Hello and happy friday! I am joining up, once again, this week with Kate and the collection of talented contributing writers for Five Minute Friday. This is the practice where Kate throws out a one-word-prompt and we creatively (and unedited) free write for five solid minutes and then link up to share with others. This week’s prompt is Thirteen…
I hope you’ll read and then hop over to the link up and check out others!
I was barely thirteen the very first time I woke up, on a birthday morning, in a completely safe place.
I was thirteen when he told me I was his girlfriend and we celebrated our fifteen beautiful days as a “couple” by avoiding eye contact and passing weird notes with stick figure drawings through friends.
It was at thirteen when I stood in the dark fitness center closet and had my first kiss with a boy, spit awkwardly strung between us like a ribbon. I loved him, I knew I did. I couldn’t wait until we were one day married with babies at our feet. We wouldn’t, though he did give me the gift of redemption. He redeemed something dark and terrible and gave me the age appropriate gift of a first kiss.
Thirteen was the first age when I spoke with confidence about my pre-group home life. So much sadness had stolen my power and silenced my voice, but when just one stood in support, they came back to me.
Thirteen is the age when I finally allowed myself the clarity of beginning to process my mother’s true person. It was ugly and uncomfortable, confusing and terrifying, but necessary. We must walk through the hard parts to be able to drink in the truly good ones…
I had been thirteen weeks along when a rush from my head to womb told me something was wrong. It was the darkest moment I had ever seen my husband stand in, and the agony etched within his wailing and the creases of his face still haunt me nearly a quarter of a century later…
She was thirteen when she made a choice which forever altered her adolescence. For years, as parents, we’d held at bay that this day could come, and when it did we were ill-prepared. Some things, no matter what you know, you’re never ready for.
I was thirteen years into my motherhood when I had to walk away from it, from her… So much failure, so much dysfunction, so many roads undesired led me to the hard choices. Staying would lead to something far worse, leaving would lead to irreparable damage. I was of no use to anyone in a home where he did not want me and she could not not hurt me.
It was thirteen hours of weak vitals and unresponsiveness from a sixteen year old child, as her father sat wrecked beside her bed. Tubes chained her to the reality that self-destructive choices can destroy, do destroy, will destroy eventually… It was well over thirteen hundred miles away that I sat, her mother, helpless and shattered. There is no coming back from your daughter’s near death… There is no relieving him of enduring that alone. Even though the distance was what he’d wanted, I hated that for him.
The fasting journey to save my marriage and place all of my active trust and reliance on God lasted thirteen days. I’d planned for ten, but God had asked for more. On the fourteenth day my husband packed my car and I came home. (On the first day this had seemed like the most far-fetched outcome. Miracles happen.)
It was thirteen months after I was brought back into my family, that those of us in residence became just two. He and I. The beginning of us as two becoming one- and then family, parents, house full of love and laughter and hard things and life, and back again to two.
Neither lucky, nor unlucky, it’s a number marking minutes, moments, breaths, beats and things.