I cannot believe I graduated high school 4 years ago. Wow. Feels like lifetimes ago & yet just yesterday in so many ways. Looking back on pictures always fills me with an almost-suffocating sense of nostalgia and…well…emotion, I guess. Not happiness or even sadness, per se, but an overwhelming feeling that I cannot quite seem to name. Looking at this picture, I am taken right back to that day– I experience the memories with all of my senses– & I am left feeling hollow yet full to the brim, tears streaming down my cheeks & smiling all at the same time…
It’s been two years today since I had my gallbladder surgically removed! Two years free from crippling gallbladder ‘attacks’ that knocked me to the floor. It’s a nice thing to reflect on, because with that one surgery, I was CURED of what the pathologists deemed chronic cholecystitis. I wish all my illnesses and health woes had such easy fixes!
One thing that used to frustrate us the most about our mother was her obsession and hang-up over dates. I never quite understood why, for example, we were expected to behave a certain way on the anniversary of one’s death. Don’t we miss the person the same that day as we did the day before? As we will the day after?
However, October 18th is always a day that will always elicit a moment of somber reflection.
On this day 4 years ago, my sisters and I became wards of the state of North Carolina. That crisp October morning, we were summoned to a meeting that consisted of our parents, grandparents, family friends, social workers, counselors, psychiatrists, and school principals.
We entered that room with fears, doubts, and heartbreak, sure…but we went as a single unit:
Three as one.
United by a lifetime of hurt and violent chaos, but also by a fervent hope that somehow always managed to sing its quiet song amidst the storms we weathered…
But we left that meeting completely different people.
We were forced on yet another dark and winding path, but unlike the roads we had travelled in the past, this one split in three. We were all forced to navigate alone- stumbling along scared and blind- with no hope of getting back to where we started and no promise of an end.
It’s been 1 year since I got kicked out of my parents’ house. This year has been a wild roller coaster of ups and downs (more downs than ups, if we’re being honest here)…but I have grown so much. Getting kicked out was hard…and being guilt-tripped and begged to come back was even harder…but I made it. I didn’t give in and didn’t turn back. And now my relationship with my parents is better than it has been in years. Things were really rough for a while, but we’re all 1 year stronger. Who would have guessed?