To Arthur and Grayson.
You made me an Auntie. The greatest gift you could have ever given me. A role that I have loved having every second so far. What you boys might never know is you also made me stay.
Your parents fought hard to bring you here. They chose to love each other through the pain, the tears and the waiting. That love kept you safe until you arrived.
On that day, once we knew that you were both safe and your Mum was safe, we all felt so much love. It was scary at first and there were some hoops you and your Mummy had to go through. But you all remained so brave and you kept fighting. Your Mum is amazing. Your Dad is supportive. Both of your parents are so strong and loving.
They kept you safe.
Just after you were born, your Auntie G fell. She was pushed and she fell into a dark hole. When she landed at the bottom, she realised her heart had shattered into pieces. Her life felt meaningless. Nobody could fix it. The person who pushed her walked away and disappeared.
Your Auntie G had to sit there in the hole for a long time, wondering if there was any point trying to climb out. She didn’t want to be here anymore, feeling so much pain.
While nothing else really mattered, you boys were my hope. You boys growing were my strength.
My reason to stay.
The times you both smiled and grew bigger, laughed and made funny noises, snuggled and held onto me. All of those times made me realise I wanted to be here for you.
I didn’t want you both to grow up only knowing your Auntie G through photos or stories. I wanted you to know her because she was there.
People reading this will think I’m being selfish. Because surely they should have been my reason to stay. In their own happy lives full of love. With full hearts. Giving me advice to heal. Telling me to breathe when my problem was… I was breathing. The people telling me I seemed so much better; I wasn’t. I think they tried to help, but couldn’t see how much pain I was feeling.
I tried the things they told me to try.
Your Auntie G climbed part of a mountain to try and find her way out of the hole. Even that wasn’t enough. She tried living again. None of it worked. None of it mattered.
At the time, I didn’t care. I didn’t care about anything else. There was no reason for me to continue a meaningless life where I would never be loved.
But you boys. You were my reason.
You will always be my reason.
The two of you reminded me how to climb out of the hole. You reminded me that there was always good and love. There was always hope. You made my heart learn to put its own pieces back together. It might not look perfect and it still has cracks but it’s healing now. Because of you. I will be there to laugh with you, teach you, help you. I will listen to you and guide you. I’ll sit in silence with you if that’s what you need. Because your Auntie G loves you both so much. With her whole, broken heart.
You boys were my reason to stay.