I’m Only A Woman Of Flesh And Bone, And I Wept Much (We All Do), I Thought I Might Die Alone, But I Had Never Met You
Alas and alack, it was with a very troubled heart and a very lonely heart that I came home that day. I came back to a home that had neither brothers or sisters to be playmates, but also to a home where the only companions I had where my parents and the assorted staff that helped out during the week. Everyone was so much older than me. And everyone, being much older and therefore more mature, said euphemisms like “this too shall pass” and “everything will work itself out.” All of these phrases meant to comfort only served to torment me even further. I was inconsolable. And, more to the point, I was unapproachable. That day, as I watched my best friend wave good-bye from the back window of her parent’s minivan, I didn’t want to be behaved and mannered. I wanted to be a brat. I was feeling like crap and I wanted everyone else to feel crappy with me. It was during one of my tirades about how unfair the world was and how I was destined to be alone for the rest of my life that my mother took exception to my incessant prattle.
“Breanne Haley Holins, I’ve taken all the sass I can from you. This is not how I raised you. This behavior will not do at all. What’s gotten into you?”
“Maybe I’m sick of being so perfect all the time. I don’t feel good. And I don’t feel like pretending that I do.”
“I know you’re missing Torry right now, but that’s going to fade away with time.”
“I don’t want it to fade, mother. I don’t want this feeling of wanting Torry with me forever to go away. I want to remember her always.”
“You always will, hun. It’s only the hurt that will fade in time.”
“I hate being alone. I’ve been alone too much of a life. I hate not having anybody here my own age. I hate having to go to school to be with other kids. And I hate you and daddy for not having any other kids. You’re both cruel beyond words.”
If you ever have the chance to meet my mother you would know that she has never raised a hand to me. That unpleasant task always feel to my daddy to dish out. My mother would never dare risk harming a hair on my pretty little head. “Breanne? Why she’s my little ‘ole honey pot, she would never do anything that crude.” That’s what she’d say whenever my daddy told her the latest scrape I’d gotten into. But to gaze upon her face that day you would have thought I had robbed a convenience store. That’s probably the closest I’ve ever seen her truly angry enough to do harm unto me.
“That’s neither your place nor your prerogative to judge me or your father. And I will not tolerate your flaunting the rules around here, little lady. We did not bring up our daughter to hate her parents and we did not bring up our daughter to yell like a common ruffian. You will apologize immediately to me. Then, when your father gets home, you will apologize to him as well.”
I stuttered out, “I am sorry, mother. I’ll never say it again.”
She looked as if she were about to say something else, but instead she motioned with her hands to come closer to her. As soon as I neared she gathered me up in her arms and embraced like a mother is supposed to embrace her daughter. She gather me up in her arms and told me something that I haven’t forgotten till this day.
She said, “The truth is, hun, is God didn’t give me the strength to have another kid after you. Your father and I found out a long time ago that we were going to have our hands full with you. And so we kind of look upon it as a blessing that He allowed us to have you, to have out little Breanne. We learned to be grateful that He gave us the opportunity to spoil you rotten. Have you ever wanted for anything?”
“Have we ever told you no about anything that you had your heart set on?”
“Have we ever let you go for too long without putting a big ‘ole smile on that face of yours?”
“No, mother,” I laughed as she tickled me a little. Then she hoisted me up like I was her little girl of four once more so that I was staring eye to eye with her, our faces not more than inches away from each other.
“Your father and I were real sad the day we found out there wasn’t going to be the full brood of Hollins boys and girls tromping through this big house of ours. We were real worried about you, Bree, that you were going get lonesome here without having anyone to play with. We were real confused about what it all meant. And, like you, I started to get angry about a great many things. I started to think that there was so much unfair in life that it almost was unbearable. There was a time when all I did was cry, cry, cry to my own parents about how upset I was feeling.
“Then I realized something. I realized that most of our life is about being alone and scared, hun. Most of our life is about not feeling like anyone cares even when you’re surrounded by a multitude of people who want to help. You’re lucky if you find a handful of people who can break through that wall of yours when you do decide to build it. You’re lucky if you find a handful of people who make life more livable. You’ve just got to count your blessings, whether it be the opportunity to lavish your offspring with all the attention she deserves or whether it be the fact you have a brat at all.”
My mother then kissed me lightly on the cheek.
“The truth is God meant us to have one kid and one kid only. But when He gave you to us he made sure you were the most beautiful, most humorous, most caring and intelligent girl ever born, that’s what He did for sure.”
I started to blush.
“You’re hurting right now. I can understand that, Breanne. I really can. But you’re going to have to trust your ‘ole mother on this one when I say everything will be okay. You’ve got me and your father, and you’re going to make other friends. I have no doubts about that. Trust me. Trust your mother. I haven’t told you anything that wasn’t true yet and I’m not about to start now.
“Now wash up, your father and I have decided we’re going out to eat tonight. If that doesn’t make you feel better then we’ve decided that we’re just going to have to buy you a pony because we’re plumb out of ideas,” she laughed, as she swatted my behind to prompt me to get ready upstairs.
So yeah, I cried and I hurt for a couple of weeks. But I did get over it. I took my mother’s words to heart—that eventually I would be surrounded by friends who were going to make everything better. I never stopped remembering Torry, but I didn’t let her loss become a sore spot that prevented me from being happy.
And twenty-six days later I met some seventeen-year-old on-line…