Do you remember Ms. Jocelyn? She’s the sweet lactation consultant that Mommy called when you and I needed help learning how to breastfeed. She’s the one I called from the hospital when I knew you wouldn’t ever need my milk again and I wanted to know how to make it dry up. And since you left, she’s been one of my precious lifelines that has kept me from drowning. I’ve been meeting with her twice a month for support and advice and love and friendship. She’s learned that I express myself lots better when I write than when I speak, so last time we met, she suggested that I write a letter to myself as a kind of therapeutic exercise. So here goes:
I’ve been trying to find the words to say to you, the words I would say to a friend if I was on the outside of their situation looking in, which is hard because I’m not on the outside, I’m right in the middle. But this is what I think I would say to me if I sat down with myself to have a heart-to-heart:
First of all, you are an incredible woman. You’ve lived a thousand lifetimes in just a few short years, and you are still on your feet. You’re still functioning in the real world. You’re still breathing. Learn to appreciate just how strong you really are. Be kinder to yourself. Be happy with yourself. Be forgiving to yourself. Be loving to yourself.
Secondly, your past does not define you. So often you look back at the past and see mostly those things that you might take back if you were able, but the plain truth is that no one gets take-backs. Remember when Rafiki whacked Simba on the head with a stick? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZfGTL2PY3E “Ah, yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from the past or learn from it.” Your past is in your past. Your past brought you to where you are right now…leading me to the third piece of advice I’ll give you, which can be summed up in two words:
You can learn from the past, but you can’t change it. Nor can you predict or control the future. The last second is already gone, and the next second is not guaranteed. The only second we have is this one. Right now. So do yourself a favor, and learn to live in the now. Do what you’re doing right now. Find peace where you are right now. Enjoy the moment right now. Love who you are right now. Stop worrying about the future and feeling guilty about the past. This. This is your moment. Your time. Your life. Your passion. Your joy.
If your sweet boy could tell you anything, it would be that you are amazing. And he wants you to believe that. You’re an amazing woman, wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend, manager, speech therapist, and caregiver. You are a warrior. You are a queen. You are a priceless work of art.
Learn from and then let go of the past. Live RIGHT NOW. And the future will take care of itself.
With all my love, Katie
I miss you every second. I love you beyond measure. And I kiss you.
Love you forever,