I think I scared my daughter.
So I’m here to straighten that out.
Twice in the past two weeks I have been struck asunder by a virus from hell. During the second go-round I was lying at home, barely able to move, or lift a bottle of water to my ever getting drier lips. My youngest daughter had to pick up something from my house and came upon me suffering it out at home. Because, I can. I knew that no damn virus was going to out power me.
My daughter insisted we seek medical treatment. She was calm. Not pushy so much as…..quiet. I could see in her face she was concerned. I didn’t have much energy. I wanted to feel better, no argument there at all. But I was anticipating getting ready, walking to the car, and sitting in the car to go get medical attention. I weighed that against how horrible I felt. I would have been content to lie on the couch another 24 hours. The only thing that made me decide to go, was her face. I could be wrong, but she looked scared.
I’m much improved from that moment.
But I can’t shake her face. Her quiet, concerned, face.
For all of her life I have prided myself on my ability to power through whatever I needed to get through. Often times dragging my kids-kicking and screaming-with me. I have yelled when I wanted to cry. I have cried alone when I wanted help but there was no one to ask. I sought help when I was embarrassed by the need. And often did without when I was in need.
It’s what parents do.
I never want my children, adult or not, to see me suffer or see me in pain. For all of the reasons I should or should not feel this-I do.
And I’m fine with that.
When I’m 99 and staring back at them with a raised eye brow I want them to know I mean business.
When I reach out a hand to shake some sense (because I think I have that kind of power) in to this maddening world I want them to see a capable hand. No matter if the rest of the world only sees an aged and weakened hand. It’s what they see that matters.
When I sing Amazing Grace to their great grandchildren I want them to smile at the memory of them being sung that very same hymn, as I put them to bed with song and prayer.
I don’t want to see fear in their eyes at the thought of me suffering, or God forbid, leaving. Because the undeniable truth is-I am going to get weaker. I am going to leave. And that’s okay.
Because it’s only here that I will be leaving. I will not leave them. Love doesn’t leave.
It’s just transformed.
I am not immortal. No matter what my inordinate opinion of my power is.
But I am powerfully human.
Their badass mother.
In every sense of these things: I carried each child under my heart, in my arms and upon my back. I have never, and will never, put them down.