Category Archives: parents

Conundrum (Part VII)

Conundrum (Part VII)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
3/14/11

The silence enveloped the room as I breastfed my daughter and gently rocked us back and forth in the large maple glider my parents had given me. Her ladybug light casted a soft glow in the corner of the room. I watched her suckle and with each blink caught the flashback of this exact moment with each of her sisters. With my oldest, I had this moment on my bed propped up against my pillows in my small studio apartment. I did the same with my second daughter, but it was in our house with her father next to me. I now sat in the makeshift nursery in my friend’s home alone with nothing but dreams and hopes.

The only recent contact I had with my husband was the divorce papers I was served the other day. I couldn’t get my head around the fact that I actually felt sad. We were coming up on a year of being apart and I couldn’t tell you the last time we even talked or he contacted the kids. So why was this hurting? Why when I had embraced and accepted that I was doing this alone, did I feel like I was losing him all over again? I consistently prayed that God hadn’t forgotten me. Sometimes I believed I was just having a pity party, and the rest of the time I tried to hold onto the faith that He had me in the palm of His hand.

I signed the papers and sent them in the return envelope. It was against my faith, but I had to let go. Would God forgive me for giving up? I had continually asked myself this question since I mailed my vows away. But unfortunately my time in prayer had to be spent praying for my strength to support this family and thank my friend for her patience with my situation. I didn’t know if God was going to answer my prayers. I guess part of faith was hope, and I hoped God heard my prayers.

So in the dim glow of the makeshift nursery in my friend’s house, I said a single line to a prayer I had always rehearsed in its entirety, “Thy will be done.” I kissed my daughter and placed her in her tiny bassinet. “Thy will be done.”

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Conundrum (Part VI)

Conundrum (Part VI)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
1/13/11

The test of strength forced itself upon my shoulders. My inner conflict of not wanting him in my life, battled the need of wanting to hold his hand as the contractions rippled their stifling pain to every delicate nerve in my body. But for each brief set of minutes that my body was given reprieve from the brutal attacks, I hated myself for thinking about him at a time that had nothing to do with him. So I had to force myself to focus on the voice of the nurse and not on the thoughts of abandonment.

That is what he had done to us. He had abandoned us. There were no more phone calls. The visits with our daughters had ceased . He had even gone so far as changing his phone number. Luckily I had made us a family before he left, so his disappearance was not surprising. Disappointing, yes. Surprising, no. I hate to say that it bordered relief, but I had released his failures to God, and kept it moving. I had no choice but to stand strong and guide my daughters through the loss of their father.

I tossed from side to side and when I opened my eyes, God took over. All thoughts of him left me as I tuned into my surroundings and felt my friend holding my hand and telling me how soon this would all be over. My oldest sat across the room on a loveseat and held her sister’s hand. Her anxious eyes never left me, and offered me more comfort than his hand ever could.

At the first cry of my new daughter, my past eight months no longer mattered. God had given me a new start and I wasn’t going to give a second thought to my past. Their future depended on me staying in the present. I cradled my new joy, with her sisters’ welcome crowding. As we crammed in the small mechanical bed, I made their sister the same promise I had made them when they were born; I was going to give her the world.

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Conundrum (Part III)

Conundrum (Part III)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
8/31/10

As a little girl, I always believed there was a happily ever after. The concept of spending forever with someone was perfectly logical. But some how life got in the way of me spending my life with my forever. So now the only life that existed for me would be spent alone raising three children.

I wasn’t going to share the news of my pregnancy with my husband. Instead I was going to allow myself the joy of telling him quite the opposite should he decide to care or ask. I really didn’t care how big my stomach got, I would lie to him as he so enjoyed doing to me. But the God in me wouldn’t allow me to join the devil, so I called him and said I was locked out of the house and needed his keys. Granted still a lie, but it was the only way I could guarantee he would come home. Funny I was so afraid to lose my forever, even when I was lying to get it to come home and see me.

Luckily it was a lie and I had my set of keys, because I would have gone the bathroom on myself waiting the 45 minutes it took him to get home. He arrived in the bedroom with a quizzical expression. I continued to paint my nails and with a stroke of the brush, shared my news. He punched a hole in the wall and left without a word. My tears didn’t break until I heard the front door close. I had promised myself the night he dropped me off to go to his mother’s, he would never see me cry for him again.

It’s not that it was my forever that was now lost, but this is not the forever I had promised my children. The moment the nurse placed my daughters in my arms, I promised them that their parents would give them the world. Not that I would give them the world, but we would give them the world. But now I truly had to wrap my mind around the concept that he wasn’t going to be here forever. I, solely, will be my children’s forever.

Days passed without return. The house no longer skipped a beat and I started to run my home as if he no longer lived with us. The third day he returned and searched the kitchen for his dinner plate. Because his forever consisted of dinner on the table or in the microwave waiting when he arrived. But like I said, in my mind, he no longer lived here. There were no leftovers. I cooked for three now…well four.

Work was grueling now. It wasn’t like my other pregnancies when I was working. I had to treat this job as the sole income for my family now. I already carried all of the benefits, but I really had to stretch each check to ensure it covered all expenses. As I came to realize, I was short $260 dollars. If I could come up with that, I could sustain our lifestyle. I took the money he gave me for bills and began to save. Little did he know he was being worked out of our lives.

As I returned home from work two nights after he discovered he was no longer going to be served dinner, my realization from weeks past came true. The girls and I ate. My oldest bathed my youngest, because bending and kneeling were just too cumbersome and painful now. She than took a shower. I read them a story and tucked them in. As I hunted for my bathrobe, I noticed the space in my closet. There was a small space on both the floor and the rack. He had taken his clothes and shoes. I quickly checked the drawers in the bureau, only to find the same emptiness. He was gone. My forever-their forever was gone.

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1,958 Miles

1,958 Miles
By: Mia L. Hazlett
7/20/10

To My Darling Daughters,

As of today my loves, we have spent a total of 26 solid days together, four of them traveling across the country. I must write to you and tell you both how much I love you. I’ve turned our lives upside down in the pursuit of the promised future I gave you both when you were each born.

I must start by telling you there are no two people that breath on this planet, that I could have spent four days, 1,958 miles with, in that un-airconditioned packed to the max van, while driving through our country’s hottest states. My darling Jazzy, the way you handled yourself when your sister spent the first two days carsick, brought tears to my eyes. Never a complaint uttered, you simply got the wipes and paper towels and cleaned your sister and took care of her comfort. You knew that pulling over was not an option since it was always when I was lost on the back roads of either Pennsylvania, West Virginia, or Virginia. And my baby Kaylee, you kept the love in the car the entire ride. When Mommy had us lost, hot, and hunting for food, bathrooms, gas, and hotels that allowed cats, your random “I love you Mommy”, reminded me why I was driving across the country.

The images I will always carry with me from that trip are, the opening of the hotel doors after unloading the last necessary bag from the car, to find you both standing in your bathing suits ready for the pool. You see after driving 8-10 hour days in a van with no A/C on maybe 6 hours of sleep; I was looking past the both of you to the bed. But because I promised swimming each night, off to the pool we went! I guess I will also remember bringing you to the pool the second night and Kaylee you threw up down the front of Mommy’s bathing suit. I had both of you crying in the elevator because we only had 15 minutes of pool time. I will always remember the look on that man’s face when the elevator doors opened and he hesitantly stepped on. I smiled and asked him what floor, as if the throw up came with the suit.

Know there were times of fear. Several times I thought for sure kitty wasn’t going to make it all the way to Houston. But by the divine grace of our Heavenly Father, she made it. Then there was our Monday drive, the scariest for me. I drove us from Virgina to Louisiana. My babies, I know I pushed you and I apologize. I gave us minimal breaks and my temper was short. Know that it was because I had pushed myself beyond my limits and by the time I actually started looking for hotels; I was physically and mentally exhausted. The hotels that I felt safe with, wouldn’t take cats and the ones that allowed pets, didn’t offer the sense of security I needed for us. And my darling Jazzy, by then you knew exactly what Mommy was looking for. You would tell me we were not staying at them before I could say anything. Understand by the time I saw the sign “New Orleans, 100 miles” I wanted to give up. I looked in my rear view and saw your faces and just called on the name of Jesus. I couldn’t even say a prayer at that point, but I know there is power in His name. I pushed through to New Orleans because I knew if I could just get us there and not find a hotel accepting of pets, your Auntie Jen would come and meet us. But like I said, there is power is His name, and He gave us the cushy Marriott 10 miles into New Orleans.

Knowing we were only six hours from our new start allowed us to really relax in New Orleans. Jazzy, your discipline amazes me. Each night we stopped at a hotel, it took me about three trips to unload the van. While I unloaded the van, you would hold school and you ensured you and Kaylee did your schoolwork. How blessed I am to have you.

I don’t know if you saw my tears when we saw the “Welcome to Texas” sign on that fourth day of driving, but know they were tears of joy. Tears of good-bye. Tears of a new start. Tears of we did it! Tears of we are blessed and highly favored. Tears of God promised, God confirmed, and God delivered us. My darling angels know that our God is an awesome God, because without Him we would not have arrived. We made it my beautiful young ladies. Welcome to Texas!

Love and God,

Mommy

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Sorry

Sorry
By: Mia L. Hazlett
Written: 10/19/07

The pain slowly seeps to every pore of my being. I cannot rationalize the words the doctor just spoke. He repeats the word, “sorry” with a gentle touch to my mother’s shoulder. Instinctively she pulls away, only to grab his arm for balance. He guides her to the chair that she had popped out of when she saw him appear from behind the “Employees Only” door. I’m not sure when my tears began, but I taste the familiar salty warmth as I slowly rock back and forth in my husband’s arms.

The funny thing about death, it’s final. Everything you wanted to say to that person dies with them. There is no, “I’ll tell them tomorrow” or “It can wait”, it’s just over. I try to tell myself that he already knew everything I was going to tell him, but I fail at suppressing my guilt. Guilt brought on by my own procrastination and lack of prioritization. Being a hypocrite, for the mere reason I have actually had the nerve to tell people they are not promised tomorrow. And I stand here with the guilt of putting a visit to the hospital off until tomorrow.

I finally collect myself enough to go and comfort my mother. She is rocking back and forth with a low moaning sound escaping her mouth. I can’t even fathom how her world just changed with those two words, “We’re sorry.” Those are words that are suppose to offer comfort, give you a sense of peace. They aren’t supposed to take your husband of fifty-five years away. My light rubbing of her back doesn’t take her out of rhythm, it only ceases her moaning and tears begin to roll down her face.

There are so many thoughts going through my head right now as I scan familiar faces in the waiting room. People trying to offer each other comfort after the morose news. I’m not saddened by my father’s departure. My father is…was…seventy eight years-old, so age compounded with his eight month battle with lung cancer doesn’t take you by surprise. It just hurts to know the only man you have known your entire life is gone. He was the first man in my life to love me unconditionally. The first man to fight for me. The only man that I can say I trust…trusted. And now he is gone.

My mother stands and slides her arm through mine with an unexpected strength. She wipes a strangling tear, smiles at me and tells me to take her home. My husband stays and does all the paperwork and my mother and I enjoy a silent ride home together. I don’t know what memories she is thinking about, but she occasionally lets out a small chuckle. We get home and I walk her into their…her… house. How can she be so strong, I wonder to myself. I straighten up the house and fall asleep on the couch. When I’m sure she is asleep I return to my home and join my husband in bed.

Being an only child, I try to figure out how I am going to take care of my mother. It’s not as though we didn’t help out with my parents occasionally, but they did have each other. But now that she is by herself, maybe she needs to move in with us. I ponder how I am going to ask her the question as I enter her side door. I call out to her and get no response. I tiptoe down the hall because if she is asleep, I don’t want to wake her. I peak through the door and see her tiny form confined to her side of the bed. I try to imagine what her first night alone must have felt like. As I continue to watch her, I notice something is missing: the rise and fall of the bedspread.

This can’t be happening! I rush to my mother’s side and try to stir her to consciousness, but her eyes are already open. She has a slight smirk to her mouth and a peace in her forever stare. I want to cry. But I am overwhelmed by the answer to my question. She couldn’t make it through her first night without my father.

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