Friday, 21 September 2007

Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

It's 1:00 am. She lays on a mattress on the floor of her brother's house, her 3 year-old daughter sleeping in the bed on the other side of the room. Its been a long day at work - her boss can be such a prick at times, but the job pays alright and it's only a temporary means to an end. Plus it's part-time, so she can spend more time raising her 2 kids.

Throwing back the quilt, she gets up and gently stirs the child awake. The poor thing is tired and becomes only semi-conscious. She picks the girl up and nestles her against her shoulder as she opens the door. In the room directly across the hallway, her 18 month-old son stirs in his cot. Quietly, she carries her daughter to the toilet and sits her down on the loo. Speaking gently, she encourages the girl to take a wee. She has to be up at 7:00, get the kids breakfast, get ready for work, dress the kids, make lunch, pack their day-bags, get them all into the car - which hopefully will start this time - and drive them to her ex-husband's parent's house, then on to work. But for now, she is a mother teaching her daughter to become aware of her body's signals. The job done, she whispers gentle words of praise, lifts the child and carries her back to her bed. One quick check on the sleeping boy, then she lays back down to sleep.

I lay in bed. I had worked an 8-hour shift and got home around 11:00. I listen to her perform this act of love and selflessness. I marvel at her strength, determination and bond of duty to her children. I know that she is putting on a brave front, but she is hurting inside and struggling with the new world of being a single-parent. She has many challenges still to face and it will not be easy. I vow to myself that I will be there for her always.

She is a woman, a mother, an employee, a survivor of an abusive marriage. She is my sister and I love everything that she is.

Happy birthday BJ.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Mockmoon Remix" Genlog
"Don't Go Now" Ratcat
"Sunsets" Powderfinger
"Porch" Pearl Jam
"Undone - The Sweater Song" Weezer
"Love For" Glenn Underground
"Anything Goes" Guns N Roses
"Millenium" Torsis


Louise said...

I just want to say how well you write. This post is just beautiful and, just like others, hits the spot!

flametree said...

Louise - thanks for the kind words. Despite what some may say, I believe the best writing comes from emotion (be it positive or negative emotion). Hope the leg is getting better.

Megan over at Imaginif said...

Dear flametree's sister,
my heart of the sisterhood cries with you. My soul screams for recognition of your silent torture: the reality of facing the loss of ideals, dreams, values and having to rely upon family that you would rather not have know of the intense and crippling pain that pounds you...even if it was you that left.
All I can offer is that the pain does eventually react to the panadol of life and that the babies can grow up to be functional and complete.
I know this, sister, because I have also spent time in the cell of a brother's floor. That cell became my freedom and the start of the rest of my life.
Thanks god for brother's. Thank god for sometimes not having to speak the pain because there are few words to describe it.
Thank god for night time when nobody sees or hears the catharsis of a liquid loss that you may think they cannot begin to understand.
My thoughts are with you.

Flametree - thank you for helping your sister and niece and nephew. It is a beautiful post.

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