Saturday, February 1, 2014

Choosing Joy

This post was originally published on Still Standing Magazine on February 1, 2014

Choosing Joy by Malory Jimenez

Morning sunbeams light the room.
I stir from my slumber.
My eyes open slowly.
My mind shifts from dreamland to reality.
My senses awaken.
The house is calm and quiet.
The sounds of birds chirping fill my ears.
They remind me of spring.
Spring reminds me of her.
I focus in on thoughts of her.
That’s all I have.
I say it in mind.
“She’s gone.”
“She died.”
“We buried her.”
My thoughts of her cause me to remain still.
Just as she was.
Sometimes, I say it aloud.
“My daughter died.”
Forcing the truth out of myself into the world.
Validating her existence.
I remove all of the softening words.
I didn’t lose her.
She didn’t fly away.
She didn’t drift off to sleep.
She didn’t pass.
“She died.”
It still takes my breath away.
My thoughts carry on…
“I will live the rest of my life without her. “
“She will not live hers.”
“How can this be?”
“How am I still breathing?”
Life breaks in.
The haunting flashbacks stop.
Little voices call my name.
I hear the pitter-patter of their running feet.
Toward me.
I wipe the single tear off my cheek.
Before they see it.
They burst in.
Full of life.
I’m engulfed by two little boys.
In tickles.
And kisses.
Sweet moments before the chaos.
My feet touch the floor.
My day begins.
I continue on.
And face each day.
Just as I have for the past four-and-a-half years.
Each day I am met with an option.
Defeat or perseverance.
Each day the choice has become easier.
I’ve had to relearn how to be happy.
And each day I consciously choose joy.
I embrace healing.
I possess courage.
And strength.
Her gift to me.
My life keeps going.
Without her.
Yet, with her.
In the only way possible.
In memories.
In passing thoughts.
In my heart.
She is weaved through my soul.
She may have died.
But her mother’s love did not.
It is abundant and enduring.
It sustains me with enough love to love this life.
This broken, non-perfect, yet still sweet life.
And because she lives within me.
I choose life.
For both of us.

My hope for you, for my fellow loss sisters who are  fresh in their anguish and for my sisters who are still in the darkness of their grief, is that one day, you too will find the light. The light that illuminates the path to joy. The light I never thought I would see again. But I did. Because this community held me up until I could stand, then held my hand until I could walk, then kept their arms outstretched when I gained the courage to run towards the light, toward joy, toward my future. I fell back into their arms a few times, and I know I will again in future days. That is the beautiful thing about this, about my sisterhood here, is that the acknowledgement, love, support, and encouragement, supplies me with the strength I need when I run out.  And because of that, this sacred community will always hold a piece of my reconstructed heart. So pull strength from my words. Find hope, encouragement, & possibilities of brighter days. Find the love that was released through my fingertips and has been  woven through my message to you. I wish for you comfort, healing, peace, and joy once more.

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