Tag Archives: mom

2016: A Year for Health

This morning I awoke with the full intent to go to the mall and walk amongst the hundreds of people rushing around. They would think that I was like them doing some last minute christmas shopping but it’s not true. I actually would be there as a method of distraction from my own problems.

My day did not go as planned though. Instead, I went through fits of depression and anxiety. The only time I wasn’t crying was when I buried myself in funny little clips on YouTube. I could only be distracted for a few videos though before I began staring at the clock.

Watching the hands tick by, I was reminded of how slow and how fast time could be. It only seemed like yesterday was January but I blink and see that my phone flashes the code “DEC”. I look at the hour hand though and pray for it to spin around faster.

Meanwhile, there’s a stinging itch and temperature flux as my body reminds me of the ailments that afflict it. I call my doctor for some medication and as soon as we hang up, I burst in tears.

Then, before I know it, my fingers dial a number that is permanently seared into my brain, my mother. She answers and immediately asks, “What’s wrong?” But, all she hears are my quiet sobs as the realization slowly hits me.

At this point, I’m staring at the pill bottles lining my dresser drawer and the calendar on my laptops bright white screen.

Through the tears and desperation, I hear my mom’s clear voice ring out demanding an answer. She’s not the type who coddles or speaks all too kindly to one so damaged. So, I swallow the frog in my throat and as fresh air inflates my lungs, the truth spills out.

It’s a truth that I’ve been holding back afraid that the two closest people would walk away from me. As I pour those words out into the empty space before me, I realize how ridiculous my fear is.

For the entirety of this year, 2016, I have either been sick, in pain or tensed and ready for a new wave. I hardly received a break long enough to relax weary muscles or grow mentally. Even now, I’m fighting for my health.

No one should have to live like this where you can’t even remember the last time you were healthy and not in fear of some crippling recurring pain.

But, I’m not sharing this to gain any wishes or long overdue phone calls. I’m okay. I promise I’m taking my medication and actively seeking a solution. I no longer stare at sharp objects begging for it all to end.

I stare at the mirror now. I hardly recognize myself and I haven’t even started taking the one medication that is life altering. But, I know that I’ll be okay. After all, I have a mother who can be so distant  but when I need her she knows exactly what to do and instantly awakens from her slumber charging at any threat. And, I have my best friend, my partner who is busy working hard but never forgets to give me the constant patience and understanding that I need even in the darkest of storms.

My whole world is far from what I imagined and hoped it would be but nothing always goes as planned. You can fall and cry. You can even get lost and muddy along the way. No matter what though, you can’t stop. You’ve come this far and there’s still a whole lot more that is left unknown. So you’ll be okay and don’t forget those fighting alongside you. They’ve come this far with you too and that must mean something so focus on the road of recovery because they’re not going anywhere and neither should you.

© 2016 Jessica Santos

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A Mother Knows

It was the day before her tenth birthday and all the women sat around an old oak table. She listened closely around the corner as they began to mingle and gossip. The oldest talked about the past and hopes for the youth. The youngest shared their pain and hopes for the old.

Story after story was brought up until Mama finally spoke. Her ears strained to listen but she didn’t have to wait long.

“My baby is turning ten tomorrow and it only feels like yesterday I was rocking her to sleep,” Mama said.

“Come now. She’s still your little one,” assured Mama’s sister.

“Yes, but it isn’t long before she goes off to college,” Mama answered with worry in her voice.

“Sshh…child. She takes after her mother and is already following in your foot steps,” Grandmother said softly.

She pulled her ear away and tilted her head. She looked behind her and down at her feet. How did they know she was following Mama’s footsteps? How was that a good thing?

Curious to know the answer, she ran out from her hiding place and into Great Grandmother’s lap.

The little girl looked into each of the women’s eyes and asked, “Why is it a good thing I’m following Mama’s footsteps?”

Great Grandmother chuckled, “Because your mother is a hard worker and has come a long way. She’s doing well for herself. Don’t you want to do well too?”

Squirming under the watch of the women, the little girl nodded her head shyly and probed, “But, why must I follow her footsteps? Why can’t I create my own?”

Shaking her head in good humor, her mother stretched out her hand for her baby. The little girl walked over to her and Mama kissed her atop the head before saying, “She doesn’t mean that you won’t make your own footsteps. You can zig and zag as much as you want. Just don’t forget to come home to these arms, okay?”

The little girl’s eyes shone bright as she nodded her head and kissed Mama on the cheek. But before she ran off, Mama caught a glimpse of the many generations of women in their family and she knew that her baby would be just fine for the years to come.

© 2016 Jessica Santos