Love You Enough to Live for You

When I was 15, I was in a “residential treatment center”. Basically, I lived with other teen girls in a big house and we went to school and therapy together. It was actually a very nice one (thanks mom). But the point of this story is this- one day during group therapy we were talking about love. I went on a long tangent about how I would die for people that I love. The therapist, a middle aged man who was very kind and jovial with us, sat totally silent and heard my every word. He nodded, and then he asked me a question that blew me away. He acknowledged that I would die for someone I love, then he asked me “but would you live for someone?” It was easy for me at that time to accept death. I was at best indifferent towards being alive on good days. But to choose to keep living? That was a challenge. That was hard. That was a bigger test of my love. I’m not certain that I can convey the conversation well enough all these years later, but I felt like he called me out in some way. He exposed that I was not so willing to live for anyone, including myself. My love didn’t go that far. But now, it does. First of all, I love my life and very much want to live! But also, I have a husband and 5 amazing children who need me. So even in the smaller things, I choose them because of love. When depression wants me to quit, I say no because I love them. When concern for myself isn’t enough to motivate me, being their mother does. I love them enough to live for them.

Poem

The sun is good
Across our smiling faces
Let the light shine
Like the brightness in you
My baby,
You were born and set my heart
Ablaze
In so many ways,
You saved me.
You keep saving me.
With every hand drawn
Picture
With every time you need
Just one more kiss
With every excited discovery
You have to share with me-
It can’t wait.
I keep coming back to this;
The life you’ve given me.
Me, who never deserved
To hold such innocence in
My shaking hands.
Me, who held life with cycles
Of indifference, despair, and rage.
Me, who summoned all the strength
In my bones to give birth to you,
And you gave me that strength back- many times over.
The sun is good for these days
That feel like dark water
Is surrounding me.
Your light shines and a path appears,
As long as I keep looking ahead
At you.

stack of love wooden blocks
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

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