Before you go any further, if you haven’t, please go back and read the “Why It Is Uglyreal…” on the home page.
Then decide if you want to continue, because this post is as uglyreal as it gets.
When Anna was born, you said to me: “You’ll always be my little girl.”
I have a little girl now.
I know exactly what that means.
I know what it means to want to protect her at all costs.
I know what it means to do for her when she can’t do for herself.
I know what it means to do for her when she can.
I know what it means to give her more than she needs just because I want her to have it.
I know what it means to curl up beside her because she is sad; she is hurt; she is sick.
I know what it means to want everything for her, no matter the cost.
She may still be a little girl in stature, but she really will always be my little girl.
Even when she is a big girl.
I can already tell–she loves being my little girl.
She loves it because she feels safe with me.
She loves it because she knows she can be herself with me.
She loves it because she knows I will do for her when she asks.
She loves it because she knows I will do for her even when she doesn’t.
She loves it because she knows I will do for her even when I don’t want to.
She loves it because she knows I will do for her even when she doesn’t want me to.
She loves it because she knows she belongs to me.
She is so little, but I know these things.
I know that she loves me for all of these reasons because I recognize them.
They are all of the same reasons why I loved being your little girl.
Last night–as it has happened many times since you left–she cried for you.
But last night, she stretched her arm out to try to feel you.
With her arm, she reached for you in heaven.
And she cried out: “I can’t get to him!”
For seconds in a row, I let her just lay on my chest as I sat, my hands heavy at my side, my mouth slack-jawed, because I couldn’t move.
I couldn’t move, because I didn’t know even the tiniest little piece of my body could hold that much pain, and yet, it did.
And I couldn’t do anything to heal it. Not even for just a second.
I just had to endure it.
And then, I looked across the couch at my sweet Scott, and his head was tilted back against the cushion, weeping.
I could tell all he wanted to do was get up and destroy everything, anything, all things.
His cry was a cry–that cry–that is built up from so much pain mixed with so much anger that he felt trapped because he had to hold it in…
…because his little girl had her head in my chest, crying for her Charles, and he couldn’t fix it….
…because she was there…
…and because she was there, he couldn’t become the human wrecking ball that he so wanted to be…
…that he so could be.
Nothing would be left standing.
But he couldn’t…
…because of his little girl.
With her little lip poked out and trembling, she said:
“Charles is in heaven, but he’s coming home soon. He needs to come home. I want him! I want Charles!”
And all I could do was spill tears into her hair and say with what little breath I had:
“I want him, too, baby. I want him, too.”
And though I couldn’t do nearly as much damage as could Scott, I wanted to be a wrecking ball, too.
I could feel it inside. I knew I was fixing to explode.
And Mac wasn’t home, and I had to go get him.
I needed to go get him.
But I couldn’t let him see.
Not this ugly.
Not this broken.
Not me being The Destroyed.
So I got in my car and drove to the end of my driveway and I screamed.
I screamed and I screamed and I screamed and I screamed and I screamed and I screamed and I screamed and I screamed.
Because I was conscious of it, because I was not in shock like I was when I first made that same sound, I could actually hear it.
I didn’t know I made it the first time, until then, when I recognized it.
I had heard it before, but I didn’t know I had…
…until I could hear it come out of me…
…and it was awful.
It hurt me even more to hear it, no matter that it was coming from me.
It was more of a moan than a cry.
Or it was a moan full of a cry.
Or a cry full of a moan.
It came from the deepest place inside of me, and it was unseemly.
And then, on some level, I realized that other people had to hear that same sound.
They heard it when I was told.
At the court.
In the hall.
Vulnerable in the place I felt most confident.
Unsafe in one of my safest places.
So many uniforms lined a wall.
So many women in work clothes outside their office doors…people I respect, people I love.
And they had to hear that sound, because I made that sound, making me vulnerable, making me feel unsafe.
I wonder if they ever won’t hear it when they see me.
For the first time, I could hear it, too. and there was nothing I could do to un-hear it, and it was unbearable.
And I couldn’t stop it.
Until I could.
Because I had to go get Mac.
And I couldn’t let him hear it.
I could let him see me cry. I could let him see me sad.
But he could never hear that.
Because he would never un-hear it.
And he needs me.
Because he’s my little boy.
Which leads me back to my girl, my Leelee.
I would never in a thousand years hurt her on purpose.
I would never intentionally cause her pain.
I would never make her think she wasn’t safe.
I would never let her believe she couldn’t get to me.
I would never let her believe that all of the things I did for her were a burden.
I would never make her feel like she didn’t matter.
I would never allow her to feel like she was better off without me.
I would never imagine making her feel like she was too expensive.
I would never treat her as if she was meaningless.
I would never make her think she wasn’t worth fighting for.
I would never do anything to make her think I didn’t love her.
And then all I can think was:
I would never do those things to her…
…because she is my little girl.
But I was yours.