I woke up this morning, the sun creeping in earlier than I wanted. Coming out of my dreams, I felt grief wash over my body, sore from running daily; I felt the years wash over me physically. And fear.
I am afraid for all the time—lost. Gone.
My children are almost grownup into people, yet not ready to face the challenges of being adult. But more and more they are absent from me and I feel their absence, the loss, physically — These babies I fed from my breast, nurtured if feebly the best I knew how. Babies I brought in to the world through the tearing of my flesh and blood. They are young adults and the time is gone.
I’m running out of time and as I woke I felt the years,
Weighty, heavy, lost.
Lost to the days of over working; long workaholic driven years of loving work more than I loved being at home. I have forgotten those toddler years, unable to recall the first word, first steps, first book, I simply cannot remember. Write everything down they said, but I thought I’d remember.
I was wrong.
Lost, because of so many days of a drunken cloud, a constant buzz from self-medicating.
I was trying to forget the sadness, the feelings of inadequacy. Feeling doubt in a world of devoted, sure people. Feeling the loss of losing the faith of my parents and not being courageous enough (yet) to find my own.
I lost many years of my children’s lives to being a drunk.
I woke this morning feeling the weight of it, a grief that is carved deeply within. It is a heart ache, and with a cry I wanted to start fresh. A second chance; to rewind back fifteen years to hearing that I was pregnant for the first time. I was surprised that my body, which I had loathed all my life, was capable of giving life. And then I felt annoyed at the interruption to my career. And then it came eventually; the felt joy and disbelief.
Now that baby girl, my little bird, is a young woman. She is gone more than she is here and each interaction feels like our last. I know we have just a few more years. I think: hang on to love and do what you can to keep things open and safe. I want to have a home, a heart that welcomes; A home of second chances, and third and fourth. Arms open wide.
The days are slipping away, the chances are running out.
Even as I know this I know that I cannot clutch at her. I must open my hands, joyfully and watch her fly. I will pray that she will want to return.
As I get up and face another day, it is to keep the nest warm and welcoming. Yes, I woke up this morning already grieving. I knew.
My little bird is practicing her flight away from me.