Thank You For My Strength
BY ALEXANDRA HUGHES
The burning feeling in my stomach made me sick as I thought about how my life would change forever after this night. It was quiet in the house and everyone was sleeping, except for me, who seemed to be the only one really having problems coping with this. It was dark, and the only noise in the room was the faint mumbling of the channel four news anchors on my small television in the corner. At eleven o’clock at night I sat up in complete denial that the next morning life as I knew it would change for the worst, but I had to take it as it came.
March 3, 2010 was the day that my mother moved out. From my own verdict, this was the worst day of my short life. My mom and I had a very close relationship, almost as if she was a best friend with motherly authorities. I didn’t know it at the time, but the hardships that I watched her go through on this day would change my perspective on life. My mother was always confident and strong, and I always saw her with a smile on her face and a solid positive outlook on life. Watching her leave the life she had known for 26 years indicated to me that if the life you have created does not make you happy, you can turn it all around. Our journey began that day as we took some boxes she had packed with the things she had individually owned, and stacked them one by one into the car. Stacking those boxes was as if I was stacking the memories I had with her in our house, putting them all together to be shipped away, never to be added to. Once the packing process was completed, it was time to drive my mother to her new home. We all got into the car as a family for the last time, and drove to the place where she would start over. Arriving at this place was uncomfortable knowing it would be my temporary second home, and yet I didn’t even know how to get there. We got out of the car and I watched my mom take her boxes up the stairs to her small apartment. She looks nervous, but confident. Although moving boxes was a small step, her new life was beginning to take shape.
After all of the boxes were moved upstairs, I remember asking my mom where her bed was. She told me that she had not gotten the mattress yet and was just planning to sleep on the floor that night, which she seemed fine with. I felt helpless in the situation, and wished that she would just come back home with us for one more night. I pulled out the new comforter and pillows out of one of the boxes she had packed and set them up for her on the floor. Making her as comfortable as I could was all I could do at the time. I helped her unpack the necessities and she told me she was exhausted from working so hard and wanted to go to bed. My dad, brother and I decided to go back home. Standing by the door I turned around, gave her a hug, and told her that I loved her. Walking away from her and leaving her at this strange, new, empty apartment felt wrong. It was like a switch of authority between the two of us. In my head I was the mother, leaving her child in their first apartment alone, and she was the child, ready to take on the world. I walked out feeling confident that she was going to be okay. She was doing this on her own and she was doing it with strength. Seeing her with such bravery and courage starting her life over again has caused her to truly be my inspiration.
Divorces are usually painful and heartbreaking for the children. In my case, yes, it was painful and confusing, but it had more of a positive than a negative impact on me. What I didn’t know was my mom had been very unhappy for about 10 years, and knew she wanted to move out when I was 5 years old. Instead of moving out instantly, she put my brother and I before her own desires for longer than I believe she should have. She wanted us to have a normal childhood with both parents under one roof, and she was successful. Knowing what I know now I thank my mom for all that she went through for me. Looking back I see the problems she faced and the struggles she dealt with for us, and know that it was not easy for her.
After experiencing this major change, I see how powerful one person can be, and how much of an impact one’s decisions and sacrifices can have on others. If my mom had never taken this huge step, I would have never understood the strength an individual can have. I intend to carry this impression with me for the rest of my life. Thanks to my mother I will never be afraid to conquer anything, even if I have to do it alone.