I love you. I love you. I love you. Over and over again. 

I am roaming again. 

My stomach aches and I can’t sleep. I’ve fed it something that I knew would come back and haunt me this evening. I don’t know why I do this to myself. So the acid rises up to my throat and there’s the uncomfortable gurgle deep in my guts. 

Bad stomach, they say, genetic.. you got it bad from both sides. 

And then I think of my mother.

You are not her. My sister says. She tells me this multiple times over my lifetime and my own mortality keeps me awake sometimes at night, when the acid rises and my guts bubble. 

I should get to a doctor I think. Get this checked out. But I won’t. Because I know I am not her. 

Instead, I’m in my brain… thinking of a life without me. Thinking of the letters that I write to my boys, that everyone thinks are so sweet. And I say yes, it’s so they know how they were growing up. But in reality it so they can hear from me if ever I go too early. They’ll have my voice with them. Saying I love you. I love you. I love you. Over and over again. 

And I am in my brain. Apologizing to the baby because he doesn’t have as many letters as his older brother. And calling a friend that will take care of their photos and writing down all of the things I do to keep this boat floating that J doesn’t know. Passwords and payments and appointments and keepsakes and letters so many letters. 

And then I am sad. Because people shouldn’t think about things like that. Right? But I do. When I’m roaming and the acid starts to rise. 

And I roll over in the pitch black room and listen to his breathing. Unwrap his arms and make room for myself to crawl in. He mumbles but accepts. But he doesn’t know about my brain and what my stomach makes me think about. He doesn’t live in a world where he can’t speak to his mother and hear I love you. I love you. I love you. Over and over again. 

Where are you going? He asks as I stumble out of bed. 

My stomach is aching. I need to get up. I’ll be back after it settles down. 

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The things I would do for you

Tucking him in… 

“Sometimes I think a bad man is going to come in and take me.”

I look down at him. Sometimes I forget how little he still is even though he is so big. I crawl in bed with him and wrap my arms around him and do my best to find the words to ease his worried mind. 

These talks of fears and thoughts that lead us from one conversation to another and I get to see a small glimpse of what’s happening inside of his head. I get to see a little bit of what makes up the parts of who he is. 

We talk about the dog, our protector, our guardian. We talk about locks and latches and things that keep us safe. We talk about how I would never let anyone hurt him. How I would never let anyone take him away from me. I rub the hair away from his forehead and we talk about everything. 

He tells me of his nightmares… which he still calls nightmarers. He asks me how come I gave him my protector for his dreams when she won’t be able to keep my safe. I tell him the simple truth… that I care more about him than I do myself. 

I’m sure some of this has to do with his daddy being at work during the nighttime lately. He asked for him three times at bedtime tonight. It’s easier with him here. It feels safer with him here. 

Instead I will tuck him in and check on him again before laying down my weary head. Because he doesn’t know the extent of the things I would do for him. He doesn’t know how deep my love goes for him. He doesn’t know that I would do anything to keep him safe. 

Ketchup on crackers and cycles

When things got real bad I remember looking in the fridge and trying to figure out what I was going to feed your brother and sister. I didn’t have any money for food. One night I fed them ketchup on crackers. Thankfully, there was a neighbor in our apartment building that knew what was going on and she would invite us over for dinner. She knew I was too proud to ask. She shared all she had. 

In my life I can not count the times I saw my mother go hungry. By the time I came into this world things were a bit better for her. Maybe because she was constantly working to support us, busting her ass day and night, just to keep food on the table.

The relationship my sister and I have with food stem from this. From watching her as we grew up. This relationship isn’t noticeable unless you’re looking for it. It’s serving yourself last and least. And watching your babies eat and eating very slowly yourself… Just watching and when they’re done but you can tell they still want more you announce I’m not feeling very hungry… Would you like the rest? Handing over your plate. I have watched my sister do this and I have seen myself do the same. Because we remember and we know what it’s like to go to bed hungry.

The universe, currently, has been handing us a series of fuck yous. We are saving for the new house, the dog got sick, and now my car decided to break down. I am finding it hard to stay positive. I have been throwing mini pity parties for myself on occasion. Always in private though. Another thing I learned from her.

I sat last night thinking about how something has got to give. Something has got to go right because there’s been too much wrong happening all at once, making me question whether or not we should even be trying for our forever home.

I woke up today to a text telling me a got a job I was hoping to get. There’s one good thing. But I can’t shake this feeling like I should be doing more. Working more. Providing more. Saving more.

Things have been tight before and we’ve always made it through. I feel like there is a mountain in front of me and I’m not sure if I should climb it or sit down and have a picnic.

I’m tired and I just want things to be simple again. My thankfulness is low and my anxiety is high. I need some time to regroup.

I need a break.