“You can be anything.” She whispered.
Me looking down at my dirty keds on the shiny white hospital floor as she spoke.
I feel her finger gently land on the bottom of my chin. Her finger pulling my head up until my eyes met hers.
“You can be anything.” She repeats as her eyes fill with tears.
Now my gaze drawn to her like a magnet. Staring past her hazel eyes into her emotion. Into her soul.
“There’s so much I want to see you do.” Her voice cracks.
Her tears now overflowing her eyes and running down her puffy cheeks from the prednisone she has been on for now years.
My eyes follow the tears, dripping off her chin onto her thin hospital gown.
“You’re going to be fine, mom. “ I hear my voice lie as I wipe away the remainder of her leaking tears from her face.
She wouldn’t be fine. She died that night. The echos of her last words haunting me. Replaying over and over in my mind as if on a broken record permanently stuck on a loop.
I didn’t feel like I could be anything.
I didn’t feel like I could do anything.
Reminding myself at times to breathe. Forcing myself out of bed. Running away from school, from homes, from any form of responsibility. Wanting to dissolve, become as invisible as I felt.
“You could be anything.”
Haunting my every failure. Aware of my wasted potential. Denying her her last dream and wish from her death bed.
Failing at everything.
I began to pretend. Pretend I was someone else. Denying how I felt. Becoming silent. Festering in my shame. Thinking the real me was such a disappointment, I had to become something, someone else. Someone new.
Taking “You can be anything” to another level.
But feeling who I am bubbling under the surface. The little girl she believed in. The flare she still ignited, still a tiny flame. A spark.
Deciding to take a leap in my unbelief. Instead of focusing on my self doubt, I chose to believe in her faith. Borrowing it as my own. Believing she believed. And that magically having to be enough. The best I could do.
“You could be anything.”
Unable to communicate, I began to write my emotions, my fears. With the freedom, the choice, of still locking it away when need be. Still keeping them hidden from the world while written in ink. But admitting to a page what I could not speak.
Secret by secret exposing another level, breaking a shell. Her last words becoming my mantra. Depending on her faith. Her light. The beacon I would follow. Realizing, if I start with one thing, I might become something. That something might slowly build. If I kept going, those somethings could morph into anything.