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I saw clearly the remnants of forgotten cigarette butts in the scattered rocks as we drove through to get that coffee. I was thinking to myself how many years some of those butts have been buried there, long after their victims have been gone. I dig into things and overthink if I’m not careful.

The voices of aggravation on the other end of the speaker from a person just there to do a job so they can pay the light bill that’s been way over-priced since the frigid dropping of the temperatures. Or the teen coming up in age, just working for that extra pocket cash, definitely not wanting to spending it on anything except the material things they feel deprived of. All thrown into one building working and serving the masses.

I feel all of this as I pass through the line, my daughter in the passenger seat. I feel nostalgic. Fully aware of everything in every moment. Extremely grateful for each and every second. Even though we recently had a therapy appointment and have to go back next week because the therapist is concerned for my daughter and is setting her up with psychiatry. Still, I am so grateful. Unable to allow myself to feel anything else because of the chaos that has tried to take me down for so long. I’m on the front lines of a battle like no other. And for anyone who knows me, there have been so many battles up to this moment. They seem like a staple for every chapter that I am constantly trying to break free from.

I am doing today with a smile on my face. Because I choose to. Even through each moment of heaving for air. Because I want every moment. I want every second.

I just swopped places with my daughter and now I watch as she drives. For a moment, I see my little girl. Her little smile. Her giggle. Except for this current version just yelled shit as another car got in her lane. lol. Still, I see her. I remember every single moment. She’s growing up so quickly and I am here for it. She’s 16, and will get her driver’s license in a couple of weeks. 2 years left in school, and the future awaits her.

I want to be there to see the incredible things she is going to do. I want to hold grandbabies, and see that’s mother’s love in her eyes. I want to see her do better than I did. I’ve never been that parent that said, “I hope your child is just like you.” I wish a whole different life for her. I wish peace for her and her children. And every dream come to life.

I’ve also never been that parent who says, “No one will ever love you as much as I do, or the way that I do.” That’s crazy. This world can be incredible. I wish more for her. I pray she finds someone that loves her bigger in ways that are more than a mother’s love can surpass. And I pray that they give her the world she deserves, which is bigger than anything her or I could ever imagine. I’ve tried so hard to work over these mountains so I could be someone she could be proud of and even maybe one day, would want to take a lesson from.

But lately, I have realized that I want her to be completely and totally herself. A whole new chapter. Breaking the cycle of this chaos. She is so incredible and adventurous. That combination in life can be so exciting and limitless. And as her parent, I am excited for all of these adventures.

We took the long way home, stopping too long at stop signs of course. The whole time, I’ve grasped the oh crap bar for my life. Even though in reality, she’s a good driver. And she has always picked up on everything so quickly. I just can’t let go and give control to anyone, and it’s something I am still working on. It’s something that frustrates her greatly.

We arrived home. Spring is in the air and I soaked up every single second of what was left of the daylight on the porch. I could hear my daughter singing in the basement in her room so I snuck to her window and started to sing with her, giggling. I couldn’t help but peak in on her. As teens, they don’t come out of their lairs as often as we would like them to. So, honestly, every chance I get to come up with an excuse to peak in on her or tell her I love her, I do it. Life is so short. I want her to know it. That I love her. Because I love her so big.

The grass is turning bright green again. I try and focus on that in this moment, as the thoughts of upcoming specialist’s follow-ups for my many ailments come creeping up on me in the coming days. I’ve spent a lot of time pushing back fear and trying to live in faith. It’s hard sometimes, if I am being honest. Some of the answers I get could change my entire world, or my daughter’s entire world, or both. So, each day, I am just living in every moment. Loving as hard I can, harder than I ever have. I am accepting hugs, which I have always struggled with as a touch me not and never accepted before. Even the closest people to me have jokingly asked permission before hugging me in the years up till now. However, in this new chapter in my life, I want love in every form. All of it. And I want to give it back, in every form. Freely and wholeheartedly.

We can’t change any bad or good news we get. We can’t change how long or short the time we have here on this earth is. And we can definitely not change the yesterdays that got us to this very moment. Tomorrow, no matter what the day brings, I will embrace what comes, with my everything. And gather all of the remnants to take with me, wherever I may go…

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