A Promise

 In Weekly Forum Discussion, Writer in Residence

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip

I curled up on the floor of my closet. I didn’t know what to do. In pain and afraid, I cried. A chubby little hand with tiny fingers appeared under the door, “Mommy I love you.” I couldn’t speak, so I took his hand and held it. Choking back tears, I told him I loved him too. I sent him back to his room. I didn’t want him to get in trouble.

I don’t think I will ever understand why people hurt others. I especially don’t understand when the pain comes from someone you love. Someone who says they love you. I now know this person never loved me. You don’t treat someone you love like that.

During my years of pain, I had an observer….watching, and understanding. Someone who lived in fear for me. He also suffered his own pain. When I fell apart he was there. He took care of me, loved me, lifted me up, listened to me and comforted me. In return, I wanted to give him all the love he gave to me. He told me I already have.

I promised him I would write a story for him. It is going on two years now, and no story yet. I am planting the seeds, the seeds of his story. My son deserves all the happiness the world holds, but he wants only a story. This is a gift I can give.

I promised my ex-father in law that I would love. He told me to pick someone kind, who deserved me and would love me back. This is a promise I didn’t want to make. Despite being a hard and stubborn man, when I held his hand and looked in his eyes they were filled with tears. Well, of course, I cried too and I promised him.

I am planting the seeds of this promise. I will go outside my small circle and try to meet someone. I will let the universe decide on this promise.

This spring I am planting seeds of promise. Promises that I have made and the promise of a beautiful life, the promise of moving forward, of loving myself, the promise of strength, and integrity. I am still stitching my soul back together. I am a different person now, a better person. I have lived through a lot. I have been given a lot. I am so thankful for this journey. I am thankful for my son. I am thankful for all the beautiful people I met along the way. I promise none of you were taken for granted. I am here today because of you.

I take a deep breath. My seeds have oxygen, water, love and life. I know happiness is on the horizon. I can feel the warmth of the sun. My growth has only just begun.

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