“If there was one thing she did right, it is this-“

I woke up to an email I’ve waited all week to receive and ooof, crushing reality check. How the hell did my week go from rough to awful in a matter of seconds again? It is in moments of weaknesses like right now that I am grateful I am my mother’s daughter; she raised me strong. Because I have no doubt that when – if – she learns of this news, she’d just shrug and say, “keep the faith, things will work out- so long as you keep an open heart and mind. Life goes on.” Life goes on (of course) just… uncertainties again. Back to square one, and maybe I’m still in shock so the reality hasn’t fully sunk in, but I admit there is also this nagging voice inside of me that keeps whispering, things happen for a reason. And the reason will reveal itself in due time.

I’m okay – really – but uh, excuse me for a second while I wallow in self-pity for a few hours; scare myself shitless at the thought that uh-huh, it seems more and more likely that officially unemployed is a term I’ll have to carry for a few months because I’d stupidly placed all my eggs in one basket. But soon, I promise I’ll do what I do best: damage control. Life goes on. My mother raised me strong, after all. Happy Friday.

‟My mother wanted to talk about being fourteen 
and I kept counting the words written on old postcards
to keep myself from crying. She continues to hum
a thirty year old lullaby by the sink with a breathing
that only reaches half of her lungs. She’s wearing 
an apricot dress, the lower half of which looks like 
a net of flowers overhead a garden shed. 
She’s always beautiful, even with bread knife scars 
and unpainted nails. Even with the dent of my father’s
fist on her neck. Last week, he came home 
with a bottle of gin inside a crumpled paper bag
and I kept thinking why something as delicate as paper
can hold something as heavy and as empty as a bottle. 
Until now, I don’t talk to my mother about being fourteen,
not because I’m eating lunch between two corners. 
Not because I found my name written several times 
on bathroom doors. But only because I want her to know 
that if there was one thing she did right, it is this:
She raised me well. She raised me strong.”
– Kharla M. Brillo, How My Mother Raised Me | pouvoires

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