Once upon a time.
Words that start fairy tales. Stories that we all heard and believed at one time. Words that began journeys that, no matter what hardships, always had a happy ending. Words that I would hear when I was a little girl and they would take me away to places filled with magic and castles and wishes that came true. Words I used today that made me sad.
Once upon a time life was different. It was full and warm and just so much that I can’t find words to capture just how much it was. My house was loud and busy and I loved it. My boys were everything. My calendar was bursting with a schedule that was work and play and friends and obligations and so much that I look back and don’t know how it all worked. But it did work, wonderfully. Not always, but mostly…and I never thought it would change. But it did change.
Long before that though, once upon a time, life was different. It was hard and painful and sad. It was also happy and full of smiles and little boy kisses and hugs that made me forget about the horrible day-to-day of the marriage I was in then. My days were full of juggling diapers and breast-feeding and pregnancies and work and I loved it. My nights were full of fights and tears and pain that tore me apart and made me scared for what was ahead. I never thought it would change. But it did change.
Many years before that, once upon a time, life was different. I was young and tormented by my thoughts and feelings. I was too young to have the memories of hurt that I did and I didn’t want those memories. So I pretended they didn’t exist. I pushed away and I fought with myself and I tried everything I could to feel anything other than what I was feeling already. I didn’t see how things would ever be any different from how they were. But things did change.
Once upon a time life was different. It wasn’t how it is now. I’m too old and I have seen too much of life to believe anymore in fairy tales and happy endings. I’ve also been here, in some manner or another, enough times to know that even when it feels like things will never change, they do. There are days, like today, when that is the only thing helping me keep it together when all I want is to let it all fall apart.