What's your Meant to Bee?
When I was young I thought I would grow up to be a competitive skier, until several injuries prevented that from happening. Instead of going to college to ski, I went to school in a city for retail, to become a buyer. After graduation, I landed a dream job in the buying program at Bloomingdale's. It was at the height of Friends and I was actually often told that I looked like Jennifer Aniston (it was totally the hair). She was a Buyer at Bloomie's too. A thriving career in NYC, a purple house in Queens with my besties, and an engagement. I thought this what my life was meant to be.
A few years later, my mom's breast cancer starting taking over her organs, I knew her time was limited. She lived in Maine, where I grew up and I needed to be closer to her. She was my person. My then husband and I decided to move to Boston to be in between both of our families. On a Friday, we both quit our jobs (without new jobs!) and told our families we were moving. On Saturday morning, I found out that I was pregnant with our first child. We lived in my cousin's basement apartment until we figured out where we wanted to live. A few months later, she found out that she was pregnant with her first child. She and I, both jobless, spent every day together eating ice cream, watching endless reality shows, and watching our baby bumps grow together. Memories, that are some of my most cherished and a relationship more of a sisterhood. My son and her daughter have a pretty awesome bond. We went on to have all of our children close together and they are a tight crew.
My mom passed away a little over a year after we moved to Massachusetts. I had a nine month old baby boy, how was I going to do any of this without my mom? She was supposed to teach me everything about being a mom, how to do this. I always had a strong belief that everything happened for a reason, until losing my mom. I was devastated, I was angry, I was lost. But, I had this little baby boy who needed me. I realized, little by little, that I already knew how to be a mom. I had learned from the best. My mom had already taught me what I needed to know about motherhood, friendship, and life.
I was working at TJX, hiring Buyers, when I had my third son. Daycare was expensive, someone always had an ear infection (a fever) and we decided that I would leave my job and be a stay-at-home mom. A year and a half later I had my fourth son. Four boys in five and a half years. Life was crazy and happy. I often referred to it as controlled chaos (without being controlled). I loved every minute of it. This was it. This was my life, my calling, my meant to be.
When my youngest son went off to kindergarten, I started to think about what I wanted do, the next chapter of my work life. I had always dreamed of owning a coffee shop. I loved coffee, it seemed reasonable! But that January, my worst nightmare came true. My youngest son was diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer and given just eight months to two years to live. Life became trying to figure out how to find a cure for this awful disease, trying to create as many memories as we could, and keeping my four boys together in as many waking moments as possible. This was never something I imagined in my life, it was never supposed to be my meant to be. We flew all over the world and in the scariest and most heartbreaking time in our life, we made more memories than most people do in a lifetime. Just eight and half months later Devin lost his battle and gained his wings. How was THIS my life? I was a mom. A mom to four boys. I couldn't grasp it. The only thing that became clear was at the moment Devin died, I knew why my mom had died. It was the only comfort that I had, knowing that my mom's loving embrace was there to meet Devin when he arrived in heaven. But, for the last almost seven years, I felt that most of my being was to be a mom to four boys. Of course, I was other things, but my first and foremost was that.
Three years later, I am still trying to figure it out. I am now a single mom, but still a mom to four beautiful boys- three here on earth and one who is an angel. It's still controlled chaos, it just looks different. I am the Founder and President of WhyNotDevin, a non profit organization that helps families battling the same disease my son did. I am the Founder of Meant to Bee ME, a company that I hope helps inspire other people and incorporates my retail/buying background. I speak publicly to give people hope that you can overcome and be okay. My meant to be is still changing and evolving. It means many things, it's all part of my journey. ALL of the chapters make up my story. What is your story? Your meant to be can and will be many things. Embrace them one at a time. The good, the bad, the love, the heartbreak, the highs the lows- they are ALL part of our meant to bee.