As I cleaned up my mother’s house, a rush of emotions filled up inside of me. A lot of good and bad things happened in this house.  My mother was a hell of a woman. I didn’t understand her.  I never thought anything negative about her, but I wondered why she acted and treated us the way she did. It felt like yesterday, that I was here asking her to borrow the car to go to school, and now she’s gone. There's a heaviness in my heart for her.  I felt that she was a young girl trapped into motherhood. My dad left her a long time ago, but she acted like he was always there. My sister never got over dad leaving, and I was too young to remember why. My mom would say that he's crazy. She would always tell us to never marry a man who came from a family of whores. I never met my father’s side of the family, so I guess my mother knew more than I did.   As I opened the closet in her bedroom, a binder overfilled with papers caught my eye.  I was never allowed in my mother’s closet. She would quickly get upset if I ever came near the door.  As I reached for the binder, majority of the pages fell onto the floor. I grabbed the pages then one page quickly caught my attention.

May 2, 2009

 This is my last entry about my life. I've been diagnosed with cancer. I didn’t want my girls to know what I 'm going through. I told them that I get tired here and there, but nothing to worry about. They have had enough suffering in their lives from me to add more to it. I love my babies. I know I wasn’t the best mother, but I did all I could to protect them from harm. God, they deserve the best in life. Both of my girls are educated and working. I tried to finish at Central University, but I got pregnant before I even started. Everyone told me not to have my baby, but I couldn’t do it. Jeff told me that he would be there for us, but he was selfish as hell.  After Jennie’s birth, Jeff was gone. Jennie to this day thinks Ed was her father, but he wasn’t. I lied to my girls, but God knows the truth would burn even more. I ask for your forgiveness. I know my life has been one hell diver after another, but I need to cleanse my soul. I’m dying and the only person who knows is you. Please God, let my children forgive me. Let me  forgive myself. I want to finish my story, but holding this pen pains me so. Jaya and Jennie are my life and I want them to know that I love them both.

                                                                                               Excerpt from Pieces of Peace 

© 2021 Natalie R. Arnold. All Rights Reserved.