Originally written on August 25, 2016. But reliving today...
You visited me at my birth and several times in my childhood. Those stories don't really feel like my own. They seem to be more a part of my mom's story since she is the one who experienced the trauma and struggles to keep me alive. I guess that wasn't enough for you, I guess all the struggles of my 51 years of life and 28 years of chronic illness was not enough. Maybe you needed to be shown or told one more time, I CHOOSE LIFE.
The day you visited, I have to admit, I was tempted. Tempted to give in and float away without pain. But then my husband's hand clasped mine and my eyes fluttered to see my babies sitting across from me. I didn't want to stop holding his hand. I wanted to hold his hand for years and years to come. I wanted to see the wrinkle and age spots on both our hands. I wanted to hold his hand as we watched our children possibly wed and have babies. I wanted to hold that hand sitting in the surf and watching the sun set over the Atlantic ocean.
My babies, I want to see them grow older into middle age. I want to be witness to the joys and concerns that come with growing up. I want to be at the end of the phone when the tears of joy and sorrow need to be shared with their mother. I do not want them to be mother-less.
I said NO to you that day. I held onto the hand and the visions of my babies. I held on.
So move on. I wasn't ready at birth or in the coming 2-3 years and I am not ready now. You see, I am meant to be here. I have purpose. I have been a true friend to many, many people, I have taught and loved hundreds of children and I have helped raised 2 amazing human beings who will also change this world each in their own way. I have partnered with an amazing man and supported him in many different endeavors. I am Nana to Malaney and friends with Max and Eleanor. They need me. I don't stop here. I am fighting a fight that is NOT over. I am fighting for a safer world for my children and their children and all the children whose lives I have come in contact with. I must help to stop letting guns kill our people. I have so much to give.
You see, I am not ready to go. I know pain. I can handle pain. I have never known this weakness, but you see, Death, I still am gripping my husband's hand and we are walking through this together. I am NOT alone. So, move one. It is not my time.