You’ve gotta get up and try, and try, and try
Gotta get up and try, and try, and try
You gotta get up and try, and try, and try

~ Pink

I look back and wonder how I did it.  How did the heartbreak not crush my soul to pieces and leave me to rot somewhere between the sheets?  How did I manage to drive the car?  How did I do my job and no one seemed to notice that there was this monumental shift that had happened to me, inside of me?

My kids.  And my dog.  All three of them made it so that I had to get out of bed.  They were my forward drive.

We live in an apartment.  A curse and a blessing.  A curse when the temperature is so cold that when you breathe in, you feel the ice crystals form inside your nose.  A curse because I could not just let the dog out into the backyard to write his name in the snow.  A blessing when we receive feet of snow and I do not have to shovel it.  A blessing when the wind howls past our top floor windows and I am reminded that not only does heat rise, but it is also included in the rent.

On what seemed like the darkest and coldest of mornings, I would drag my broken, crushed heart out of bed.  I would make sure that the kids were up and getting ready for school.  I would trade my pink striped pyjama pants for the grey sweatpants that were getting so big around the waist I practically had to double knot the drawstring.  I would pull on my cream, cable knit hat, and dawn my matching downfilled parka.  With my scarf pulled up to my nose, the dog and I would venture into what I imagined the arctic tundra would feel like.

I would curse him.  Ex-beloved.  On those cold walks in the early morning.  It would be -30 degrees celsius and all I could think about was how he left.  He left me with everything.  I had to do it all on my own.  The kids.  The dog.  Even the shit.  He literally left me picking up the shit, all by myself.

Without my kids, without my dog, I do not know what would have happened to me.  Maybe I would have spent more days in bed?  Maybe less?  Without the kids, I would have had a “real job”, and that would have been my forward drive.  The force that got me out of bed.

But the kids were my job.  The kids are my job.  Everyday I get out of bed for them.  Not only to take care of them, but to enjoy them.  To laugh with them.  To cry with them.  To celebrate their successes.  To share in their frustrations.  To watch them continue to grow into the wonderful young adults I have spent years devoted to.

I would do it all again.  The heartbreak.  Because of them.  I would not risk changing one thing in my past to have avoided this heartbreak.  To do so would put their existence at risk.  So I would do it all again.  For them.

And for me.

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