I can’t help but feel the tightness in my chest as I see your little faces scrunched up with worry as you start school again. You cling to me and I have no plans to let you go. I want to hold the both of you like this, close to me, with my arms wrapped tightly around those two sets of shoulders that I never want to carry the weight of worries and fear.
At times, I regret my selfish motives in bringing you into this world. Did I do you wrong?
But that is an equally selfish and stupid thought to have. When I look into your little shiny eyes, I can see how much happiness you will bring into this world, many times over what you already bring to me and those that are lucky enough to know you.
You possess kindness, sweet dispositions, tender hearts that ache at other’s suffering, and a joyous ringing giggle that can bring a smile to anyone who hears its music.
I am incredibly happy and blessed to have you as my own, to lay claim to having had some say in how wonderfully you are turning out. No matter what other great things I accomplish in this life, the two of you will always overshadow them with your perfection of sweet little human beings that you are.
I am biased, no doubt, but I could care less about what others may think is an exaggeration; they have not met you. They have not felt the velvet warmth that fills my soul when you hold me tightly as I tuck you into bed. Nor you’re refusal to let go of my neck when I kiss you goodnight. 🙂 That love that carries through when we look at each other, smile at one another, and cuddle up with each other is unparalleled.
Some of my favorite moments are when I am in the car stopped at a red light and I reach back with my right hand and two little sets of hands instantly latch on. You just know to expect it. Or when one of us has a particularly difficult day whether it’s a demanding project for me at work or someone not sharing with you at school; we listen to one another – no matter how frivolous it may be to others, we listen, we know. And we always end it with our salute of Three Musketeers, and if that doesn’t work, we fall into a fit of giggles brought on by silly faces or jokes.
Some day the two of you will know how happy you make me. When you are old enough I will tell you how instrumental you were in my life and how much motivation you provided. I will confess that it’s a lot of work to raise two little ones on my own. It was hard to have you so young after marrying too young. But you two are like little wells of happiness that I can endlessly dip into when I need a smile, when I need a reason to see why every day is a gorgeous day, when I need a reminder of how precious life is.
No matter how tired I may be, no matter how much I want to take a nap after a long day of work and driving around to take care of the mundane needs of life, I can draw strength from your little smiling faces. Those little beaming half-moons that fill me with an inexplicable energy to get everything done to make sure we have a simple but happy life.
I will be here for you always, no matter where you go or what you may or may not do, I will be here to love you unconditionally and to listen when no one else may seem to. Every morning I will think of you and every day you will continue to be my babies, my little treasures, my Bellini and IzaPizza, no matter your age.
Whether it’s the first day of school, you’re first interview, or your first date (God forbid it happens before you’re 22), I will be here holding on tightly and leading the way.
We understood each other from the first moment we sat down to talk. You took me in as your own daughter and never questioned the love you had for me. It was almost painful to be around you at the beginning, I felt foolish and incompetent, unfit to receive the love in your eyes. But I was drawn to you like a bee to honey, I felt safe and accepted. Slowly I stopped flinching and tensing when you drew me in for a hug and a kiss.
I treasured our outings for brunch, shopping, and long talks. I looked forward to seeing you every Sunday to chat about the week, the girls, news or silly Hollywood gossip. I felt so normal when I was with you. As if I was living episodes from an early 50’s sitcom. And yet it felt so real, with your encouraging words pushing me forward to reach my potential, to see myself for who I really was and not as a product of where I came from. You inspired me, you continue to inspire me with everything you accomplished, a real self-made woman.
I loved you so much, and because of that love, I continued on a path that I should have veered off long ago, years ago. I put up with personal unhappiness so that I could continue to be in your light, so that I could feel the warmth of your love and smile.
The love you gave me, the love and unselfish welcoming you gave the girls and I, is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.
I kept working towards professional success because I had you as a real life role model leading the way with your kind words and your kind eyes. I never had to tell you about my personal scars and emotional turmoil because you knew, you’d been there too. I never felt so connected to someone nor as validated by someone’s belief in me. I began the process of self-love as you broke through my many layers of self-loathing and stubborn belief that I deserved my past.
I can’t even write how I feel, what you made me feel, without sounding choppy and restricted. You are so special to me that I feel that with each word that I write, a bit of you escapes from my heart. But deep down I knew that it couldn’t last, that even I, who grew up thinking I could always just “get through it”, could no longer stay where I was just to continue calling you family.
It has been the most painful event in my life to lose you. And no one knows. I kept it strapped deep down in the back of my throat, swallowing it down each time it threatened to undo my self-control and break me down into a ball of grief.
I lost someone again without being able to say goodbye. Without any words of explanation though you needed none, you knew why, and I think you were happy that I reached that decision based on the happiness of my most loved ones. But I have not shed a tear for you, I have not allowed myself that luxury because I won’t be able to hold back. It catches me at the oddest moments. I can be driving on the highway by myself and my shoulders will start shaking, the pain running up my spine like a cold shiver. And when I feel a taste of the excruciating pain lurking within me I quickly take a deep breath to recapture it in my chest securely.
But it goes as quickly as it comes and I remind myself that I am incredibly fortunate to have had you at all. You showed me what kind of self-respect, love, compassion, and kindness exists not only in a human being but in a relationship as well. You made me see, by example, never by lecturing me, that I was not broken, that I was not a lost cause. You helped me see the strength I had all along, the resilience I had shown in getting through yesterday, and the undeniable statement that I would be happy and successful in every way.
Some day I will allow myself to think of you uninterruptedly. When I am alone, I will find a quiet desolate place, where the wind can carry my voice onto nothingness and only the leaves will whisper the echo of my cries. I will give full reign to the pain within and howl at the moon about my loss. And I will feel relieved as I exhale the emotions out of my soul but I fear the emptiness that might replace it.
You were my mother on all accounts, you carried me through terrible times, and you taught me to look at my blood not with contempt or anger, but with kindness and forgiveness.
I never thought I’d lose you, not because I thought you were mine, but because I never thought I’d have the strength to walk away.
Life is not meant to be regretted. It will be guaranteed to be flawed, it will be sure to take you down winding roads that take twice as long to get to your destination, but the experiences and character you develop on the way are irreplaceable.
I have seen so much and experienced so much. You see me and you might think I am a carefree silly girl and I am glad of it. Ecstatic that you don’t see the scars, trauma, and pain that has run its course through my veins. I, myself, look in the mirror and I find no semblance of that frightened, painfully shy girl that fought to smile through the day. Now I seem to find it difficult to repress a smile!
Life cannot be full of regrets for a life of regrets is no life at all. I draw strength, wisdom, and happinness even from my darkest memories. Mostly because I am untouchable from those moments/people/emotions now. I am simply happy not to be there now.
You are alive, feel it! You are not chained down by life’s circumstance. You have been given life and it is yours to live, you choose whether you pursue happiness or if you lay down your body to die. I choose life. I choose moving forward.
No, I don’t regret life; I embrace it. I challenge you to do the same.
When the quiet reaches me, I sit here contemplating if it will always be like this, if it would best be left like this.
After the fogginess of morning, waking up to a new day, rousing from the few hours of fitful sleep, I make my way to clarity with a cup of coffee. I stare off into emptiness as my senses return about me and I get to the business of the new day.
Under the pressure of the shower water my muscles grow taught and my eyes alert and I step out feeling refreshed, renewed even.
The monkeys slowly make their way back to this world from their peaceful sleep and the house is filled with giggles and with equal measure of squeals of delight and complaint. It’s a new day and none better than today.
Breakfast is made; clothing is tossed in the hamper, clean ones thrown on. Pacing back and forth looking for a shoe, a hair tie, the comb, the minutes tick on by until it’s time to rush out the door.
At school, at work, it’s all the same to you and me. Our hours pass on by filled with new memories, work, dreams, and the steady gaze towards the clock as it nears our reunion.
Off to pick you up and as soon as I step in the door my body absorbs the thud of two little monkeys running into me with exclamation of love. How happy I am in these moments of unguarded affection.
At home, we stretch, we clean, and we cook and eat. We work and do homework, we find ourselves unwinding. As you two shower, I get a snack ready for you, a midnight snack you call it, so it can be waiting for your eager shiny eyes when you come back to me. Then the room goes quieter once your bellies have been satisfied, your round cheeks filled with kisses and caresses and you slowly wander back to your sweet dreams.
And I am here, sitting by the window typing away when I should be sleeping, enjoying the cool breeze immensely, and thinking of tomorrow and what it may and should/shouldn’t bring.
It grows quiet outside and inside the words and thoughts push out. They ask and beg to be heard. And I listen. I am blessed. When it is just us three and life around us, I know how blessed I am, how beautiful life can be. The illness of worry and self-doubt only appear when I listen to others.
But at the moment, I sit here and listen. And try to discern my desires, worries, thoughts, and plans; allowing them all to flow freely hoping to see them converge. I know that one day the two of you will walk on to your own path, and there will no longer be just the three of us, and I hope for nothing less. My proudest moment will be when I see you grow to be happy, independent, and beautiful women, inside and out. And that gives me a glimmer of hope that I may hope for the same.