• Bre'a Belle

Thanks For the Memories

Updated: Sep 23, 2019

It's here. It's finally here and I'm having the hardest time believing it. I never thought I would live this long, let alone have the life that I'm living. At one point, I thought I was going to be stuck in McDowell County living with a man that I hated with no way out and no hope for a brighter future. I even thought that there would be people standing over me with flowers and tears flowing down their faces, releasing balloons at my grave site when August 3rd rolled around wishing that I was able to hear them and see how much everything has changed since the day they said goodbye to me. It's shocking because I vividly remember the time in my life where I couldn't wait for my birthday simply because it was when we started cheer practice for the new season and I couldn't wait to put on those uniforms again. With every year that passed, I anxiously waited for the day when I turned 16, and then 18, and finally 21. I was always waiting to be older so I could get just a little more freedom, put childish things behind me, and reflect on the lessons I learned.

It's been a long and wild ride and all I can say is, holy fucking shit! I'm 23! With all of the shit that's happened and how many times I thought about giving up, I've got my husband, 2 rotten Sourpatch Kids, a relationship with me mom that I've always been so proud of, and I'm finally working my dream job! That part alone is just enough to blow my mind. When I thought that I was going to miss out on working in my favorite specialty, I broke down and cried my eyes out (seriously, I cried so hard that it looked like someone beat the fuck out of me when i was finished. One of my weaknesses is being afraid of being stuck in a shitty place or somewhere that I don't want to be. It's generally not a bad thing, but I can be irrational. I felt like if I blinked, 10 years would have flown by with me still working in long-term care, wishing that I could have gotten out and I was going to be miserable.

I've officially got 2 more years left until the baby maker is shut down for good so I can focus on my career. Draven will be 7 and pretty self sufficient and Devin will be potty trained at least. If we have another newborn by then, it won't be half as bad with the first two trying to gain their own sense of independence. Not to mention the fact that we've been increasingly more financially stable as the years have passed. I'd be able to head back to school to get my RN, then my BSN, and finally my MSN where I can test to become a Certified Nurse Midwife. It'll probably take about 6 years. That's been my plan for a while now and that says a lot when I used to be dumbfounded when people would ask me what I wanted to be or do after high school. Just like I've always said, I didn't know what I wanted to do when those 180 days flew by and I got my diploma, but when I got pregnant, I had to put some fire under my ass and figure it out.

I can safely say that I'm extremely anxious to see what the future holds for me and I can't wait to see what year 23 will be like. Surprisingly, I'm ready to see 24, 25, 26, and so on just because the only way from here is up. I've amazed myself and I've always owed the drive in my heart to be better to the boys and my Granny (who looked at me teary eyed shortly after I graduated and told me that I needed to do something with my life for my baby and not to waste time and pass up any opportunity that felt right. She said that she did the same thing and she regretted it). As time passes, my list of reasons continue to grow. I look at my mom and where she was when she was my age. She had three kids, one of them needing a lot of surgeries to correct a birth defect. She would often face off with her significant other in an abusive relationship which was even harder when they shared kids together. I know that there were plenty of times where she felt like she had been dealt the shittiest cards that life had to offer and she probably thought that she was never going to see her days become brighter. I've thought a lot about when my mom was 23 here lately. I was 4 and unfortunately, a lot of my earliest memories from that age come back and now they manifest themselves in my behavior as an adult quite frequently. To put it simply, she had it rough and it took years after getting out of our crappy living situation for she and I and my brother and sister to deprogram from the trauma.

I'm in a place now where I know for a fact that the only way from here is up. Opportunities for a better future are constantly jumping out at me and I have the confidence I need to do anything that I put my mind to. I've been through hell and back before and there's not a lot that can keep me from doing what I want to do. Momma and I have stood up and faced a lot of demons together and things have always ended up in our favor. I think it's because more of who she is as a person and everything that she taught the three of us is beginning to show. I am the mother that I am because of her. You'd think that with all of the shitty genes that I inherited from her that leave me feeling ancient and decrepit, I'd be a little bitter, but we just carry on, laugh it off, and take some ibuprofen just to power through the aches and pains.

My life at 23 has me in a fantastic place with more stability than she had back then. I could stay an LPN working in an OB/GYN clinic for the rest of my life, living in a beautiful little townhouse in a quiet part of Spring Valley/Huntington near all of the schools that my boys will ever need to attend, and I'll be just fine. But I still want more. It often feels like I have an insatiable appetite for growth and this is the first time that I've ever really paid close attention to it.

My mom went through hell and back when she was my age and she'd park her foot in my ass if she heard me say it out loud, but I feel like I'm forever in her debt. She would tell me that she gave birth to me and taking care of me while giving an equal amount of unconditional love to all of her kids was what she signed up for when she laid down and made us. I can only hope for a similar outcome when my boys reach adulthood. She taught me to always do what you're supposed to do, even if it's the hardest shit in the world to accomplish. The fact that she's living with me in a much better location, away from the depressing pit that McDowell County can be makes me feel fantastic. I feel like I'm finally returning the favor by sharing the comfort that I have as I go into year 23 that she didn't when she had to work to the bone and still didn't have the satisfaction that peace and comfort had to offer.

When her time to depart from this like comes, she will probably feel like she didn't do enough or feel unsatisfied because she didn't have any material assets to leave us (not giving herself a break or any praise. It's become obvious that I got that mindset from her). My greatest inherited asset from her will be my work ethic and the ability to tell people to kiss my ass and make them eat their words without having to say it out loud.

Like I said before, we've faced a lot of demons together and because we've never deviated from always doing what's right, we've grown wiser and stronger. She's truly the Mufasa to my Simba. When her time fades, I'll miss her, but I won't have to wander through life aimlessly because I looked up to her and paid attention.

So, I would like to thank everyone that ever doubted us. Thank you to the bitter fucks that frowned upon the children that we brought into this world (who knows where we would be without them). You can kiss our asses if you've ever tried to be messy or malicious and stand in the way of our goals. Go fuck yourself if you've only ever taken advantage of our kindness just to use and abuse us. And fuck off if you thought (or hoped) that we would ever part ways and fall off only to become strangers. We've always been able to do bad all by ourselves, but we won't have to because our bond can take out anything.


With love, Bre'A xoxo