My husband and I watched a show tonight. There was a touching, emotional scene at the end of the episode, during which the song Rise Up by Andra Day was playing. I’ve known this song for a long time. You might know it, too. My husband hadn’t heard it when I said it always really gets to me, so I played the YouTube video for him.
When I hear this song, it makes me cry. I’ve applied it to current events. Thinking of the Black Lives Matter movement and civil injustice. Thinking of class inequality. Thinking of the “Me Too” wave. And for myself, thinking of disability.
I’m fighting a lot of things. All of those mentioned above. Personally, I’m fighting depression and PTSD. Anxiety disorder. Fighting myself, my circumstance.
But I hadn’t seen the video before. And as it turns out, this video deals directly with care giving and disability. It just broke me down.
Recently, my husband told me that our kid is killing us. That more than us, she’s killing me, specifically. I understand why he feels that way sometimes, even though she gives him enormous joy. But I don’t believe that. I think that if I rise up, and I do, daily, nothing inspires me more than my children. The birth of my first daughter saved me from deep depression. I rose up for her. The need to protect and care for my second daughter, with special needs, keeps me going. If anything , negativity kills me. But I will rise up for my children. Their daily needs and the world around them, that now, seems a bit dark. Okay, a lot dark.
I watched Lucy sleep tonight. She has these freckles on her forehead near her temple. I’ve kissed her there a million times. She points out the freckles on her body and says, “OW.” And I tell her no, because they’re not like scrapes or bruises or the other things she recognizes as wounds. I tell her those are angel kisses. Eden used to notice her freckles and point them out, and I’d tell her, too. Look how many times the angels have kissed you.
And I believe it. I’ve kissed them so many times that it’s left marks. The freckles appear, where they weren’t before, because of the love left there. I’m no angel, but the angels know where the love marks go.
I’m so tired. Tired out by this life and the things I’ve lived and done. Tired from the day to day work. Tired out by the negativity and the news and the inability to predict anything for my children. But I still feel the little fire in my belly. I keep rising up. Maybe not as fast as when I was younger, but maybe stronger now that I’m older. And better than me, so do they. Kissed by angels. As we all have been, and all deserve to be. And I believe we continue. The age spots and heart scars…the kisses keep coming. Rise up, loves. In the big and small ways. All of us.