Keep walking

sat on the cold bench in the blazing heat, the wind tickling my skin and drying my tears. Thoughts like, “maybe she didn’t want me,” or “I was too much of a burden,” echoed in my mind. On an average day in kindergarten, I sat in the corner drowning in these thoughts with tear stained cheeks.

When we’re young we think of all sorts of crazy ideas of why our mom or dad left us. We count on both of our parents to teach us right from wrong, to protect us no matter how annoying or difficult we may be. What we don’t know when we’re kids is that we don’t need the “perfect family.” I can still remember laughing and grinning when I was playing games with my dad as a child.

As I stood in front of the counter, my little arms reaching above my head, I was carefree. Giggling and full of energy, as most 5-year-olds are. My dad stood above me cooking, occasionally taking my hands and moving them away from the cutting board so I wouldn’t hurt myself.

One day when I was 16, I asked my Dad if I could visit my mother in Colorado. I was surprised when he told me yes, and two days later my grandpa bought the plane ticket.

I was nervous, like the nervousness you get when you’re on stage or making a speech, even when you know everything is going to be fine. My dad wasn’t very happy about me leaving, but my mom was overjoyed, and they weren’t going to break their years of silence over that.

I stood outside the Colorado airport waiting to meet my mom for the first time. Now a teenage cub. I was surprised to see her using a walker and shaking.

She told me she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I was a baby, and that was why she left. After three days of crying and reminiscing, I returned home. Feeling unsatisfied. I realized that I didn’t want to know why.

Most of us, who don’t remember, ask our mom or dad why they divorced, but sometimes we regret that we asked. Losing a parent isn’t okay, but after 11 years, I can say it will get better.

It took me 16 years to finally come to terms that I have to live without my mom. Now I can see that her not being there shouldn’t affect my happiness. I wanted to grow up with her, but I don’t need a mother to be happy.