I'm sorry it has to be like this.
I wish you were able to get a good night's sleep instead of dozing on a lumpy hospital chair all night,
And having to go to work the next day.
I wish you were able to pursue that amazing job you wanted,
But you have to stay pinned to the beige desk down the street because of the health insurance.
I wish we were able to go on the lavish vacations you dream of
Instead of saving up every spare penny we have to go to the Mayo Clinic.
I wish I could take away all of the tears I hear coming from your shower when I get a new diagnosis.
I wish it all went away,
Because I can't stand seeing your life and your happiness being put on the back burner
For someone as insignificant
I know I'm never going to be able to live up to be like other able-bodied daughters in this world but dammit mom,
I'm going to try my hardest to make you proud of me.
I'm going to push myself as hard as I can because I want to see you smile the way you were always meant to,
The smile you would have had if I had never been born.
I'm sorry you never got to live the life you wanted.
But I will succeed. I will survive this journey
Becuase I know you are right next to me.
Thank you for always believing in me,
For saying that I am just as capable as being someone as great as anyone else in this world.
Thank you for never letting my health get the best of me,
And telling me that there will be an end to this suffering someday,
That there will be a moment of peace where we can look back and say,
"We made it."
And until then,
I will appreciate every moment with you,
The beautiful woman I strive to be.
The woman who doesn't complain about that hospital chair,
The dusty career,
Or the showers that always seem to run cold.
Because without you,
I wouldn't be forcing myself to get out of bed in the morning
And appreciate the beautiful world I am lucky enough to be in today.
I love you.
When I told you I was accepted into Berkeley, I could hear the tears coming from the shower
But this time, it was tears of joy.
We finally rejoiced over my dream coming true
We could finally breathe and say "We made it."
But the next morning,
I awoke to solemn faces looking at me from behind the steam of freshly made coffee
Asking me to reconsider.
The fear of losing me in a completely different way
Caused tension in a way we've never dealt with before
And I'm sorry, I didn't mean for it to be my fault.
But this is what I've always wanted to do.
Education means filling my brain with new things,
Being able to push away the memories of hospital stays, useless legs, and pain.
I want to be able to forget.
I know you have doubts
But you are the one who taught me to fight for my happiness
So mom, I am fighting as hard as I can
It's been like this for five years.
The lumpy hospital chairs are in the past
Because I live 400 miles away.
I go to Berkeley now, and we don't talk much anymore.
I always found myself pathetic,
The product of nothing but a mistake.
But I rode the waves of tears running down the shower drain
And washed away the guilt and internalized oppression I had carried for so long.
I am an empowered, disabled woman
Who has been through hell and back but is still pushing forward.
I'm sorry we didn't end up agreeing on my journey
But it is my journey
And I am going to continue to write until my last breath.
Thank you for laying the foundation for my independence
And being the stepping stone I needed to reach my goal.
I will always strive to be the woman
Who loved her child so much,
She would hold down the same job,
Give up lavish vacations,
And protect her until the very end.
No matter what happened, I will always love you.