Grateful, by Evin King
The next time you have the urge to drain the blood from your dark blue veins, and watch the redness of your problems drip down around you, please remember this: We will all eventually go through a period in which we desire to breathe no longer, as if oxygen sets our lungs on fire. At one point, we will want nothing more than to cease from existence until the end of time. But in this moment where you forget how to live, know that your life will come to an end, because nothing lasts forever. The earth will one day turn to stardust, and our undisturbed bones will perish into nothing, letting our souls sink in to the darkness of the universe. But in our final moments of consciousness that will soon turn into an everlasting slumber, you will look back on the moment where you decided to start living again, and be grateful.
“Do you like my words, Mama?”
“Yeah, I do, Evin. Actually, I love them. Please read this at my funeral.”
“Okay, I will.”
This is more or less how the conversation went one day back when my daughter, Evin, was in middle school and she gave me her “Grateful” words to read. It is difficult to respond to such depth and bravery coming from one who is still a child. But, very easy to understand when you share parts of the same soul with another.
Evin was born on Thanksgiving Day, 16 years ago. I found growing a human being inside of me, and then delivering her into the world to be inconceivably difficult. It was neither sharing compromised immune and endocrine systems with my tiny passenger for 9 months, nor the 23-hour-non-epidural labor, nor loads of Pitocin, nor broken tailbone.
I’ve found I am quite able to endure an unreasonable amount of physical pain. It’s the emotional pain I have trouble bearing.
I can’t say I was prepared to understand what becoming a mother would eventually mean to me, how it would affect my relationship with her father, my own parents, and myself. How a single human connection would become more important than my own life. How it would scare the hell out of me. How she would eventually develop into her own stunningly brave and creative and troubled person, completely outside of my control. Because no one can define another’s path, no matter his or her all-powerful love, concern or wishes for that person. You just have to do your best to continue to offer up the goodness and balance, and hope it all works out. In time…
I would like to believe her father and I gifted her with our best. Evin is creative, sensitive, intelligent, wise, intuitive, brave, funny, passionate, fierce, righteous, tolerant, and evolved. She is him, and she is me. And, most important, she is herself.
Along with our best, came our less favorable traits as seen in an intimate and complicated relationship with anxiety and worry, a tendency to hold on too tightly to resentment and anger, and a profoundly twisted curvature of the spine.
I am in awe of my tiny, fire-breathing dragon. Proud of her, because she is not afraid to openly follow both La Dispute AND Justin Bieber. Proud of her, because she is not afraid to NOT wear a dress to a dance, or shave her head, because “Why not?” Proud of her, because she somehow lived through the torture of wearing a scoliosis brace for 2 years in middle school. Proud of her, for trying to navigate the dark waters of her parents’ emotionally scarring breakup. Proud of her, for daring to be herself. Proud of her, for being supportive and kind to her friends. And proud of her, for loving all things Kitty.
She is like looking into a piece of Aqua Obsidian—my favorite shade of blue. From one angle, she’s clear and bright, and from another, her light is obscured by a fine flaw—a wound protected from deep within. She speaks her truth from the heart—sometimes harshly, and creates her own richness by alchemical means.
She is a gift. She is my baby.
If she could only show herself the bit of kindness, compassion and acceptance she shows others, and embrace the power and light that lives inside of her fragile and heavily guarded soul. In time…
Because, as was unforgettably spoken by Mama Ru, “If you can’t love yourself,
How in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
Now can I get an Amen up in here?