To The Stranger I Once Called Mama

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The only one who had a plan and a purpose for me was God.
I entered your journey as a mistake – my life a burden to yours.
My destiny was to never be enough.

You wanted me to become your real-life doll. Dolls were never my playthings.
My playground was the ball field, the barn, a gravel road that I could explore.

You wanted to bend me to your will. My brain was too inquisitive, asking “why”
too often for your comfort.

The lace dresses and ribbon bows in which you draped me were chains. I couldn’t breathe
sitting still, being quiet, looking pretty. Outside, the sun and dirt begged me to come play.
Barefoot in jeans, scraped knees, dirty fingernails – my lungs gulped for air.

I’m sorry I couldn’t accept the God you pushed toward me. He wasn’t big enough to hold me.
I needed a whole Universe to teach me where to find God.

Get out of your hair. Obey without question. You wanted me to need you.
I did, for all the things you could never give.

Trust you. Believe you. Fit into your life right here where it’s convenient.
You wanted me to validate you, but that job is too large for a child.

You wanted me to love you unconditionally, but you are thorny and drew blood when I came near.
You were a perfect study in “Go away, Come here.”

You wanted me to respect you, but you could never teach me how.

Now, you want to be proud of me, but you are unable to see the humanity in me that is good.

You are aging and your mortality grows nearer. I imagine you want to see yourself in me –
an instinctual pull to reflect on the genetic contribution you made to the world.

You are sold on the picture in your mind of who I should be. Your limited vision is a chrysalis,
and I am a butterfly as multi-faceted as the sunlight on a dew drop.

The only one with a plan and purpose for me was God.
My destiny was to never be enough.

Until

I gave birth to my own daughter.

The only one with a plan and purpose for her was God.
Her destiny was to be everything she could possibly dream.

I wanted her to know that she was every dream I ever had
(Not never enough)

I wanted her to know that she was an answer to my prayers
(Not a mistake)

I wanted her to know that she was always a joy, even when it was difficult
(Not a burden)

I wanted her to know that she will make the space she occupies fit HER
(Never to fit into a space defined by another)

I wanted her to know that she is unchained and able to fly as high as she can imagine
(Never sit down, be quiet)

I wanted her to know that she is loved always, without reason, without condition
(Never loved based on conditions)

The life from you to me to her is as different as night and day.

Seeing the light of my own daughter makes me understand the depth of the void in your life. Seeing her humanity is a promise from God.

I’m sorry that the box you live inside locks out the light of your daughter and all the magic and divinity that I am. It’s not a loss to me anymore. It’s a loss to you, knowing you chose to let me go.

The only one with a plan and purpose for me to figure out was God.
My destiny was to be so much more than enough.

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Tammy Green is a writer of words, thinker of thoughts, hoper of hope, and Elephant Academy Alumni. You can read more of her words at www.wordsofgreen.com. She enjoys sleeping, eating, reading, running occasionally, and the company of Cora Belle and Rumi, her dogs.

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