A decade later

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I am deeply and clearly aware of how lucky I am. As each year goes by, I’m brought another inch or so closer to being at eye-level with these beautifully brilliant human beings that continue to prove to me that life is, indeed, perfect beyond measure.

These amazingly healthy children who just ten short years ago I thought I might never even have the chance to hold in my arms, who could easily have required serious healthcare throughout their entire lives, and who could have succumbed to their extreme premature entrance into this earth and never even came home from the hospital.

Every day, every moment, I look into their eyes and know that I was blessed with a miracle. In their short lives, they have had to deal with more loss than I did in the first 30 years of my life. While I am aware that I have played a huge part in raising them, I can not take even half the credit for the amazing people my children have become, for they have actually been raising me.

Their way-too-early entrance into life, their fragile, tiny little exposed bodies needed pieces of me that I never knew existed before becoming their mother. But they chose me. Their souls knew that not only did they need what I would provide to them, but I would need them just as much if not more.

When my grandmother left this world so tragically, everything around me went dark, yet I needed to continue to be their mother. To teach them to handle even the worst of circumstances. I had to process those circumstances with them, and it was in that processing that they helped me. While I have not told them the truth of how my grandmother was beaten to death in her bedroom, the same bedroom that they sneak into with me in the middle of the night, I have cried, screamed and fallen apart WITH them. I allowed them to cry right with me and encouraged them, always, to talk about what they feel. And I have also made it clear that it is all a part of life. That these things will happen, everyone, including their own mother, will leave this earth at some point too. People are not immortal. I have taught them that they should live with a deep appreciation for being alive, for being so lucky to have so many awesome, wonderful people around them who love and care for them, that they should always be grateful. And no matter how upset they may get (especially with each other, and with me) they should always resolve their conflicts and remember how important these people are. Nothing is worth holding a grudge over.

When my father died three short months after my grandmother, it didn’t become any easier to continue to keep my head above water. Everything I had known my whole life was quickly leaving me, and the PTSD still rears its ugly head once in a while. But here are these amazing, sweet, caring little five year old boys who would wrap their arms around me and wipe my tears and tell me that everything would be ok.

“Mommy, are you sad? You miss Gammy and Pap Pap?”

“Yes, sweetie, I do.”

“I miss them too.”

And they held ME up.

And they have continued to do so in ways that they have yet to realize. These fiercely strong, independent little boys are not afraid to be who they are. They do not fear anything. They may have their moments of excissive energy, and sometimes they don’t listen to me and I yell and they get mad, BUT they express themselves so freely without fear. They are so accepting of all the different people they come in contact with, and they are so loving and caring and respectful and kind and generous and I can say without hesitation that they have guided me to become the same. It is these two ten-year-old-boys who have touched my soul in the most profound ways and it is because of them that I continue to heal the broken pieces of my spirit. It is because of them that no matter what life throws at me, or chooses not to give to me, I continue to wake up every day with a heart full of gratitude for having them. I am better for having them in my life, and some day they will make an even bigger impact on the world with their genuinely beautiful souls.

Call me crazy, but I know when my grandmother and my father left this earth, very large pieces of their own souls were absorbed by my children. They would be so proud. As am I.

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