it doesn't matter why

i thought raising four children would be hard—
but alone, i found out, is even harder.

(i will never understand why the splintery door
was so appealing to him.)

but it doesn't matter why;
it is what it is.
(and life still had to go on.)

the earth hadn't stopped spinning yet.

and every job i had to work to provide for my family
was worth the deprivation of sleep, life, and perfect
skin. no, appearance couldn't matter anymore.

my babies needed food on the table—
and my baby girl needed her medical equipment on...

beep. beep. beep.
(it's hard to forget such perfect rhythm
that reflected the beating of her heart.)

and looking back,
it didn't matter to me how many times i had to cry
at the electric man's feet to beg him to keep the
electricity on for her even if i couldn't pay all of my bills on time.

in the end, it was worth it all.

my children changed—
and even without my baby girl here beside me anymore,
i'm sure that angels sound prettier than her equipment
and the beds of clouds hold her head nicely.
i smile at the thought of that pure soul
without any pain.

i still have to work many jobs
and sure, life isn't perfect
but just the words, "i love you."
is enough to keep me going.

i have to be strong for my family.
(it's time to break tradition.)

i can't give up
and despite every single bruise and battle wound
i'll get up.

i'll wake to a new season where green buds are
opening with new petals of pure colors
and roses are blooming without thorns.

and i long for that season,
the time when i can watch my family
grown up fully and know that they will be okay.

and i long for that season
the time when i can watch my children
receive their diplomas—

every last one of them.

we will throw a celebration that day;
a tribute to survival and hope.

…it won't be the end.
it'll be just another beginning.

i've learned that i don't need a husband to keep my family
alive. nor do i need the sound of a thousand
people saying, "i'm here to help you out."
(i never had that and
look, everything's fine today.)

you know, i may never know why i was chosen to live this life.
but i know that there is a reason for everything.
there's a reason for suffering
and there's a reason it was my family that it chose to touch.

but i don't need the answers.

i am just happy to know the night is almost over
and that my family (for the most part) is still together.

and my girl, the one who went to heaven,
is happy even without us.
(even though no words could express how much i miss her.)

breaking tradition isn't as easy as it seems…