The wind was bitter cold blowing against our tear-stained faces. We were standing in the middle of a January-in-Cleveland snow hugging each other on the sidewalk in front of the counseling center trying to make some kind of ammends after the mess that had been our week. I've seen so many things. I've travelled so many roads. I have so much life under my belt for my short 34 years that it's easy for me to look at this situation and start to rationalize some things and to just have a basic faith that it's going to be ok. But she doesn't. She's looking at this with her 15-year-old brain and it scares her and it changes who she is. I hate that. She's so much like me. She's passionate and she's impulsive. She's dramatic and likes to think out loud...alot of times instantly regretting what just came out of her mouth. And like me she's also prone to depression...and that scares me. Will she do something to hurt herself? Will she run away? That's why standing in the middle of the cold sidewalk I held her and reminded her that "we can get through anything...it's always been you and me Courtney...I was the very first person to ever see your face and I will be the last one standing there with you in the end...I WILL NOT GIVE UP ON YOU."
I was only 18 years old and thought I was grown. I had been married for almost two years, I lived 1200 miles away from home and I had just had a baby...what a journey I had before me. What lessons still to come. But here I was with this tiny little girl all pink from laying under the bili lights, iv's in her arm for the antibiotics (she was septic from being born with group b strep). I sat night after night in the nursery all alone...just me and her. Occassionally a doctor would mosey through and stand behind my rocking chair handing me a tissue, the nurses were horrible...i won't even go there...but in the still of the night it was just me and her. I would watch her...and cry...pray...and cry...stare at her face while begging her to nurse...and cry. And I would just look at her and think...I know you don't feel good, and I know this is going to be hard...but I'm here for you...you and me...I won't give up on you...JUST STAY...please don't go. Get mad...get loud...just stay.
It's amazing that 15 years later I'm still silently whispering the same things to her. I know this is hard Courtney...I know this process doesn't feel good...but I'm here for you...you and me...I won't give up on you...lets do whatever it takes to get better...just stay.