You don’t have to do that anymore. There is no glory in it, but a life time of selling our own daughters short of their potential as they watch us flounder for them.
My friend posted this and for a moment I paused.
I felt a loss of wind spew from my chest. Was this me? Was this my mother?
My view actually changed as I held my phone in my hand glancing down at the Facebook- post but in truth, while it resonated with me, it also wasn’t entirely applicable. By the time I felt like my mom had really given up herself for us, my brother had been dead 8 years and my father just a few weeks. My sister was just shy of 21, I was 13 and my brothers were 5… and we were life. We were all she had. We were the life she made and the life she could keep alive, a sentiment that she’s repeated to me in brutal moments over the years.
The real times that she opens up and tells me all the guilt and hurt that she too felt but couldn’t express, because kids are selfish. Especially kids in grief. Kids like me. When there’s a loss these kids who are selfish are the only ones suffering. The strongest woman light the dark nights, draw their babies near in the early moments of the morning, endlessly smile on the afternoons that drag on longer and longer and longer. Pleading in a silent misery to stop their own pain. We think they just don’t feel the same feelings we do, but, my God, they’re dying inside. And it’s the most painful death a person can go through. Mothering alone. A part of themselves being buried inch-by-inch each day- as though the bodies we miss- decomposing in the ground- mimics the way the souls of the living feel. So while I sit here and ponder my mom for giving up herself for me, for unconsciously attributing everything I am to her because she’s the one that got me through the darkest nights the earliest mornings and the longest afternoons, I also have to thank her for giving up herself. Her dreams and her hopes for both herself and me, she watched me year after year dash those things. I have a messy head, a biting tongue, impulsivity, with a heart of gold. But that Heart of Gold never did anybody any good at the end of the day when they aren’t what their parents thought they would be. So my mom gave up those hopes and dreams, and replaced them with happiness and love. She’s only wished happiness and love. She’s supported it as it’s come and gone, and stayed, and been born.