I thought I would be dead by 27.
I don’t know why I had this number picked out but I remember an old head rapping to me about life the way that old heads do, and at one point, he said something about when he was 27 and I remember thinking, “I don’t got me making it that far.”
I was a wild teen. I was an even wilder young adult. I look back on my life and can see the hand of God, a hand that I couldn’t see then because I was busy ignoring blessings, but my life is proof of her existence.
So everyday brings me joy. Because I didn’t think I would be here. Most days, I feel like I’m in witness protection and I laugh to myself as I’m getting groceries out of the car or speaking to neighbors or cleaning off the porch.
I wasn’t supposed to be here. I was fighting for an early death. I was supposed to be locked up and yet, somehow, God just didn’t give up on me and here I am, running on borrowed time, trying my best to make her proud.
Watching my children be children brings me joy.
Watching my 1-year-old daughter try her hardest to be my 3-year-old son’s best friend and all the ways he tries to ignore her, makes me laugh. Watching her decide that she’s over it and then watching him fight to win her back. Watching them fight for their respective place in this world, watching the excitement from my son when he can finally say the word “caterpillar” without fumbling over the ending, watching my daughter make dishes in her play kitchen and then forcing me to eat everything she’s made.
I’m not one of those people who believes that you have to suffer in order to truly feel happiness but I have been on the other side of it and I’m grateful to have made it through to appreciate everyday as if it’s my last.