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The Weary Woman

The Strong Woman has had enough.

"You put four children on this earth and you barely support them" This was sent to her via email by her oldest child. "You barely support them".

Three days after the 24 hours of labor and deliver of this particular child, The Strong Woman spent three days sleeping on a pull out lumpy bed by her infants side at Children's Hospital. She wouldn't allow the nurses to change the diapers, because that was her job. When the infant was in the incubator and the nurse attempted to place the sticky part of the diaper on the tender infant skin---the Strong Woman, who up until that point wouldn't have said boo to a spider because she was Timid Woman, spoke up and made the nurse change her plans so as not to hurt her beautiful infant.

As the infant girl grew, The Strong Woman became even stronger. In fact it was because of the infant that the woman became strong. When the girl was 18 months old, she complained that her back hurt. "Children this young don't have back problems", said the Pediatrician. The Strong Woman forced the doctor to take x-rays anyway. The Strong Woman cried when she was told that her perfect child had a spinal abnormality and would have to wear a body brace for the following year.
The Strong Woman spent the next year struggling and sweating and learning to be stronger as the small child fought having that molded plastic brace cinched onto her body each morning. Arms flailing, legs kicking, voice raised to screaming levels by the child---The Strong Woman stoically took each slap, each kick and continued putting on the brace. Then she would calmly step into the bathroom, close the door and cry.

This child was the end-all-be-all of The Strong Woman's existence. At night, The Strong Woman would lie awake listening to the little girl breathe in and out. The sound filled her heart and soul. She lived and breathed for this tiny person. Once at a grocery store, with the little girl in the front of the grocery cart, an elderly woman approached The Strong Woman. Smiling, the old lady patted The Strong Woman on her shoulder and said she'd been watching her from across the vegetable aisle. "I've never seen such love on a mother's face before. The light in your eyes as you love your baby is so beautiful."

The Strong Woman took her baby on a car trip. Driving with one hand on the wheel, the Strong Woman would soothe her baby with her other hand, finding lost binkies and placing them in her daughter's mouth to comfort her, always keeping her eyes on the road. She loved her baby by touch, holding the tiny perfect hand in hers.

At the hotel in California, while The Strong Woman was out on the balcony looking down at the street, shots were fired between two gang members. The Strong Woman dove inside the hotel room with her infant in her arms, shielding her with her body.

When The Strong Woman gave birth via c-section to a baby boy, she had to spend a week in the hospital recovering. When she finally came home, she sat in a recliner in her basement apartment sobbing her heart out. You see, she felt that by bringing home this second child, she had somehow betrayed her daughter. The light and center of her existence would now have to share the spotlight and The Strong Woman wept.

The Strong Woman would lose two more babies before giving birth to a third and a fourth---each time agonizing over the fact that she might be somehow taking something away from her precious first born. In this, The Strong Woman wasn't very strong.

The girl grew and she made friends with the older girl across the street. When the girl was invited to a birthday party for her friend but wasn't invited to the sleep over that followed, The Strong Woman found her beautiful child weeping on the front porch. The Strong Woman placed her arms around the sobbing child and tried to comfort her as best she could, while fighting the urge to go over there and give the parent's of the birthday girl a HUGE piece of her mind.

The third and fourth babies were born with significant health issues. The Strong Woman spent days and weeks at Children's Hospital in a desperate fight to save their lives. It was hard on the little girl, but there was nothing the Strong Woman could do but put her arms around her and tell her she was loved. The Strong Woman was being torn apart. Years went by on this crazy hospital-therapy-near-death-experiences-and-more, and though the Strong Woman became stronger, she would soak her pillow at night because in order to take care of the most weak and sick amongst her tiny flock, she had to spend time away from her precious first born and this tore at her heart.

She knew, as an adult, that her love and devotion to her first born was in no way diminished, but her first born saw it differently.

The Strong Woman knew her first born was brilliant, so she had her tested for the Highly Capable Program at school. She was accepted and The Strong Woman had to fight to get her placed in the program. But fight she did.

The girl got excellent grades in school and was very smart, but as teenagers often are, the girl was cruel to her mother in the things she said to her. The Strong Woman wept the first time she heard the words yelled in anger, "I HATE YOU". It was a dagger into her heart. The Strong Woman would hear those same words over and over again from her precious daughter. After a while, it stopped bothering The Strong Woman. She built a hard shell around her heart so that those daggers of hate could not enter in and destroy her.

The girl destroyed her parent's van after learning to drive. She drove it straight into the rear end of her friend's vehicle. The Strong Woman could have cared less about the van---her only concern was that her precious first born was safe and unharmed.

All along, the Strong Woman and the man by her side have struggled financially. When the man lost his job, The Strong Woman and he would arise at 2 in the morning to run three paper routes in order to make enough money to feed their four children. When the man lost his job yet again, The Strong Woman and the man cleaned office buildings at night in order to make the mortgage and clothe their children. When things were hard again, the Strong Woman arose at 2 a.m. and worked in a bakery baking bread. Her children never went without.

There were no glitzy trips to Disneyland or Hawaii.
Other families did that. Sometimes the little girl would complain to the Strong Woman about how unfair life was and why couldn't they go on nice trips like her friends did. Deep down inside it hurt The Strong Woman that she was unable to do those things for her children, but she took them to church and she taught them to pray and to love the Lord. She got up at 5 a.m. every school day morning to drive the girl to the early morning seminary class before school in order to give the child a firm foundation in God's word before she went out into the world each day. Still--The Strong Woman always felt inadequate and less than what others were.

The Strong Woman always believed what other people said about her---even what her oldest child said about her.

Life went on. The Girl went to college in another state but did not fit in and did not like it. The Girl was furious that The Strong Woman couldn't pay for her tuition or room and board and was forced to take out a student loan. The Girl was angry that she had to actually work at a janitorial job on campus a couple of days a week. The Girl was booted out of college due to academic reasons and came home to be unhappy once again. The Strong Woman paid tuition for several semesters for The Girl to attend community college and also bought her books and necessary things for her education. In reality, The Strong Woman did not have the means to do this, but she did it nonetheless, all the while working herself and taking care of the other three children and her husband.

The Strong Woman has done the best she could---with the tools she had. The Strong Woman is weary....so very weary. "You put four children on this earth and you barely support them." The Strong Woman has need to close the door on this child and send her away until she matures to the point where she finally realizes that life isn't about being given everything in life, but in working for what you want, in SAVING MONEY and in not breaking God's commandments. Wickedness never was happiness and a mother's love never fails....but it does become battered and broken after years of lies and attacks.

The Weary Woman is wounded and tired. She needs to put the painful accusations tossed at her behind her so she can face the new mountains ahead of her.

Comments

  1. I am sobbing....you are so amazing, as is your beautiful family--you define strength, you inspire me, you reach across the country and pick me up when I'm downer than down over and over again--my darling friend, I have a love and appreciation for you and send you hugs, laughter, and a bit of hope your way.....YOU ROCK. That is all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous1:18 PM

    Having been there through so many ups and downs, extreme joys and devastating lows, I am still so amazed at all the strength you can still muster when the need arises. I hurt when I see you hurt time and time again by those who you love with all your heart. Please know that you are deeply loved and that there are so many wonderful people both Family and Friends that bless our lives each and every day. Lift up your heart and head and go forward knowing that you are a wonderful Wife and Mother and that through your faith and love, we will be lifted from these difficult times and find the joy and happiness that you truly deserve. I love you with all my heart and am so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for being The Strong Woman you are.

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