When I was about 6 years old, I drew this in class:
After my mother passed away in December 2010, I found this picture in a stack of papers my mother had saved. A few months ago, when I showed the picture to a long-time family friend, she laughed from the memory and told me that it had been one of her and my mother’s favorite drawings. After I drew that picture, sometimes they would call each other after a bad day and say, “I am in a pit.”
When I first looked at that picture all I could think was just how much I recognized that pit.
You see, I had been living in that pit not so long ago.
In 2004 I married a man who turned out to be nothing of a man at all. Two children and three years later, we separated and began the process of a divorce that would take almost an additional two years to finalize.
That whole time I was in a pit — an actual, real-life pit of despair complete with life-extracting machinery, a relentless villain, torture, and unimaginable pain. I probably would have died (figuratively and possibly literally) in that pit if not for true love. That is the true love of a mother for her child.
I think that may have been why she kept that picture. She had been in a pit of her own about the same time I had made the drawing. Maybe she needed to remember for herself. Maybe she needed to remember for her children. Maybe she knew one day I would need to remember.
Because it was the first time she saw my ex hit one of my children, my 18-month-old son, that she said, “No, this will not continue,” and we left.
She would not allow me to go back to him. She would not allow me to take him back. She knew me better than I knew myself.
And so my mother stayed with me for a time — helping me through my divorce, helping me establish a new home for my children, helping me to become strong again — helping me to get out of that pit.
It would be her last great achievement. She had given all of herself to me, she had protected me from a future she had lived in her past. And she had exhausted herself. She returned to her home to face her own challenges.
On September 2, 2010 my mother called me at 11:41 a.m. It was 30 years since the day of my birth, since the first day we met, since the first day she told me she loved me. It would be the last birthday I would hear her voice.
And to this day I have remained free from that pit.
About the Author (this one is different. Vanessa isn’t a WordPress user, but wanted to share her story and is ok with having her identity as a part of her story.)
Vanessa is first a mother to four beautiful children, and second a writer and editor for a University public relations department. She has rebuilt herself and her life into something better for her children, and is now engaged to a man of kindness and integrity.