The Hard Days

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It all starts with water

Elation and expectation

You ready yourself and your bags

The journey begins

You’ve been preparing for months

Thinking of names

Dreaming up colors in an empty room

So much joy

And you’ve waited so long

 

But soon comes pain

So much pain that you fear if you look down now

You will find that you are splitting

In half

The pain is sharp

like the crack of a whip

But sustained

like a burn longing to heal

You crest each wave and then ride it out

With tears breaking across your cheek

When the pain gets so bad

You cry out

“Mama!”

Thinking the pain will drown you

For good

But it is you who is the mama now

This is your pain

So you own it

And wear it like a badge

Not realizing that this badge

Will continue to be

The hardest earned badge of your life

 

Fast forward 13 years

And that little life

For whom you labored so bravely

Is now a teenager

Dark, stormy, ungrateful

Sometimes even…

Unkind

 

On good days

Raising her feels like floating

Downstream

with the current at your back

And a really good friend at your side

On okay days

it feels like treading water

On hard days

it feels like swimming upstream

With a strong current pressing against your chest

And on the hardest days

On those days it feels like drowning

You’re not only trying to save your own life

But hers

As well

 

You are laying on the bathroom floor

Curled up in the fetal position

You are drowning in your own tears

And in her disdain

And all you really want to do is cry out

“Mama!”

But you’re the mama now

 

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