I could hardly see through my tears. Since 10 o’clock the night before I had been trying to swing out of this darkness, but now it was 10 o’clock in the morning. I couldn’t stay in bed forever. The kids were going to need me. I couldn’t keep calling and texting my husband. He couldn’t fix me. And yet, I couldn’t go on with my day feeling like this. Something had to give. I had not come so far, just to go back down that same scary road of wanting to hurt myself again.
What had happened? Honestly, nothing. It was a great day that ended with the kids being overly exhausted and having a hard time getting into bed…like they often do. But that night the frustration and thoughts of defeat were like weights, pulling me deeper and deeper into a pit of anger. I tossed and turned all night, my emotions only heightening with my nightmares. Morning was a bitter reality, coming much too soon as I tried to stave it off by staying in bed with the curtains drawn.
I’d prayed. I’d pleaded. I’d read my scriptures. I’d talked to my husband. I’d received hugs from my kids. And still I cried. Then I heard the words “Call your Mom.” And I knew what I needed. I needed a hug from my Mom. I needed to be held like a child, without having to answer any questions or explain why I was sad. I just needed to be accepted, cuddled and told “everything was going to be OK.”
So I called her and asked if she could come.
“What happened?” she asked.
“Nothing. I just need a hug. Can you please come give me a hug?”
“I’ll be there in a minute,” she said.
And she was.
I put Netflix on for the kids in one room, and shuffled to answer the door in my sweat pants and baggy t-shirt. Of course the mailman was there filling my mailbox, but I didn’t care about the audience witnessing my melt down. My mom was here. She came in and immediately asked “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing! Can you please not ask questions? I just want you to hold me.”
I was sure the mailman heard that.
“Sorry!” she answered. “It’s just a natural reaction.”
And she pulled me in and held me close and let me fall apart on her shoulder. And I cried in silence to the woman who made me, nursed me, who helped me stand up again each time I fell as I learned to walk, who packed my lunch for school for a decade, who sewed my unique Halloween costume each year, who worked grave shifts at fast food restaurants so she could pay for my voice lessons but still be there to send me off to school, who had mailed money to me when I was a young mom and didn’t know how I was going to stretch our pennies and make a Christmas happen for our children, who’s always given everything she’s had to give me a better life. I cried to her and she held me so tight that my shaking finally stopped and I could breathe again. And I could talk…I could pour out my soul.
“Sometimes nothing’s ‘happened.’ Or it’s just everything piling up at once. Nothing happened yesterday. I’m just tired. I’m just worn out sometimes. Sometimes every thing that’s happened over the last several years just hits me all at once. And it’s not because any one did anything or said anything right now, it’s just because I’ve had a long day and I’m human and normal. And I should be able to be.”
She listened without judgement. For 45 minutes we talked and shared and did exactly what mothers are meant to do. And for a little while I was a daughter again too. I was a child, and a mother.
I am so thankful for mothers. I’m thankful I will never need to outgrow her. I’m thankful she could help me see some things about myself, with kindness and gentleness. I was comforted. I felt safe enough to get all my crying out. I also experienced some great break-throughs because of that visit. I’m thankful I didn’t feel too embarrassed to ask for help, for hope, for a hug. After all, every one deserves to feel and to heal.
This is us at Easter, the most current picture I have of us. We need moms for the good times, the bad times, and everything in between. When I’m 100 years old and need a hug, I am sure I will still want my mother.