I've written before how I'm a therapist and that I'm lucky to work with people from all different walks of life. I came across a patient who is in her 90's. She sat and talked with me about her life some 80 years ago. She told me of growing up on an old North Carolina farm and of having four younger brothers and sisters with a mother and father who loved them.
When this woman was a little girl, around ten years old, her mother was ready to give birth to her fifth younger sibling. There were complications though.
Late one night, her mother was in pain and was going into labor as her ten year old daughter stayed beside her in their farmhouse.
The now 90 year old woman lowered her eyes as she spoke through her memories.
"I sat with her and didn't know what to do. I held her hand as she took one big breath...but that was it. She was gone. Both my mother and the baby were gone."
After a few seconds, she continued to explain how her father was beside himself. She said that he simply stood up and softly told her that she was the oldest and was now in charge. From that night forward, she began to take care of her younger brothers and sisters as she disregarded the rest of her childhood.
She explained how she began to cook, clean, sew and help with the farm so that her brothers and sisters could play and be children. She smiled when she remembered having her first cup of coffee one dark morning as an eleven year old little girl, to try and stay awake.
So tonight, as we go through the routine of making dinner, cleaning the kitchen, giving baths, putting the kids in their beds...Adam and I will be as exhausted as we are every other night.
There will be a difference on this night though. Her story will be with me, reminding me to cherish these tiresome days and nights and to appreciate the time we're here to spend them.
I'm grateful that she told me her story and it makes me even more thankful that the kids will get to play and laugh tonight. It was such a good reminder to be gladly tired while they do.
Please click the picture of this Mom for a vote! Thank You!