This time ten years ago, I was alone in a hospital room. I was scared. I was nervous. I was tired as hell. I was hungry. I was cold and feeling very very lonely.
This time ten years ago, I was almost double my current weight. My hair was double its current length. I had significantly less piercings. I had no tattoos.
Exactly this time ten years ago, I was writing in a journal, now long lost in a myriad of house-moves. I was writing what may well have been the most important letter of my life.
I was young. I was single. I was unemployed. I was a burden on society and my family, and I was very very pregnant.
I wanted to tell my daughter all of my mistakes in life up until that point, knowing that there would have been more to come. I wanted to tell her so that she would not have to make them, knowing she would have plenty of her own. This time ten years ago, what it meant to be a parent finally started to fall into place for me.
I wanted to tell her that no matter what anyone might say to her, that she was most definitely wanted. That no matter how people judged her and her family, she was exactly where she was supposed to be in life. That she was loved. I wanted to tell her that she was my daughter and that nothing would come between that.
Ten years ago I could not have foreseen the tumultuous lives we have both led. I could have seen that mistakes of mine would come between us, that she would stay within the family, but not with me, for a little while at least. I was not aware that there would be times when I would question my own motives in keeping her, and that these would be triumphed by the times when I held her so close I never thought I’d let her go.
Ten years ago, there was a beating heart besides my own inside me. Now it walks the world, albeit at the end of my hand. In know in the not too distant future I am going to have to let it go so that she can walk the world on her own.
Ten years ago I could not have guessed that in ten years time we would be where we are, in a loving home where we are safe and feel wanted and loved. I could not have guessed I would be proud of the little baby who kicked at my sides, aching for more room.
I hope that in ten years time I will be able to look into my daughter’s eyes and say that I did my best, as I see her off into the world. I hope I have the strength to do so without crying. I hope I will not have been so hardened by the world that I will not dare to cry either.
Ten years… it’s a long time.