I am 36. I have watched both of my grandmothers struggle and lose their grasp on reality by their late 70's.
That is me in 40 years.
I lay awake at night and think of this.
I'm rocking a little boy who is my biggest baby yet. He stretches his legs long like a cat stretches. He pulls off and smiles at me in the dark with milk making a river trail down his cheek. I breathe him in and live to the fullest and die all at the same time.
I think to the future.
I loved my 20's. I sat on park benches and wrote poetry, traversed great cities, countries and continents, rode trains, and chatted over glasses of wine while live music filled the air. I loved my 20's.
But I love you more. Each and every one of you.
I ache for the years I gave to myself and took from you.
Some day, undoubtedly, I will slip away. Before death, I will be gone. And in the blank stare of my eyes, my confused anger and frustration, you will be hurt. I will no doubt lash out and forget you, or your children.
I want you to know my sweet children that I ache for that already. I am sorry already... Know it's not me saying those things.. It's not my critical words but a shadow of who I am in confusion and pain and fear lashing out.
When those days come, when angry words escape my mouth, I need you to know how desperately I love each of you.. How I have loved my days with you. I carried you, birthed you, and breathed joy and sweet relief as I pulled each of your warm little bodies to my chest and held you tight breathing in the miracle of you.
I love you.
I pray for each of you. I pray for your lives, your hearts and your futures.
I want to know your children... to be there those first few weeks of their lives to nurse you love you and serve you in your fear and wonder of it all. I don't want to miss a single moment.
I want to be there.. to pick up the phone and laugh with you when your child acts in a way you never dreamt, eats things they shouldn't eat and when you feel like you're doing it all wrong (hint: you're not). I want to show up at your door when you call me crying, hopeless in despair, feeling like you can't go another moment.
I will drive all night, all day, and arrive with no questions, to make you food, clean your toilets and to listen.
I love you.
I've loved you with a crazy self abandoning love. The crazy love of a vain woman who would give up her body and her years of youth for you.
I only wish I had given them sooner.