Feeling Some Type of Way

8b2a0e15cbcf91fec6f92fd468119765

Nicole and I are on our way to see Fleetwood Mac in this photo, taken in 2015.

At 3:33 pm, on the third day of October, it is 82 degrees where I live in Michigan. The house is cool inside, too cool, so I’ve opened a window for balance–just one. The sun is a golden god today, and the trees are waving happy branches in the breeze–lots of them have managed to hold onto their spring green color. From where I’m sat at my desk in the living room, looking into the backyard, I might easily be fooled into thinking it was June.

I am peaceful this afternoon, listening to the clacking of keys as my fingers deliver my thoughts. Melvin is asleep in the window just inches away from me, and he keeps making these fat kitty errrmm sounds that melt my heart. I want to pick him up and rock him like the baby he is, but the poor guy hasn’t been feeling well, so it’s best I let him be; the sweet thing, I wonder what he dreams about, all curled up and cozy.

I’m going to prepare a chicken stew with dumplings tonight for dinner. I feel good enough to cook, so I want something special. I only wish Nicole still lived at home so I could feed her, too. Oh, my girl. I miss the smell of her shampoo permeating after her nightly shower. I miss going to bed at night, and seeing the soft light of her bedroom reaching just beyond the edge of the closed door. I miss waking up to the sound of her tea kettle. She and Isaiah have just moved into their first house, about ten miles out of the village. I still see Nicole several times a week, and we text, or speak on the phone every day.

I am peaceful this afternoon, but I really feel like I need a hug.

 

 

 

 

 

Some Words for My Girl

Screenshot_20170104-150102

If you’d let me, I’d count your freckles—each kiss print from the sun—I’d connect the dots of constellations tattooed on your alabaster skin—a magic map to be deciphered by the moonlight. You are the cosmos in human form—all-encompassing and beautiful beyond description. When I’m with you, I am energized; positivity radiates from your being, and in your eyes, I see the universe and the purpose for life. You are the solar system I was meant to bring forth, my darling girl—a part of you is an angel singing on high in the dark of outer space. I am blessed to be your mother. I am in awe of you. So sometimes I stare, because to look upon you is to see that some sort of divinity does exist. You are perfection to me, and I love you. I love you endlessly, my daughter, and you will always be the pinnacle of my life.

You’re a Bitch, and I love You

All my life, mother,

I’ve loved you above myself

even when you’ve loved yourself

more than you’ve loved me in return.

I now know you’ve hated yourself

for making me abandon myself

in hopes you’d love me in return.

You’re sick, my mother;

you’re aware.

But I am strong, and you are proud.

You don’t have to change

because I am

me.

I erase your guilt

because I am strong,

and I can handle you.

Self-hatred comes only in

tolerable intervals.

Tolerable for yourself;

when I’m teaching you lesson

I’m fucking hating myself

because I know I’m making you

fucking miserable, reminding you that you’re

a shit mother–and it’s not even your fault.

Do you know the rage in my heart

kept hot for your mother and father?

How is it that you can forgive them–

have a relationship with these two fucks,

but I cannot stand to even think their names?

I am your offspring, and I love you better than a mother.

I have taken care of you, chased off men better than a father.

I am your daughter, and sometimes I don’t want to be.

But really, who the fuck would I be without you?

I’m grateful for my life with you because

you taught me how to live.

 

Wishing for Death: 2

I knew for certain I was pregnant three months before my eighteenth birthday; I was a high school senior. I wanted to die. Or at least I wanted her to die, though I couldn’t show up for the abortion my step-mother had arranged. I just couldn’t bring myself to take an active part in the death of a life growing inside me. So, I prayed for a miscarriage; my conscience could rest easy if my body naturally rejected the fetus. Or, I’d hope for an accident. Standing at the top of the stair, any stair, I’d invite a good trip and tumble. But as self-absorbed as people can be–as unaware of their surroundings–they always were aware of me.

Wishing for tragedy was equally sickening, but I could not silence the obsessive thoughts that beat against my eardrums. Until the time came when I first felt my girl kicking and pushing against my womb. Magic. Absolute magic. My little sister was the first to witness this delight.

Nicole moved, and I was in love.

I was in labor for twenty three hours–without an epidural. I was given a magical liquid in my IV drip to help me sleep between contractions. I actually DID sleep. Toward the end, I was legit conking out in sixty second intervals. I can’t recall being so delirious as I was those hours leading up to Nicole’s birth.

I was in a lot of pain; and in duress instigated by Adoption Lady. Adoption Lady had come into my room during the most wicked contractions, and wanted me to sign some paperwork. Jeff had called her after we’d arrived at the hospital, per her request. Jeff had decided during my sixth or so month that he and I were not capable of raising a child, so we met with Adoption Lady at Adoption Place, and made arrangements for a closed adoption. I went into labor a few weeks early, before we’d finalized our case.

My contractions were so fucking severe, I couldn’t hold the pen to sign the finalizing papers. Adoption Lady said, “I’ll come back later.”

I didn’t want to give up my baby.

The pain though, transcended comprehension. I wanted to die. I actually said at one point, ” I want to die.” And my mother said, “Don’t say that!”

I did, for a while during labor wish for death. My contractions were so strong, they were off the charts–literally. How the fucking hell have women managed to survive childbirth for thousands of years?

At eight centimeters dilated, I said, “I have to push.” And my nurse said, “You can’t yet.”

I’ve never been good at following rules. I began pushing before my doctor was even scrubbed and in position. Nicole was born at 5:04 p.m. After twenty three hours, I only pushed for like, five minutes.

When Adoption Lady returned, my attending nurse took the pleasure of telling her she’d be leaving the hospital without my baby. I didn’t give one fuck whether or not Nicole’s dad wanted to be a part of her life. All I knew was that my girl was MY GIRL.

And I haven’t wished for death since.