Holding On

August 1st always catches me by surprise.  This year has been no different.

Summers are always busy, with multiple jobs, and various activities the calendar pages fly quicker than ever.  Someone is always wanting to go here, and go there.  By the time the day is over – another week has flown by.  I finally realize its one month, and suddenly – its not.  Here today and gone tomorrow.  Summers.  They are my favorite time of year, but also my least favorite.  Trying to soak up the sun, and enjoy the moment while rushing from before sun up, to well past sun after.

Everyone has a busy summer, so I know its not just me.

The past week I have participated in some fishing.  Living across the street from world class fishing – and having only gone a handful of times in my life, I decided to take everyone up on their offer – and have gone fishing.  Of course it leads to even longer days, and after spending multiple hours on the water, I have come down with some heavy cases of what is referred to as “Sea Legs.”  Only not so much with my legs, as my head.  While sitting – I still feel as though I am going up and down with the waves.

It’s a good comparison as to how life is lately.  Slightly horizontal, sloshing back and forth.  Here and there.  A little bit of everywhere.  Mostly good.  Extremely hard.  But usually enjoyable.  The waves.  They always come back up, and they always go back down.

The end of July -is hard.  As is the begining of August.

Six years ago – I started writing here.  Six years ago my first entry was written at a time in my life that I don’t remember very well.  It was an entry I wrote at a time in my life when the kids were not living with me, and their futures were very much unknown.  It was written about a little girl who I rarely mention anymore, yet is never far from my mind.  The headstrong, stubborn, know it all miss Molly.  Six years ago – she was living with me, while waiting to undergo surgery, that she never recovered from.

The last two weeks of July were spent with her hooked up to machines, doing all the work for her.  And come August 1st, I would make the haunting decision to disconnect everything, and let her have some peace.  Four short years after her life began, it ended.

Life has never been the same.  But out of the hard, exhausting, haunting days that followed the decision – I made the choice to never stop fighting.

It’s the choice that turned my life around, and changed the direction of the road I was on.  It was bottom.  Having lost everything, and everyone I was faced with the ultimatum.  I could give everything I had left, and have a slim chance at getting back the three people who really held the last bit of meaning in my life – or I could just let go.  And let life crash in and finish me off.

Driven by the motivation that I would give every last ounce of effort I had – I chose the first option, and fought my way to getting the kids back.  Which is what happened, precisely one year later.

Five years later, the irony is not lost on me.  While losing Molly has been one of hardest things I have dealt with – getting back the three kids I have, has been one of the best things, although it has been far from easy.  There isn’t one day that goes by that I don’t reconsider my decision.  There isn’t one day that I don’t question my sanity, and argue my choices.  Not one day of peace to be had.  I am still not confident in my decision, and not sure that I will ever be.

And the guilt for not starting my life over sooner, and giving Molly a better life?  Will never be gone.

But it is what it is.  And I can either drown in the sorrow and guilt, and be crushed beneath the weight that I may not have made the right choice – or I can carry on.  And do my best.  Knowing that I may have started too late, I may have not made the right choice, I may screw up many times before this is all over – but I will have given it every ounce I had.  And until there is nothing left to give?  I will keep fighting.

And one day, maybe be able to forgive myself, for not doing what I did six years ago – sooner.

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