Ten years ago, I sat in a cold room holding my two year old daughter as she took her final breaths. I begged anyone who would listen to let me go with her. Yet despite my overwhelming desire to lie down and never get up –I am still here.
Less than a year after her passing, I took in my niece and two nephews. For the next two years I would fight to gain custody of them –despite being told, countless times, that I shouldn’t. I couldn’t even tell you why I tried –something about giving life one final shot, I suppose. Despite all odds –I was awarded full custody of them.
I didn’t want to love them. I didn’t want to open my heart to them. I didn’t want to live this life. Yet somehow, I did. Somehow. Over the past eight years I have chosen to look at them as my second chance at life. My reason. My life. I have chosen to try and see a silver lining, even in my daughter’s death. I have chosen to get up each and every day and put aside all desires to give up. Because –despite ALL odds –I had them. And that had to be enough.
I chose to love them as my own, raise them to the best of my abilities and let go of everything else.
One year ago I drove to work. It was supposed to be another day. Just another day. As they all are. But it was anything but normal. My oldest nephew didn’t show up to school. He didn’t come home that night. Or the next night. When they found him they didn’t expect him to live. But he did. Only to spend the next year fighting every minute of it.
…and then nearly five months ago – after spending a year in and out of hospitals and youth homes, he was granted his final wish.
People often ask me to tell them that it gets better –assuming that after ten years, I would have some insight. And five months ago –I would have told you that it does. That somehow, it does. Except now –it seems as if the past ten years have all been undone. That instead of being able to see the silver lining –all I can see are the mistakes I have made. The things I should have done –and most importantly, the things I shouldn’t have done.
I should have lay down ten years ago and never gotten up. I shouldn’t have taken on something this big. I shouldn’t have assumed that it was for the best. I shouldn’t have accepted this as my second chance.
It took me so long to come to grips with losing my daughter that to do it all over again seems nearly impossible.
Somehow, I am expected to move forward.
Somehow I am supposed to forgive myself for making what could easily be classed as the biggest mistake of my life. To accept it, and move forward. Somehow I am supposed to come to grips with this being life. Somehow I am supposed to cling to the hope that it does get better…when the only thing it seems to have done is come full circle.