On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today’s Prompt: write about finding something.
This is part 2 of 3. Part 1, An Autumn of Loss, can be found here. This story is fictional.
The snow had been settled on the ground for at least a week. It was a bleak winter, and it matched my mood: after a bad breakup in the autumn, I was still struggling to keep myself on my feet. I was a single mother again, and despite putting on a brave face for my kids, I was breaking apart inside.
That was, until one morning, when something within me changed. At first, I did not recognise what had happened: I made breakfast, sent the kids off to school and went to work without noticing that there was anything different about me. After all, every day was beginning to blend into the next by that point. Then the snow arrived and winter made its presence known; as the weather gradually worsened, the kids got time off school and I was advised to say home from work. By then, I had already started to overcome the autumn of loss. The rest of the work would be done by my kids and the kind of warm isolation that only winter can provide.
We stayed up at night watching television and playing board games. My oldest child decided to take up cooking several times a week and introduced us to a variety of new meals I had never tried before. I learnt more about their friends, become more involved in their hobbies, and we grew closer as a family.
That was when I realised that I had lost a significant number of things well before the autumn. I had never even realised that they had been missing, consumed by my relationship as I was. At some point within that relationship, I had lost the bonds I shared with my kids. I had missed out on some of their youth while I had been yearning to distract me from my sadness with a man rather than with personal fulfilment. I had become less of a mother figure to the children in that time; that winter, I discovered how much there was to regret about my selfish actions.
My kids, though, being the wonderful people they are, did not point out my flaws. They beamed with delight at my recovering involvement in their lives without mentioning my previous errors. I discovered more about myself, pushing myself to become a better parent, and in turn I was rewarded with the joys that only loving children can provide.
Yes, they argue occasionally, they get into trouble at school and they do not always behave as I would like them to, but nothing can destroy what we found in that winter, when we were stuck in the house, surrounded by the snow.
I found that romance does not promise happiness, no matter how desperately we seek it out, and that until we can realise that as individuals, we will never truly be able to love ourselves.
That was my winter of revelations. I discovered more about myself than I had ever known before. As the snow began to melt away, I wondered what spring might bring.