A Damaged Start

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Part 2 of "A Lost Childhood." The aftermath of a young girls death, how will her mother react once she finds out?

Submitted: May 09, 2018

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Submitted: May 09, 2018



Being someone's second wife, and having to help raise a child that wasn't mine sometimes took its toll on me. I loved my husband so much, but all I was to him was the second best. After everything I helped him through he still couldn't look past his ex, he loved her unconditionally. They were together five years before she got pregnant. Five years before she passed away from complications following childbirth. Five years before I came into the picture.

We fought, almost all the time over little things. Yelling and screaming, throwing plates on the ground in hope that we'd finally understand each other's frustration. It finally got to be too much. He kicked me out, not because of the fighting. But because I took it too far. I wanted the love and acceptance that he could never give to me, and I messed up everything that we had.

The beautiful young woman that I helped raise, my daughter, will probably never be allowed to see me again. She will forget about me so easily and I'll get replaced. I will never be able to see Maisie graduate because I know that I will never be allowed there. Jeremy, my ex, made it quite clear that Maisie wasn't to be a part of my life anymore, that all I've ever caused is trouble. That's not exactly true, Jeremy knew the minute he asked me to help him with his newborn daughter that I had no experience. No experience with kids, with jobs, with cooking, cleaning or anything. Before he came along I was living on the street. I know he saved me from possible death or sickness, but he always expected too much. I knew I shouldn't of agreed to help, but after he mentioned the money I would make from being a nanny I knew I couldn't say no. It was only supposed to be for a little while but as time grew, so did our relationship. It was so much easier to care for Maisie as a baby, feed, change, sleep, repeat. It was an easy cycle that I could do. As she got older, the cycle got harder. I couldn't prepare lunches because I didn't know what I could give her. I couldn't help with homework, I didn't even have an education myself. I was useless, and eventually, she treated me that way.

The day after Jeremy kicked me out was the hardest. After so long I was back on the streets. This time I knew I couldn't stay there so I looked for jobs, applied for them and waited for them to contact me back. Without work experience a lot of them turned me down right away, but I didn't give up.

I was called early the next morning about an open position that I could fill at a hotel. It was my new start, different jobs here and there. Enough to pay for a room and some food. It was all I needed, I could finally provide for myself.

After a week, Maisie’s graduation ceremony was set to come. I decided that I wanted to go, it was something really important, a once in a lifetime celebration. But I had to make sure Jeremy was okay with it beforehand. I walked down to his place in hope that he would be done with work by the time I arrived, twenty minutes is all it has left me to think about what I wanted to say and how I would say it.

Knocking, I could hear footsteps approaching the door. Creaking as it finally opened, I spoke, “Hi Jeremy.” “What are you doing here?” “I just wanted to know if I was allowed to come to Maisie’s graduation… I know you said I wasn't allowed to be a part of her life anymore but this is really important,” I looked up, searching his face for an unspoken answer. But all my eyes were met with was tears on his cheeks. A suffocating silence surrounded us, until gently he whispered, “There won't be a graduation… It happened again, soon after i made you leave. She lost herself, I was too late. She's gone.” Tears flowed down, dripping off my cheeks and dampening my t-shirt. “Why. Why didn't you tell me before?” “Katherine, I was grieving. The last thing I was thinking about was telling people about the fact that my daughter is gone.” “The funeral-" “I've arranged it for next week on Thursday. You'll be able to make it, right?” “Yes. I better get going now.” “Wait, can you stay for a little while? I have some coffee brewing. Maybe you can stay and we can talk for a little while.” “Okay.” I walked in, sat on the couch and spoke with him about everything I've done lately. Never bringing up the subject of loss because we knew it would hurt both of us. I was nice to speak to someone about stuff, I wasn't forced to keep it in anymore. After we finished talking I walked back to the hotel, went to my room, laid down in the bed and cried. I cried myself to sleep.

When you lose someone you've known for so long, even though they're not you child, it kills you. Even though Maisie wasn't my daughter, even though we've never had a strong connection, it still hurts. She probably could never see it, but I loved her. She was always my little girl that had eyes that would shine like stars and a smile that could make anyone's heart melt. I loved her, but she was breaking. I loved her, but now she's gone.

I knew in the morning that I needed to get up and do my work. Even though Maisie was gone I needed to stay strong and do my work. If I don't, I'll end up losing my job and ending back out on the streets. I couldn't let it happen, so once again I pushed my emotions to the side and tried my hardest not to cry because I knew, that if i cried, I wouldn't be able to stop.

Once I finished working for the day I went back to my room and went the bed. I couldn't sleep, every time I closed my eyes I could picture her in a casket being lowered into the ground. There's only 4 more days until her funeral, I'm not ready for it, but neither would anyone else be if they needed to bury their child. Maisie was a precious child but she needed something more. She needed to be accepted as she was, she needed to be able to express herself but she felt as though she couldn’t. I miss her, so very much. She was a perfect child, very polite and despite her own problems, so caring and loving towards the ones she cared for.

Thursday, the day that would finally a feeling of peace but also despair, came by way too fast. 1:30 came around, I was dressed in a long black gown waiting on the side of the road for my ride. Jeremy offered to pick me up as it was a 20 minute ride to the church and cemetery. Once i got into the car, complete silence washed over us. I was almost certain that we were both thinking the same thing, that today was going to be one of the hardest days of our lives. It was officially an occasion that marked the fact that our little girl wouldn’t be coming back. Sadness was one of the feeling I was feeling, along with anger. Anger that I wasn’t there to help her when she needed it the most. The feeling of leaving someone without the help they need is not something that I ever want to do. The guilt that gets pulled onto you if something happens to them in unbearable. I won’t ever do that to anyone again, no matter who they are or what they’ve done. It hurts too much.

There was a lot of people at the funeral. Some of our family friends, teachers, children from school, her friends?, her admirers?, I don’t know who they are to her. Except Rose. I know Rose was there because they were best friends. I’ve never seen any of the other kids before, if they meant enough to be here now then where were they when she was still alive?

Once we started, I could see Jeremy out of the corner of my eye. He held a face that showed sadness, anger, defeat, guilt. To him his feelings, they were indescribable. So many feeling at once, anyone else would feel the same way. When put into a position like this you need to do one of two things, fight or flight. He chose to fight through his emotions and sit, in quiet sadness throughout the ceremony. Gradually people got up to say how they knew Maisie, and how much impact she had made on their lives. From including the uncool kids into conversations and activities to being the most influential student in the classrooms. Everyone seemed to tell the happiest stories of how she had changed their lives for the better and how she would be so greatly missed. It was enlightening, to me, all this proved was that even with hundreds of people standing by your side it can still not be enough.

After lowering her casket into the ground the need to express my feelings came through. I sat down beside her grave as everyone left and I spoke to her. I whispered down to the ground, “I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you. I’ll take care of your father, I’ll be strong for him. I hope you forgive me.” Even though I knew that there was nobody there anymore, the sense of relief washed over me. I knew it was too late for me to make her feel accepted into this world but I wanted to make sure she knew I wasn’t going to give up on her father. He was the man she cared for most dearly and I know that if she was watching, this would be the only way that she would be happy with me.

Bonded over the mutual feeling of a broken heart. That’s how I like to describe how Jeremy and I got back together. We needed each other the most in a time where all we were trying to do was find someone that understood how we were feeling. It’s odd to me how once we fought over everything because we could never bond over anything, our feelings, they were so different once. Now, we have something to bond about, no matter how much disaster it brought to our life. We can now understand each other better, we don't fight, but our life is still missing a huge factor.

Being able to overcome obstacles isn’t how life should work. Being able to face the obstacles and work with them is how life should be. Masking the feeling Jeremy and I felt when thinking about our daughter, the girl with a lost childhood, was impossible. The way we need to get over something is hitting it face on. Grieving with someone who knows what you’re going through is how we became stronger. Grieving is how we grew, Jeremy and I. It’s how we became closer in this world that always tried to find a way to pull us apart.

After a few months I moved back in with Jeremy. Life was moving forward without taking any huge steps back. It finally felt like we met our purpose, the reason we were made to be here. We both have great jobs, doing what we enjoy. We live in a place filled with lovely memories and difficult experiences, everything that makes life an extravagant journey. Maisie was always fond of huge, fluffy dogs. She had a stuffed dog named Blue when she was little. We went out to the shelter and got the dog that appeared most like that plush. Blue is now a huge part of our family, she had a rough past but she was still loving and gentle. She reminds us so much of Maisie everyday. They are both fighters, right up till the end. Unfortunately Maisie didn’t get that extra chance that Blue did. I would’ve been so different if she wasn’t still here. She would’ve had a good life, we would’ve made sure she felt as best as she could. But that isn’t something I should be thinking of now, she’s gone and our life is moving forward.

Maisie will always we part of our past, present, and future. She will be part of our whole life even though she isn’t here anymore. I know that she will be watching down on us, happy about how we were able to overcome so many problems. She was the angel on Earth when she was here with us, and now she’s the angel up above. She will always be a part of our story and the end of my broken start.

© Copyright 2018 Abby L.. All rights reserved.

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