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Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Long Way Home

At 20 months old, with pigtails and bright blue eyes, if you asked Aja how old she was.... With an infectious smile, she would hold up two little fingers and announce with confidence and pride..... "I be two in June." Years later when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would tell you a Veterinarian. She attended two years at OSU and was accepted into the Design School when she decided to take a break. She moved back to Duncan and went to work as a teller in a bank. One evening she dropped by the house, that's when she dropped the bomb that she was considering joining the Navy. Nothing, simply nothing, could prepare me for the journey ahead. Many miles, countries and adventures later, her military career brought her back to Oklahoma as a Recruiter. When her time was up she decided to end her military service and work on getting a degree. This weekend we proudly sat in the bleachers as she walked across the stage to receive her diploma. Later at our celebration lunch, she mentioned it had only taken her 14 years to finish college. There have been times she has felt left behind as other friends finished college in the typical 4 years, and then directly began families. Her dad and I have always told her that her life story would be more interesting than typical due to the path she had taken. The commitment, dedication, and courage it took to go a different path, to do things her own way, gives you just a glimpse of how strong willed she is. I can only imagine having that kind of courage. One should never feel shamed when they take the scenic route through life. It's an opportunity that seldom comes along twice. You can always move toward the ultimate goal, but once you are settled into family life, you can never go back to the freedom of making choices without considering how each and every decision effects the entire family. The world remains her oyster and I can't wait for her to take a peek and see what the future holds. I'm betting life has a few surprises left for her.

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