Okay, twice it began with a prayer. And a suitcase.
"Please, give me the courage to start again and to love this place." "Please, just give me a week away from this place and I promise I'll be perfect."
Never bargain with the gods, kids. They give too much, too little, just enough and have a habit of giving you exactly what you weren't asking for but needed all along. Of course, this knowledge doesn't help much when their laughter is the sound of your life caving in all around you.
The phone call home is always the hardest part. "Mom, I'm staying."
I begin to move forward. I build a life out of a suitcase. I find; I forage. I nurture that seed of hope in me that my prayers were answered; that this is what I was supposed to do. I plant small seeds in window boxes, watch and laugh with the boys as they put up curly-q shoots, searching for air, for light. I wonder at the miracle of it all, and the fact that for some reason, I packed fingerpaints in my one suitcase.
My refrigerator is a riot of smeared color on curled butcher paper. My favorite is a green and purple monstrosity that, when I asked what it was, my little red haired monster replied "That's what the baloney is going to become in another week if you don't throw it out."
I never claimed to be perfect. Perfect suffocates, and I was gasping for air when I said "I'm going for a visit while the kids are gone. I need to get out of here, get away for a while."
I think he might have heard the prayer in my voice. Please, get me away. Please, let me go where my heart keeps calling me. Please, make this choice for me so I don't have to.
Another single suitcase. Starting another life. "Mom, I'm staying."