"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
I went to bed sad, confused and hurt. My oldest son left on his first mission trip, all of which is good. All but the part that he was so hurtful with his words right before he left. I know he is a teenager, I was one once too. And I was a very mouthy one, far worse that my son.
I snuck off to bed quietly. I fell asleep with my phone in my hands playing Word with Friends. This is my way of distracting my thoughts. But sleep never lasts long.
2am. I tossed and turned trying to fall back to sleep. My mind was open and memories were flooding me. I grabbed my phone and played some games trying not to think about my past, my childhood.
Why were these memories waking me? Why couldn't I distract my thoughts?
I thought of me as a mother, and me as a child with a mother who struggled being a mother.
I was little. I wore spit curls with bobby pins or sponge rollers when my mom did my hair.
I see images. But A lot of Disconnection. Forgive me for not knowing all the details.
|Half Irish- Half Mexican.|
I had tussled mid length brownish auburn hair. Deep brown eyes and light olive skin.
We lived in some rundown apartments in Hazel Park. Only my mother, no fathers. Three children,3 fathers.
The neighborhood was grubby. The sidewalks were cracked and un-kept. The neighborhood homes had patchy grass and unmaintained yards. Our apartment had a fenced-in play ground with no grass. It had a rusty swing set and loose sand everywhere. Scattered, dingy toys.
I didn't know to be scared. I didn't know to have fear. I didn't know not to trust.
I Didn't Know.
I just knew to play. Like all little girls. I loved riding that plastic bike all over the neighborhood. I would get the front tire moving so fast it would spin in place. I could hit the break and make it spin out!
I believe my brother and sister were there, but I can never locate them in my memories. My brother has always been my hero. And my lil sister was always my best friend even though I wasn't a good sister to her.
We had an old beat up big wheel. I would ride it up and down the sidewalks. I would play outside all day, never wanting to go inside. I had dirt in my nails, hair and I never noticed. Our cousins lived around the block and would occasionally come out and make fun of us. I never understood what they were trying to say.
I didn't understand my mother was not really mothering. She was doing the best she could with the demons that haunted her. My mother was a beautiful person, but alcohol had a terrible grip on her. I didn't know she was supposed to be feeding us, bathing us, reading books to us, teaching us. I didn't know she was supposed to know where we were or even play with us. And I know she did this at times of sobriety.
I was never hurt by her because I never knew.
I Never Knew.
I never knew our cockroach infested apartment was not fit for children. Or that at 4 or 5 I shouldn't have been climbing cupboards to find food.
I Didn't Know.
I never knew any different.
There were families actually eating together. Families that drank milk out of a carton not out of powder. Children that never knew what it was like to be hungry. I never knew what air conditioning was when I slept on the floor with a sheet under me and a sheet over me.
I never knew any different.
But I do now.
I am not a perfect mother, but I try to be the best mother I can. I do almost all the cookie cutter motherly things I know of.
Yes, slip up and emotionally say and do things "good mothers" should never do or say.
And still when my son looks at me I feel like a failure.
I want to open a fifth like my mom, I want to scream profanities or swallow a handful of pills in pity.
I want to run away in defeat.
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
That little girl is who I am. I may not have known any different on the ways of the world but I knew one thing.
Never be defined by chaos.
I will not give up, give in or give myself away.
I will dig deeper, pray harder, and persevere.
I am not who I was, I will not allow you to define me and I no longer care if you don't accept me.
I will fight all of hell, I will fight to the death, or I will Die trying.
I am not ashamed of my childhood, I am not embarrassed of my parents, I hold no grudges.
Memories haunt me, demons chase me, my past catches up to me, but it does not OWN ME.
I am reminded of Grace, Mercy and Love through every tear, every heartache and every anxious thought.
The only place I will run is Deeper into His arms.
I will not quit.
Out of breath, beaten, blundered, neglected, abused and confused I will not quit.
It is to remind us to LOVE, To Forgive, To move forward.
LIFE WILL MAKE YOU BITTER OR LIFE WILL MAKE YOU BETTER.