How did my life come to this?
Standing on the edge of a cliff, wanting nothing more than to be with my baby boy, I had nothing else to live for.
I was young when my mother died. I thought losing her to leukaemia when I was only seventeen was the hardest thing I would ever have to go through in my life, Oh, how wrong I was. My father left when I was a baby and was never in my life, not that he was ever missed. I had a happy childhood; my mother worked hard to support herself and me, but she radiated love and happiness. She always found time for me. It was the small things I would remember the most and cherish; for instance Sundays were always our day. We would watch a movie together or go to the park and just have fun, but most of all it was our Sunday evening routine that I loved. I'd have a bath and she would spend an hour brushing my hair, then we'd then curl up with a book before bed. It's funny which memories you hold the closest to your heart.
As I looked down at the locket she had placed around my neck shortly before she passed away - it had a picture of her opposite an inscription saying 'to my darling Esme, love always mom'-it was the memory of her eyes that hit me the hardest; so full of love. The hazel colour sparkled as they always did whenever she looked at me. Her brown hair falling around her shoulders just as mine did now, I remember running my hands through it at a young age while my head would rest upon her shoulder before bedtime, lulling me into a peaceful sleep.
She was diagnosed with leukaemia on New Year's Eve watching her go through chemotherapy and radiation therapy was heart breaking. Even worse than all of that was the unsuccessful bone marrow transplant. Seeing her in so much pain for nothing just about did me in. Just two years after her diagnosis, she got an infection and soon slipped into a coma. When we had to turn off her life support machine, it nearly killed me. I don't even remember how I survived those years after her death; it's all just a blur. I wanted to lose myself, think about things other than my problems, so I threw myself into my schooling, hoping that I could make her proud.
I studied interior design, graduating with honours. I was so proud of myself, yet sorrowful that my mother wasn't there to see me graduate. I decided I didn't want to start working for an established company; I had my own ideas and expectations so decided to go it alone. I loved my work but never felt whole until I met Jason. I would always feel the loss of my mother, but being with Jason made me feel almost good again, almost whole.
I was redesigning a small holiday cottage for an older woman when I met her son. He was beautiful and irresistible, someone who I admired from afar. He was about six foot tall, dark hair with such intense brown eyes. He was always dressed immaculately, even when dressed casually in jeans and a tight fitted long sleeve t-shirt. He looked incredible in a suit, sometimes popping into my office in the afternoon, but I much preferred those t-shirts; the rippling abs and hard pecks were easily defined in them. When he asked me out I didn't even hesitate in saying yes. It was a whirlwind romance, everything being perfect. He'd come around in the evening while I was still working on the cottage, wrapping his arms around my waist while planting soft open mouthed kissing on my neck and shoulders before whisking me off to dinner. He made me feel desired all the time, even when I was paint splattered and a complete mess. Falling into bed with him after our first date was not something I had ever done before, but with Jason it all just felt right.
That was until six months into our relationship when I discovered I was pregnant.
At first I was horrified that at the age of 25 I found myself pregnant and unmarried. When I had told Jason I was pregnant he promptly told me he wanted nothing to do with me or 'it'. Apparently he was too young to be tied down and I was nothing but a little fun to him. I truly believed that he would want to bring our child up together, of course I was scared but I had dreams of him proposing to me, us getting married just as I was beginning to show. I dreamt of him holding my hand as I bought our child into the world ,tears of joy running down his face, us together curled up watching a movie with our newborn fast asleep on his chest. Realistically I expected him to be unsure at first, but surely he'd come round to the idea...right?
I was so wrong. He refused to talk to me after I told him; he wouldn't answer my calls and his mother refused to pass on messages proclaiming it was nothing to do with her since the work on her property was done I was no longer welcome.
I cried for days. I had no idea what to do and I questioned my abilities; could I really bring up a child alone? I knew my mother had done it, and did a fantastic job at that, but surely my child deserved more than that. He or she deserved the love of two parents, but what were my options? I loved this child already, and I knew deep down I would and could give him or her everything they would ever want and need, including the love two parents could give.
With my mind made up, I sailed through my pregnancy; I had no nausea, no heartburn, no cramping or aches and pains. I wouldn't have even known I was pregnant if it wasn't for my rounded belly. I loved being pregnant, feeling my baby move inside me was the most amazing feeling I had ever experienced.
I took on small jobs, and hired people for things I could not do myself. Money was tight but I'd been sensible and had enough in savings to last a good while, plus I had my own home, for that I was thankful for. No one really paid attention to the fact I was pregnant and alone, I just seemed to fade into the background. With no real family around I had no worries about people's opinions of me and I was content. Things could be better, of course, and I attempted to contact Jason continuously. I even took my ultrasounds pictures to him, posting them through his door and hoping they would change his mind, yet he never contacted me or answered my calls.
When I was eight months along in my pregnancy, I knew there was something wrong. I hadn't felt my baby move all day so when my contractions began, I became hysterical. It's hard to explain - call it mother's intuition - but I knew my baby wasn't going to make it. It was far too early for him or her to be born. I just wanted to go to sleep and wake up with it all having been a nightmare, feeling my baby kick in reassurance, but that wasn't my luck.
I managed to get to the hospital, though I was honestly not sure how. I couldn't recall much of anything, all I knew was that I was in a room with midwives and a doctor and no one was talking directly to me. I panted through my contractions, trying to catch a breath between my sobs; I felt so unnerved that no one was telling me what was going on.
I could hear someone next to me holding my hand and telling me I needed to push, but all I could think was NO, NO, NO! I couldn't do it; if my baby was inside me then surely it was safe. I refused to push, fighting my bodies urges until it became too much. I desperately didn't want to, seeing my baby would confirm my worst fears. I'm not sure how long that was or how long I pushed for after my body took over for my mind, but I don't think it was long.
With one final push my baby born was born. I listened intently but heard only silence. No cries filled the room. The solemn looks on the professional faces confirmed for me everything I already knew; my baby was dead.
I remember them taking him from the room as soon as he was born. I asked again and again what was happening but was just told I needed to rest. I was so angry; how could I sleep when all I had to go on was intuition? The doctor came in full of apologies and confirmed what I already knew; my baby was gone. A young midwife bought my sweet baby boy in to me, wrapped tightly in a soft blue blanket.
He was beautiful. He had thick tufts of brown hair, a tiny button nose, and plump red lips just like his father. The skin on his hands looked like it was peeling where he was losing the lanugo preparing him for birth it made me realise how close he was to being born healthy. He was so small at 2lb 15oz, but perfect in every sense of the word. I sat crying, holding him close to my chest. My huge sobs vibrated through me, shaking his body with my own, as I rocked him slowly, knowing this would be the only time I would ever have the chance to do so. I looked upon his face with tears slipping down my cheeks, imagining what it would have been like to rock him to sleep after nursing him in his nursery. I had to stop my thoughts there and just cherish the time I had with him; breaking down completely would destroy the precious time I had with my son. I had never in all my life felt so alone. The only question in my mind at that moment was WHY?
What had I done so wrong in life to deserve losing the only two people who I ever truly loved?
I lay in the hospital bed for what felt only like minutes, when in fact it was hours, just holding his still body before the nurses came and my baby was taken away from me. It was unbearable; the hole in my chest felt like it was splitting me in two. Part of me wanted to just fall asleep forever, but how was I supposed to leave my baby alone in the morgue? He was supposed to be with me! I was so conflicted, I wanted to beat every nurse who tried to take my baby, but the pain and numbness wouldn't allow it. I watched them leave the room with him, knowing they were taking what remained of my heart with them.
I have no idea what happened after that, I was a zombie; nothing registered in the days up until his funeral. I saw and held his cold body every day, taking in his beauty and hoping against all else that he would just take a breath, even though I knew it would never happen. Every time I went to see him I held my breath, waiting for them to tell me it was a huge misunderstanding and he was alive and healthy. But then his still form would be placed into my arms, wrapped in the same soft blue blanket, and I knew the nightmare was real. Each time I held him I was crushed again by my reality – he really was gone.
All my hopes and dreams were shattered. My life as a mother was torn from me in the most horrendous way. I longed to take him to the park for his first push on the swings, his first ball game, and his first day at kinder garden. It was all gone.
Standing all alone over his grave on a cold, wet Friday morning, made it all so real. I had tried contacting Jason, leaving messages with his mother, but to no avail. I don't know what I was expecting, but I thought just this once I would have someone to hold me up. I truly hoped I would.
Watching his tiny coffin being lowered into the ground along with my shattered heart made me wonder what was left for me. What was there for me to do with my life now?
I stayed at his grave for hours, just laying there, rubbing my hand up and down the dirt that lay between my precious son and myself. I hummed to him as I would have if he was nestled in my arms, sleeping peacefully. It was devastating to truly admit that was never going to happen now.
So that's how I found myself here, standing on the edge of a cliff, looking back over everything that had happened in the last few years. Dressed in black and finding myself almost at peace with the thought of joining my mother and my sweet baby boy. I just wasn't strong enough to live through this horrendous pain. I had tried and almost succeeded after my mom passed away, but losing my baby boy was like a stab in the back showing me how weak I truly was. What choice did I have? Live a life of heartache, pain, and sorrow alone, where there was no more joy to have once you have nothing left to give, or end the suffering with just one small act?
As I stood there, the wind wiping around the bare skin of my legs, all I could think of was the life my son and I would never have. I envisioned him suckling on my breast as I fed him, his first smile, his first words – God, how I longed to hear him call me Mommy. I longed to feel his breathe on me as he slept in my arms, and the pain of knowing it would never happen was too great, it was too much to bear. I couldn't do it, not like this, not alone and on my own as I was.
My mind was made up; silent tears fell from my eyes and down my cheeks, not out of fear but out of acceptance. I was ready, I was at peace with my decision, and with that I fell, fast and hard. People say you see your life flash before your eyes in your last moments. I, however, saw nothing but a small boy running into my arms, calling out for his mommy. I was happy, truly happy as I hit the rocks at the bottom. I felt no pain, just numb contentment. I felt myself slipping away slowly; smiling to myself because regardless of everything, I soon would be reunited with my loved ones.
That's when I saw him; my angel had come for me. He was the most graceful, gorgeous man I had even seen. He had bright golden eyes, blond hair and a chiselled jaw. I felt him lift me into his arms, but this was not how I imagined death to be. I felt peaceful and yet didn't feel my soul floating to the heavens above. All I felt was confusion just before I slipped into the darkness.
I don't know what I expected but I awoke on a bed with the most intense burning pain radiating throughout my body. I saw my angel standing vigil beside me as I thrashed around waiting for it to end. I wanted to ask why death hurt so badly, but that's when he began to speak. He stroked my hair affectionately as he told me everything was going to be okay. He told me that I wasn't dead in the true sense of the word and that he would take care of me, that he loved me.
So many thoughts and emotions ran through my head and body, but I couldn't feel angry at him for saving me, if that's really what he had done. For the first time in a very long time I felt content, not in the same way I had when I thought I was dying, but content none the less. I believed this man and the things that he lovingly whispered, for reasons that remained unknown to me.
I desperately wanted to ask him why he had saved me, why was I chosen? Surely there were more deserving people dying that should have been saved. I couldn't help but feel special, I was chosen but the question remained...why me? I heard him muttering his apologies over and over again as the pain once more pulled me down and into the darkness. I didn't understand what he was apologizing for, but I felt as though I should comfort him. His hold on me was nothing I had ever felt before… ever. No matter what I was going into, as long as I was with him I knew I would be okay. With him beside me, I felt safe.
I was finally at peace, and I was happy; they say what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, and I now firmly believed that. I finally understood why everything had happened to me - it had given me the strength to survive whatever my new life had to throw at me, and I couldn't wait for it to begin. With the beautiful memories of my son and my mother firmly imprinted in my mind, I embraced the angel at my side and yearned to fly with him.
I realise a lot of this doesn't actually follow Esme's timeline or her story. I wrote this for myself to be honest. Written loosely based on my own experiences.
Thanks so much to Beegurl13! I lurve you gurl! If you haven't read her stories you really should, she's awesome!
Thanks also to PTB
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