Just in case, in the reading of my previous blog post, you are to think I am only this terrified, haunted mess of shadows and nightmares, let me reassure you: I have trash growing on my shelf and I strongly identify with it. It inspires me and brings me hope when I have a rough day.
Perhaps I should explain.
You see, I had this gorgeous flowering plant hanging out in my house being all lush and flowery and alive like plants tend to do. But I am fairly lousy at nurturing plant life in my home. I guess I’m just too distracted keeping the kids and pets alive. So, I tend to forget about plants until they dry out and turn to dust. Or I get all over-zealous and passionate about suddenly exhibiting a green thumb and I over water those bitches like I am the mother fucking god of rainstorms and those plants are my teeny little personal rainforest.
Either way, what I am saying is I am EXCELLENT at killing plants. And kill this one I did. Quite efficiently and effectively I might add. I am nothing if not thorough. It was brown and spindly and bare and ugly. I let it sit all forlorn and sad for a few more days in my kitchen before I finally scooped it up one day and tossed it in the trash can. It lay on it’s side on the top of the full bag and I stood there a minute contemplating what I saw…….one. small. lone. green. leaf.
It had life in it still. One tiny green leaf the size of my pinky. Small. Nothing. But…….yet…..there it was. A hint of life.
And something in me decided to pick it back up out of the trash and set it back on the counter. I told myself it would be 100% dead in a few days. I half heartedly watered it and patted it nonchalantly on it’s…….head. (?)
And here’s the funny thing. The next day it had a SECOND tiny green leaf.
Well. That changed things, didn’t it? It was GROWING. Coming back. I didn’t have much proof in it’s desire to live….just 2 little leaves. But a tiny splash of green color in a plant that was otherwise brown and dry is petty damn obvious. So, I moved it over to catch some sun, pulling wide the tye dyed curtain in my kitchen so the plant could see the sun and soak it up.
And I kept an eye on it, chatted a bit with it as I prepared meals and wiped down countertops. Gave it some water but refrained from over-zealous flooding. And last night I finally moved it from the kitchen into my bedroom to sit high on a shelf where I could see it’s hopeful continued growth from my bed. It’s marvelous. Beautiful. Still a good 85% “dead”. But that green…’s there.
That’s hope.
That’s how it works.
Just when you think you have given up, some tiny splotch of green pops up and you re think this whole trash can plan you had set into motion.
I know.
I’ve been there.
I’ve hit rock bottom and looked back up from where I just feel at the slick, smooth walls, at the fact the top of that pit was miles and miles above my head…..and I saw positively no way in hell I would ever make it out. I’ve looked around and seen how life has been for so many years: survival mode, a pattern of knowing what to do just to stay alive, tread water, hustle my ass as my kids followed behind like ducklings in a row, they and I getting through day by day, week by week, month by month. I know how life can get that way. You get so used to struggling and working so very hard for such minimal results that you just get used to it and accept that that is the way living will always BE.
But then one day, a bit of green sneaks in. Takes you by surprise. For me, it was the day Justin messaged me telling me we got the house. I went online to see the pictures of it, matching it up to Justins description of 4 bedrooms, hard wood floors, dishwasher, 2 bathrooms, etc….
And what most of you do not know is how very rock bottom I WAS at that point in my life. Now, I have been homeless before back when I only had 3 kids. Ended up living in tents for 6 weeks. I wasn’t THAT rock bottom this time. But the state of the trailer we were living in when he messaged me telling me we got the house….let’s just say that when we moved out they tore that bad boy down. Not even worth fixing it. The ceiling in the kitchen leaked every time it rained. The floor in the bathroom was threatening to cave in. Black mold grew in a closet in the boys bedroom so I boarded that closet door shut. Windows were missing that I covered with plastic and everytime it rained the rain got in around the edges of the plastic. We had no heat in the winter besides a couple small electric space heaters. I could see my breath in the kitchen while I cooked breakfast, my feet went numb from the cold. Half of the floors were unfinished wood. It was bad. Bad because the man I was with kept blowing his income on drugs and beer and stupid shit. And the small bit of money I earned went toward rent and bills that were always behind so none was left over to fix stuff and the landlord was a slumlord who informed me if I bitched he could evict me and fix it up and charge more for a new tenant.And then I was single and I didn’t have the money to move. So, I rigged things and did my best and got creative and made the best of it. And apologized daily to my babies for having to live like that. So, when I finally realized I was really truly getting out, when I looked at photos of my new house…..I broke down. Locked myself in the bathroom and bawled my eyes out. Because the mere concept of “LIFE IS CHANGING AND WE WON’T BE HAVING TO LIVE LIKE THIS ANYMORE. THINGS ARE GOING TO GET EASIER” was so overwhelming and foreign to me. I was in awe. Amazed. Grateful. I said out loud into the mirror “I am NEVER going to have to live like this again.” And then I started crying all over again. Because I could finally admit how hard and bad it had gotten.
And even right now, with my business just starting of and me making barely anything and Justin STILL out there looking for work and hitting so many dead ends….I am still a million miles further along the road and feeling so blessed. I can’t even explain in words what it is like to live in shadows so much, when everything around you is just mere shapes and suggestions. When nothing is clear or tangible. And then suddenly someone opens wide a window and the sun is so damn BRIGHT that it makes your eyeballs throb and you look around and see everything you have never noticed before and it’s a “holy shit” moment meshed together with an “ah-ha” moment. Thats been my life for the past 5 months. Windows keep getting thrown open. Justin gets a little aggravated but he doesn’t throw things or hit me. Swoosh. My newest baby slips from my body and is held up in glory and I see the little spot between the legs and hear Justin cry out “It’s a girl!” and it’s my “someday daughter” and I cry. Swoosh. I mop the wood floor in my bedroom with Murphys oil soap until it gleams and the windows here are all strong and solid and the floor is not caving in and nothing leaks and it is a good house. Swoosh. the boys don’t have nightmares and headaches like they often used to. My migraines are gone. Swoosh. Every day so many windows are opened. It makes my eyes hurt in the most delicious of ways but more importantly it fills my heart with so much joy and gratitude.
Thanksgiving of last year I was a pregnant single mother of 6. (soon to be 7). I saw no hope. Just survival mode. Nothing would ever change. Life would always be hard.
Today…..despite the fact I still fight with demons often, despite the fact that sometimes the scars burn bright red raw on my flesh, months and years after they had faded to pale white…..I can say still how HAPPY I am. How grateful. Fall down on my knees, flatten my kneecaps, face to the ground in humble gratitude GRATEFUL. Truly. I am amazed at how fucking BEAUTIFUL this world truly really absolutely is.
And because I have wallowed through muddy trenches. Because I have watched my own blood flow like a river and mustered the courage to staunch the flow and go on anyway….I am not afraid right now of what is in store for us or where we may be headed. Because I know it will all be alright.
So, don’t you dare ever give up or throw in the towel. Pick that damn towel right back up, wipe your sweaty brow with it and keep moving forward. Even if you only take one tiny small hesitant step forward. DO it. Because there is always hope. In the darkest of nights, the stars are still shining. You might have to push aside some really thick clouds in order to find them, but I swear to God they are still there. Always. See that thin thread of pale light peeking at you from across the room? No? Squint. Tilt your head. Look harder. See it now? That’s your window. Waiting to be swooshed open.
It’s coming.
Believe it.
There is ALWAYS hope.


2 responses »

  1. I’ve had a rough year myself but I’m glad to say I have a plant too that I have managed not to kill. Smiles all around!!

  2. I don’t know why, but I am crying. Crying as I read. Crying because every time I read your words. The feelings you pour out onto your page I can relate. I write those same words. A lot of the same feelings on my page. On my walls for others to read. To grasp and to see the light. So much love happy and POSTIVE ENERGY sending to you!!!!!!!!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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