Have you ever had someone look at you
Like you were the sun?
Beautiful and fiery.
Passionate and addictive.
Our love was fast and hard.
Explosive and tender.
It erased who we thought we were and made us new.
It made us one.
It connected us, vessel to vessel.
I am reaching out, and I fit perfectly.
I think of him, and I no longer feel alone.
We are one. I am a part of him, and he is a part of me.
Not only through physical intimacy,
but our souls, our minds and our hearts
embedded onto the blueprint of the other.
Although a comfortable pace and routine remain now,
the fire still burns.
I feel it. I know he does, too.
I don’t need him to live and breathe.
He breathes life into my spirit.
He does not define me.
My heart’s love for him is defined by who he is.
Knowing he is living and breathing on this planet,
even apart, makes me feel safe.
It makes me feel that all is right in this world.
He is the moon to my stars.
The sky to my sun.
Exceptionally wonderful together.
I still love sad poetry.
I love to know that hearts are still able to heal after suffering.
It brings me comfort to know that loneliness doesn’t last.
I smile when I think Spring comes after Winter,
and the sun still rises in the morning.
I still love sad poetry.
It brings me hope when days are long and nights are cold.
I still believe in new beginnings when I read stanzas of tears on a page, and I see broken hearts in the smiles of strangers.
I still love sad poetry.
I still write sad poetry.
It makes me feel, and it makes me think,
and it helps me remember the days when I wasn’t sad.
You will have your heart broken.
It is unavoidable. It is part of life.
It will feel like your world collapses and you cannot stop it.
It will feel as if the sun disappeared and the stars vanished.
Everything will lose its colour, and food will no longer be appetizing.
Music will be your only comfort, and melancholy will blanket you.
You will feel pain so palpable that you never thought possible.
You will cry rivers of sadness that will be unstoppable, breaking against the tides of your childhood dreams.
I look at your sweet face and dread the day it happens.
I also welcome that day.
Because that will be your day of recognition, and it will be the day you are tested.
Your willpower and resilience will show, and you will discover your strength.
You will learn to rebuild all you have lost and what has been taken from you.
Your first heartbreak will be the first day of the rest of your life.
Do not be afraid, my love.
Be brave and be strong.
And always forgive.
Not just them,
I am writing you this to prepare you, but the truth is no preparation could ever make you ready for the day it happens.
When it does happen, mourn for what you lost,
But come back and try again.
For love is a beautiful experience,
And deserves a second chance,
And a third,
And a fourth.
Do not fear love.
Please do not shy away from it.
Do not curse love.
Do not take advantage of love.
And always remember;
To guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Yesterday I met a woman.
This woman was me in many ways, except for the reasons she wasn’t.
She was a woman who had to survive many painful obstacles; prostitution, abandonment, unemployment, living on the streets, and many other social ills.
Our struggles differ, but our desire to overcome them is the same.
I saw something in her: a stranger I have never met before and will probably never meet again.
I saw a fighting spirit.
Things I thought I had lost in myself, but her yellow-stained eyes reflected it when I looked at her.
This woman stood before me with joy, a smile, and hope in her heart.
Like many others, she had to sacrifice a part of herself to get through life and reach this point, where she stood in front of me with a smile so broad I couldn’t help but smile too.
She speaks about the life she used to live without shame and her life now with pride. She embraces every challenge she has endured to get to where she is today.
We don’t share the same skin colour or the same mother tongue.
We don’t have the same economic standing or have the same employment status.
We don’t enjoy the same opportunities or possibilities nor are we the same age or grew up the same way.
But it is precisely those differences that make us the same.
The spirit of a warrior woman, one who doesn’t give up.
One who doesn’t have much but still gives.
Someone who doesn’t know it all but continues to learn.
This woman that I met yesterday;
A loved one.
This woman is me.
This woman is you.
She is all of us.
This post was orginally written and published in June 2018
It’s going to hurt until it no longer does.
It’s going to tear at you and pull you apart
Until you learn to put yourself together again.
Eventually all this will just become a distant memory.
Eventually the pain will disappear.
Your hands will stop shaking.
You will breathe again.
You’ll stop searching and start appreciating.
You’ll stop waiting and wishing.
You’ll stop regretting and start living.
Eventually you’ll stop blaming yourself and start forgiving yourself,
It might not happen today.
But it’ll happen,
I used to sit on my mother’s lap
Out on the balcony
Watching cars go by
Talking about nothing and everything
She used to stroke my hair
With her aging hands
Or clean my ears with a bobby pin
I could have sat there for hours
I miss being her child
Her youngest daughter
My sisters would tease me, saying I’m spoilt
And her favourite
I would frown, scrunch my nose at them but
It brought me pure joy
Now I am a motherless daughter
With a daughter of my own
Needing my mother
more than I ever could have ever known
I miss her
I miss my mother every day
I swallow tears and try to ignore the lump
In my throat
Sitting there like a constant reminder of what I lost
I guess it is true what they say
Grief never leaves you
You don’t outgrow it
You simply grow around it.
Sitting in what they call a comfort room after 8 in the morning
I’m watching the door to the theatre
Watching the clock
The comfort room brings little comfort
It’s cold and a lone window is before me covered in blinds
The wall covered in words such as
All words meant to bring comfort but the irony
Does not miss me
It’s quiet sitting here
Save for the sounds of the machines somewhere in the hospital
And the wheels on the cold tile floors
I feel far away from him
Not knowing what is happening behind that closed theatre door
It holds my heart
And I am locked out of it
I don’t have the access or the authorisation
I watch the door like a predator stalking its prey
Waiting to pounce the minute I see him being wheeled out that room
To take his hands in mine
Kiss his lips
To see his eyes see mine
The only comfort this empty room brings
Is the chance to be with my own thoughts
To allow my inner turmoil to run free and
Keep me company during this time
I fear looking away from the door
I fear I might miss him and never see him again.
To the woman sitting alone in her empty house
Full of memories and mementos, wondering where it all went wrong,
I was you.
To the young girl crying her eyes out in the office bathroom, staring at herself
In the mirror, not recognizing the person staring back at her
With bloodshot eyes and tear-stained cheeks,
To the tired mother, using her last strength to dress and feed and play with her kids
When she hasn’t eaten or had a decent shower in days,
I have been there.
To the friend that needs comforting and can’t control the tears from flowing,
Feeling as if everything is falling apart,
You will be okay.
It doesn’t matter how strong you feel you need to be or how tired you are and
How many times you need to start over, I want you to know that
This too shall pass.
Author : Jessamine Chan
First published : 2022
Okay, this book was difficult to read. As a mother and as a woman, I found myself gasping, cringing, feeling sad and heartbroken, feeling angry and frustrated. I experienced disbelief and a whole lot of other emotions that caught me by surprise. I’m not sure what I expected when I picked up this book but what I found was definitely not it.
This book was also on Barack Obama’s favourite book list for 2022.
Without giving too much away, I’ll provide a short summary.
Frida Liu is a young mother accused of neglecting and abandoning her young child. She is then sent to a school which is meant to retrain ‘bad mothers’ into becoming the best and most attentive mothers in human existence. (I’m being a bit sarcastic here and once you read the book, especially if you are a mother, I’m sure you will understand why.)
The training and exercises these mothers at the school go through are something else; I found myself frowning and saying “huh?” on many occasions while reading.
‘I am a bad mother but I am learning to be good’
There is so much I can say and want to say about how this book made me feel; when I got to the last chapter, I was in tears.
In a way this book highlights the unrealistic expectations society has when it comes to mothers. Don’t get me wrong, motherhood and children are a gift for women who want it, but it’s a very difficult journey to be on.
In the book, mothers are expected to always be aware of everything around them, never turn their eyes away from their children for a second, be able to soothe their babies by using the correct language and words and physical affection, be able to effectively comfort their children and provide quick, healthy meals and stimulate their minds all the while not losing their own heads.
In a nutshell; it’s a lot.
The thing is, mothers can do all the above but unlike the children in the book, we are not robots. We need a break and we are not always emotionally available for our children or spouses or partners. We won’t always cook healthy dinners and sometimes we want to shut down and be left alone and that is perfectly normal and should be acceptable.
Our own kids are 6 and 8 years old now; they have an abundance of energy which I don’t. There is always something that needs to be done. Laundry needs to be washed and folded and packed away, school lunches need to be made, shopping needs to be done, toys have to be picked up and put away, children need to be disciplined. All the while you are trying to think of the 20 things you need to remember, you are thinking about work, you are checking the time, you are trying to engage in conversations, you are trying to be a good wife and then you need to remember to take care of yourself; have a bath, drink your coffee, fall asleep.
You will fall short somewhere.
We were never made to be perfect.
The guilt and pressure mothers are put under is also a prominent theme in this book; not only by society but by family and surprisingly other mothers too. The pressure can become so crippling, that it becomes life-threatening.
As a mom myself, I’ve been judged, criticized, told what I’m doing wrong, what I should be doing and how I should be doing it. I’ve also compared myself to other moms and it made me feel like the worst person in the world. I’ve been told to plan ahead, prepare dinners, clothing, activities, grocery lists, an endless number of things that I am meant to remember and take care off. Being a parent is difficult but there’s a different kind of hardship that comes with motherhood. Sometimes it’s unrealistic and you have homes where there are two parents and both contribute equally but I think as women, we tend to put ourselves under pressure and that pressure is amplified when you become a mom. Especially when you have a full-time job, a side hustle, a marriage, children. When you do catch your breath long enough to tick something off your to-do list, it feels like a miracle, that’s if you remembered to write your to-do list!
Yes, I know. It sounds like I am venting and maybe I am a little. Reading this book might unlock feelings on the inside of you, that you never even thought you had. Some of those feelings you might not be ready to face.
Something else which stands out for me in this novel is how different the ‘bad fathers’ are treated at the school, which I will call, ‘parenting rehab facility’
The differences are like night and day, which again angered me a little because moms are not always extended the grace which they deserve.
I think the overwhelming message in this book is how one small mistake can change your entire life. The book is about a mother who needs to make decisions which are painful and difficult but she makes them and she doesn’t always make the right ones.
It’s also about regret and how it can hold you back but its also about forgiveness; forgiving others but also forgiving yourself for mistakes you made when you didn’t know better.
All in all, it was an amazing read. I could probably write pages and pages of analysis but I want you to experience this book and make sense of it on your own.
we are shaped by our experiences but we can choose how to live out those experiences. We choose how to live, we choose whether we give up or go on. We choose to forgive.
life demands of you to be intentional; intentional about your actions, your energy, your focus, your thoughts and emotions.
It hasn’t been easy but it has been fulfilling
love is one of the most if not the most powerful source of hope we have on this earth
Its not just okay to live as your authentic self, its absolutely necessary.
do not fear.
do not tremble.
do not question or second guess
These hard, tiring and busy days won’t last.
Your ability to nurture, love, care and encourage is God-given.
break out of the mould you created for yourself with all the things you thought you knew
I hope you relinquish all expectations
you had of yourself for this next season and simply enjoy being alive.
Even if it fails, at least you know that you tried.
We all have a place in our minds where we wish to go, things we want to do and places we want to see but if I’ve learned anything, these last few years, is that you won’t get there if you don’t get moving.
It’s a beautiful day. The dog dreams. I breathe
Better to have a moment of awkwardness than to have a lifetime of regret.
But I see how you carry on.
I see how you carry others.
I see how you love,
I see how you pray.
I see you and I love what I see.
It’s a road not travelled at all.
A sad and painful place where the rivers
are made out of tears.
Very lonely. Very heartbreaking.
Very beautiful indeed.
My faith saved me.
It saves me still.
regret always comes too late.
You are more valuable than you know and you have so much more power than you realise
One hurt does not fix another
I want to be that brave person again
I’m a weary wife.