..an excerpt from ‘I am this Woman.’
by LXO

I became a parent at the age of 25, Wisdom arrived too early for her little body to cope, and so thanks to modern technology and the dedication of some amazing Doctor’s in Australia, she spent the first two months of her life in ICU for premature babies. With a hole in her heart, collapsed lungs and the will of the Gods, she survived. Her body was so tiny she could fit into the palm of my hand. There wasn’t a place on her little body that didn’t have a tube or needle coming from it and posted above her crib was one typed word…Paralyzed.

I recall one evening, a night nurse came round to see how I was and look in on Wisdom. Her words make more sense today than they did then. She said that Wisdoms intense fight for this world would leave a mark on her. Not one that we could see, but one that down the road would make me stop and question how she came to her strength and courage.

A fighter she became. She beat the odds, she grew, she ate, and she was walking by her first birthday. By the time her brother Gracious arrived almost exactly two years later, she was amazing. Her big blue eyes and cupid bow lips never caused me pain. It was almost like she knew our time together would be tested and so she embodied the very nature of a content soul. Her happiness was always found in journals and books.

I made the dreaded mistake on her 8th birthday to make her a dolls house. To be clear she was not one for Barbie or Ken but in my moment of Florence Nightingale I thought what a romantic surprise. Her day arrived, and she woke up to her presents. She unwrapped the doll house, opened up each little doll table and chair, quietly not saying a thing. On her last opened present, she thanked me very much and then asked,’Where are the books?”

Her graduation was difficult; she almost didn’t make it through. The divorce and the pain were taking its toll and because of this she didn’t get the marks needed to be that Journalist she always talked about. My last time with her was on her 18th birthday. We had drinks together at a lovely place in NewFarm. I remembered I ordered her a martini and shot of sambuca. She drank it down and then said, ‘Actually Mom, I’m more into beer.’ Got it wrong again.

I lost her not long after that; she came home from her father’s very upset. Crying uncontrollably she asked me for a private word. We were standing downstairs, and I was a little confused as to what would make her so sad. ‘I have to make a decision Mom, I have been given a choice and as hard as it is I need to choose me.’

You see her grandparents were offering to pay for her much needed college funds, one which I couldn’t afford. But the choice she had to make was college or me. Her decision through tears was College and to live with her grandparents, I agreed with her, as in my naivete I didn’t believe it would be this long. Her decision was based on my break up with her father and how much it had affected her and her future. She didn’t want to make that mistake again, and I agreed.

How could I have known it was the start of the end.

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