There’s many things in life that scare me and right now the post that will flow from my fingers through the keyboard and on to the screen scares me…
There are times when I don’t write here because I’m busy, there are times I don’t write because I don’t make the time, there are times when I don’t write because I’m overwhelmed and there are times when I don’t write because I can’t think of anything positive/interesting/inspiring/uplifting to share. I tend to stay away from writing here when things don’t look too good. There are also things I don’t share because they don’t only apply to me, they affect my husband, my kids, my mom, other family members, friends and I don’t always think it would be fair of me to share those situations here.
Recently I’ve been thinking of being present and what that really means. Will my kids remember that I was present? Will they always remember how much I love them? That everything I do is because of them or for them… Will they remember that even though my body betrayed me with an immune system that backfired (rheumatoid arthritis) and a nervous system that went on overdrive (fibromyalgia) that I fought back so that it wouldn’t have a negative impact on them? So that they wouldn’t have to remember their sick mother who couldn’t be there for them, couldn’t attend their activities, couldn’t support them in every thing they do.
I hope they’ll understand that when I ask them about stuff it’s not to nag them, it’s out of my genuine love and concern for them. I know it’s hard for a teenager to understand that parents aren’t just trying to nag and be overprotective. I hope one day Mr. Skinny will know that every time he goes and I tell him to be careful and to check in with us it’s not because I want to keep him on a tight leash, it’s because I’m extremely aware that he is a 17 year old young man of color that could be at the wrong place at the wrong time and end up in a bad situation. I’m extremely aware of 17 year old boys feeling invincible, that nothing could ever happen to them. I’ve worked with the angry adolescent boys that weren’t invincible, that got wrapped up in the juvenile justice system. I’ve worked with adolescents who were too young to be parents, young women trying to figure out how they were going to be moms when they themselves were young teens. We’ve been to too many funerals and I don’t want to have to plan one for my son.
I remember 18 years ago… I was 17 years old, just a month shy of my 18th birthday, telling people that I was due to give birth in just over a month. I remember being scared of the choices that I made as a 17 year old. I remember the feeling when I heard “the test is positive, you’re pregnant. Do you know what you would like to do? You have options.” I remember telling the nurse that I was going to keep my baby and when she asked me if I was sure I said absolutely. There was never a doubt in my mind. I remember thinking “Oh shit! Now I’ve got to stop messing around, there is another life that depends on me and I can’t screw it up.” I remember making choices in the months during my pregnancy that would change our lives forever and always wondering what the impact would be, on Mr. Skinny first and foremost. I’m happy with the choices that I made. I remember the sheer joy that I felt on Mr. Skinny’s birthday. The joy that this little person who had grown inside of me and brought so much light in to the world caused. The feeling that I had the first time I held him in my arms, an overwhelming sense of responsibility and pressure to be able to give him more, to give him better.
I hope my kids remember that we have always done and will always do what we think is best for them and for us as a family. I hope they’ll be able to remember all the good times we’ve had and how we’ve persevered and gotten through the hard times together.
Sometimes I’m scared that I’ll forget. That I’ll forget the little things of every day, the little things that we share, the little things that we do. The funny things we’ve done together, the silly dances, the silly sayings that only we know what they mean. I’m scared that I’ll look back one day and not remember the stories, the memories. I’m scared that they’ll be locked away in some part of my brain that I can’t get to, the place where a lot of memories of my own childhood remain. The memories that I know are locked away because that’s where they need to be in order for me to keep going and not get sucked in to the deep, dark place that depression is. The place I’m all too familiar with. The place that scares me deeply because I spent too much time there when I was younger. The place that suffocated me in darkness, feeling helpless and in despair. The place that overwhelmed me.
I’m scared that memories that we are making every day will fade. I don’t remember my grandma as clearly as I would like to, she passed away on Valentine’s Day 2001. I’ll never forget that day, I called her that day… my aunt says my grandma could hear me and she was mouthing her responses to me but I couldn’t hear her voice. I knew then that it wouldn’t be long before we got the call saying she was gone. I remember knowing as soon as the phone rang that my life would never be the same. My world got turned upside down.
I have memories of growing up with my cousins, I remember some specific events but not the little things. I remember sitting in a church, watching my friend walk down the aisle to get married. I remember being annoyed that my phone kept ringing, over and over and over again. I remember stepping outside to hear my husband tell me through the phone that my cousin was dead. He died in a car accident, early in the morning. He lived with us and I talked to him the night before… sensing that something was off. I remember how I felt that day, once again my world was turned upside down. The days and months following were awful. It’s been 8 years…
I’m scared of being vulnerable, I think most of us are. I wear my heart on my sleeve but I have walls around it to protect it. It’s been hurt too much and too often to just put it out there. I’m glad I’ve come to a point of being happy with myself, of being me and of understanding that if people don’t like me just the way I am, it’s their loss not mine. I’m glad I’m content with being WYSIWYG, what you see is what you get. I don’t have the time or energy to fool around and be someone or something that I’m not. I’m scared of going back to the dark ugly place of depression, as soon as I feel the darkness start to come in I fight hard to push it away. I plaster a smile on my face, even though inside I might be broken and breaking into a million pieces.
I’m scared that I don’t really have anything to show for what I’m doing. That I’m not truly making an impact. I hope that my legacy will be of benefit to this world.
PS – I have a lot of things to catch up on and share her. Knitting projects, race reports, other crafty goodness… it will come, just not right this minute.