Most days it feels that I have no heart left inside of me. The torn pieces start to mend then are ripped apart again by rejection and hurt feelings.

Today I have my Freddie’s girls with me. They make the pieces fit together temporarily and give me some purpose. Today I woke up with the girls sleeping in the next room, I felt as if I mattered. I walked to the sink and felt inspired to make breakfast for them, I felt needed.

I repeated, out loud, I matter.

I have given up on a lot of things in the past year, even given up on myself in some regard, but I will never give up on them.

I have people who love me and those that hate me. I have people who pull for me and those that wish me to fail.

I am no different from anyone else, no different from those that judge or condemn me or my family. A life of pride, attempts at doing the right thing, and trying to love have broken me and broken my heart. And then my son died and took the breaks that were already existent and shattered them.

In the early days and months of my grief I was conflicted and confused with a large volume of sympathy. I wanted to be alone and couldn’t. And then as pieces start to move closer in the heart, you just wish someone would pay attention but they have gone.

I have lived a lot of pain and confusion in my life. Never really understanding or feeling as if I fit anywhere. A life of being different in so many ways. Outside of the bubbles and peering in, jealously. My life is a package of lessons for anyone that wants to learn. Many feeling as though the life they look at, me, is disposable and not needed. And others saying what a waste, or what a mess, or how sad.

I have accomplished and succeeded at things along the way. Each success meaning maybe a bit more than usual to me, because of the extra hurdles and internal things I have had to overcome. But, my happiness and pride of these things not understood…and taken as snobbery from many.

We do it to ourselves in some instances. Mostly from being trained over and over in situations. Words, looks, attitudes, reactions. They build up and make the bubbles thicker until they become walls.

Maybe I will die a lonely old lady, prediction from many, and maybe I will die tomorrow – confused and unfinished. Life doesn’t give us those answers in a clear manner. But, as I do keep living I do know that I matter to some little faces that look at me with love and care.

Today, I matter.

~Leslie Beery, The Surviving Project