My name is Nanette Cole. I was born April 13, 1964 and fortunately, I was born in Joliet Illinois. You see, Joliet had this countries first neonatal unit and I was born at 28 weeks. I weighed just over two pounds and fit in the palm of the nurse’s hand. I guess you can say I’m a fighter or I would not be here right now.
My mother divorced my biological father a couple of years after I was born. From what all I have been told, he was not a very nice man. I do still wish I could meet him and let him know that even though he was never a part of my life, I still turned out ok. He is probably dead by now. He was an alcoholic.
When I was eight years old my mother married Jim. He had three children of his own and adopted my sister, brother and myself. We were like the “Brady Bunch” The oldest two were 10, my now brother and I were 8 and the youngest two were 5. We received a lot of stares when we all went somewhere together. And we drove my mother crazy! The summers were hectic but a lot of fun for us children. I remember us all loading up in the wood-paneled station wagon and driving across country. Now that was an adventure!
My father was in the Air Force and we moved from Scott Air Force Base in Illinois to Germany when I was 14 years old. I did not want to leave my friends! “How could you do this to me?” “This is not fair!” “I’m not going!” When the movers came to pack us up they could not pick up my dresser. I had my dresser drawers loaded down with rocks I had collected so I could remember America. Yes, the rocks stayed in America.
The three years I lived in Germany were probably the best years of my life. We lived on the economy in a little town called Morbach and I went to school at Hahn Air Force Base. Friendships were formed there that most people will never understand. And it is hard to explain. All of my friends left Hahn at some point and are now scattered all over the country. I thank Facebook for bringing us all back together. We have all picked up where we left off 30 plus years ago. Hahn AFB is closed now and I will one day get back there to reminisce. Those were some of the most formidable years of my life.
Fast forward to the spring of 1980. My dad announces we were moving back to the states. “I’m not going!” “You can’t make me!” “I hate you for doing this to me!” “I don’t want to leave my friends!” Same routine, different year. I started thinking, “Ok, maybe New York, Chicago, San Francisco, yea I can do this.” Our destination was then revealed, Montgomery, Alabama. “You have got to be kidding me! Alabama? Where was that?”
We left Germany June 24, 1980 and it was 52 degrees. When we arrived in Alabama the heat index was 116. Once again, I was not happy. “How does anyone survive in heat and humidity like this? This is crazy!”
I graduated high school in 1982, got married in 1983. I had my first son in 1986 and my second in 1990. I then divorced in 1995. I have had a business doing what I love for the past 23 years and have been fortunate in that area. Most people can not say that. I never remarried but came close once. My little world has not been perfect and I have had my share of hard knocks just like the next guy.
So now you know a little bit about me and I will be sharing more along the way. This has been a great ride so far and will only be getting better.
This is my journey…