My rose colored glasses got lost. In all that ensued they must've fallen off. I was too busy, fumbling, exiting the tail end of chaos to even notice. But they aren't here now.
When the bomb went off in the my lap my hands blew off, I know they were the first to go. My usual fists couldn't protect me anymore. I was vulnerable. My legs broke, blew to pieces. Dust. My heart shattered. Sharp shards of glass. My head floated away to protect my mind and my spine and two feet were all that remained on the ground.
At first, the shock must've settled me. I didn't make a damn move. I read and and re read the words my husband wrote, then I read them again. I tried to wake up from my nightmare but my eyes were wide open. Gaping wounds, evidence of the blast. I ran scenarios, damage control. How could any of us make it out alive? Who have you told? My instinct was to protect everyone else, to take care of it. Can you imagine? Two feet and a spine, trying to hold it together.
I lost ten pounds that month.
I ran into any open arms I could find. Some offered me parts to rebuild. Some took advantage of the scraps. Some gave me tough love. Some gave me easy love. Some took the dead parts and helped me bury them. Some witnessed me mourn, helped dry the tears or watched them flow. Some helped me grow new parts. Some helped me find the gold in the parts I would've left behind. Others left me behind. I left some behind too. And still, others stood to remind me that I am strong, beautiful and smart. That they saw me. I was once confident. Do you remember that Madison? You used to be so confident.
My two feet and spine held fast. I know where I need to be, that was never a question. But I was exhausted, warn down to the bone.
Slowly, I stitched the pieces I had together and I took those pieces out on walks. I told them they were going to be just fine. Even when I was lying my non existent ass off. I grew this new woman. Full of holes, still vulnerable. I told her to keep walking through that snow, it was up to her knees and she was afraid. She tried to tell me it would get dark soon, turn back. I made her hike for seven hours that first day in May, not knowing how it would end. I came off the mountain and for the first time in a long time, I knew I loved her. I knew I'd have her back always and forever, I wouldn't leave her again. I'm so sorry I did.
I loved her when she couldn't love herself. I held her when no one was around. I was happy for her inches of progress when she was so afraid. I pictured her. I built her. I am her.
I am stronger now and I have a lot of work yet. But she can rest now. That girl I was. She can finally go to sleep. She didn't know she was walking to the site. She did the best she could. She loved with all her heart. She tried.
She stayed awake and waited and she tried. She forgave and forgot herself in the process. She kept moving forward and I don't blame her anymore. She did the best she could. I forgive her and I am so sorry I wasn't there when she needed me.
Her rose colored glasses are lost now and I'm not going back go look for them.