Gifts beyond measure

by Greta Pang '83

I have four children. And no career. Or, rather, a career I’d often envisioned but hardly prepared for. A career of enormous and demanding proportions, each day’s challenge different than the day before, a curious mixture of exhaustion and exhilaration and tragedy and utter delight.

My path to motherhood has been long, but ultimately rewarding. It has been a path earmarked by delay and disappointment, by arduous and painful medical treatments, by workdays fractured by endless doctor’s appointments, and by tears, both of sorrow and of joy.

My longing for a family began early, stealing upon me in strange moments, while studying, socializing, even dreaming. As the eldest of four children, I have always loved babies, and focused upon family as a framework for all else. Coming of age in the 1980s, however, I didn’t know how to blend my desires with the world’s changing expectations of women, and mudded my way through a series of low-paying and unfulfilling jobs, always feeling that my true calling, motherhood, lay ahead.

Looking back, I am gratefull to Scripps, for its quiet beauty and for instilling in me the abilities to think clearly and to persevere through the losses that have marked my life and choices: the early death of my mother to ovarian cancer, the bereft ache of friends gone to AIDS and suicide, and the lonely and terrible grief of my second child, taken far too soon.

But along this path I have been wondrously blessed, to ultimately embrace a big and loving family, including twins. I would not change any of what has gone before because I have gained caring, lifelong friends and a sensibility honed by experience that has strengthened and consoled me. I was happy to turn in the often insensible hours of my various jobs to what scemed a higher calling, to take my place in that history of women, however anonymous, who are raising children. It is here that I have found love, meaning, and a faith beyond understanding, gifts beyond measure.