Last night I watched Finley fall asleep. I traced her hairline and kissed the palm of her hand as her eyelids flutter. Closed.
Closed, then open for one last peek, and asleep.
I inhaled the peace, the gentle rise and fall of her chest and the feather soft touch of her breath passing her lips.

This morning I listened. I was calm and quiet, allowing the words to hit my ears even when I didn’t want to hear them. I waited to answer, said no cutting words and found peace on the other side.

This afternoon I stood, though my legs trembled and my voice hid. I didn’t rush or skip, I said every word, made eye contact and let the enormity of my gratitude and debt pass through the room. Then I smiled and took the deepest breath I’ve taken in a month.

Tonight I let them make dirt stew in the pool. I let them eat on the white carpet. I drew them a bath and then read five stories in varying accents. There were cuddles, kisses, second cuddles and extra kisses.

It doesn’t always come easy, but I am making choices.

Choosing happy.
Deciding on now.
Moving forward, because the only looking back I want to do is on things I’m glad I did.