to far away, move to Kelowna, work at a Pharmasave there and be a single girl. I still wanted to go to school, but I wanted to experience life on my own first. It was right then and there if you were to look at a map of my life that I turned right and headed down a windy, mountainous road. What would my life look like if I hadn't chosen to go that way?

If I'd gone to University like I planned I'd still be Ashley Gartner, graduating this spring with my GP in medicine, preparing to start another 5 years of school to specialize in not only Pediatrics but also Oncology. I'm sure I'd be single, because as much as this Momma can multitask, the student in me is much too focused. I'd probably still be known by my class mates as "That girl that's always reading a book", and have post-it notes on my walls, in my notes, in my text books, in my car and probably on a stressful day, on my forehead. Studious Ashley would have a few good friends, because I don't really draw the attention of the "In Crowd" and that's ok with me. I'd have a stethescope and say things like, "Does it hurt when I do this?" or "Cough". I might even have a few white coats (the doctor kind, not the straight jacket kind) with Dr.Gartner written on them in Blue (because that Ashley, still doesn't like pink). I'd be near the top of my class because I'm driven like that but not quite there because well, I still would like reality TV sometimes. I imagine, I'd have figured out public transit because on a student's budget I'd have enough fuel to drive 30 feet (I still haven't riden a public bus alone!) and I'd be ok with that. And even though spiritually I'd be as fullfilled as I am now, I'd feel this longing, this need for something else, something more and I wouldn't quite know what that was...

But Ashley Stone knows what it is - it's Corey and Bethany and a life as a mother and wife. Because I know I made the right choice. Although this road has had it's trecherous moments and life has sometimes felt like I was pushing my car through a garbage dump the man that God brought to me in Winfield and the daughter I gave birth to in Kelowna, were well worth the journey. I look back and instead of regret I feel relief, instead of longing I feel satisfaction and instead of a book bag, I carry a diaper bag, a purse, toys, a soother and a beautiful little girl. Instead of walking to class alone, I walk hand in hand with the man God created for me in a life I couldn't even have dreamed to be so good.

It made me decide that I don't need to wonder about the flip side of yesterday because this side of today looks pretty right to me!


lori <> said...

wow. what a beautiful post.

mommyknows said...

Great post! It sounds like you made the right decision, BUT even if you hadn't there is not point in dwelling on the coulda, woulda, shoulda's!


rachel joy said...

You have such great way with words!

Janice Vandyk said...

i know sometimes i reflect on what might have been if i had made a few different decisions, but boy am i glad i didn't.

(all though i thought i seen something coming to TLC about moms getting to live out for a few days what "could have been" that might be fun for a few days.)

(and i think you would have been a great doctor!!)

Anonymous said...

Hi there Sweetie
Well I have had lots of thoughts about this post the last few days. I am always over taken with a sense of such love watching you be a Mommy and Wife. Corey and Bethany were created in this world as part of your purpose for being born just as you are to them. Your goals as a young girl included such things as being a marine biologist, a doctor,a "boss" someplace cuz "no one is the boss of you" :) But the one thing that never waivered was your longing to be a mommy. I remember after having Dustin I bought you a doll from Dustin to you his big sister. Well I would sit to nurse Dustin and you would sit with "baby laura" and nurse her only out of your belly button. My goodness am I glad you got that figured out. :) Your understanding of what it is to be a Mom and Wife has grown a lot since it has become a reality. You were born to do the job you are doing now. It is a job that will fill you and at time drain you. Overwhelm you with the feelings of great joy and at times tear your heart. You are doing a great job and I know with Corey, Bethany and the (10) other grandchildren you will give birth to you will continue to grow and amaze me... cuz don't are my little girl.
Love ya
Mom (Grammy)