The Night That Time Stood Still
Not everyone deserves a second chance.
I can still see it all so clearly yet it seems like a blur. How that contradiction is even possible is beyond me, but it is. I can attest to that.
My little boy was in the backseat. I can still hear his haunting words moments before my life changed forever. "Mommy, you're scaring me... Slow down!" Honestly I can't recall if he even finished the sentence before I felt my whole body being jerked to the left.
And that's when time stood still. It was like a slow-motion car accident scene that you see in the movies. I saw slivers of glass slowly fly around the front seat. I remember seeing blood splatter on the windshield and my head felt like it was floating as I caught a glimpse of the rear view mirror. That's when I remembered my son wasn't strapped into his car seat. I was too drunk to notice, or in all honesty too drunk to even care.
When did this happen? When did I go from being an over protective mother who wouldn't even start the car before triple checking the harness, to this, a mother (who didn't deserve that title let alone the responsibility of caring for another human being) who haphazardly threw her child into his seat and then proceeded to drive the vehicle with a blood alcohol level high enough to knock a grown man unconscious?
Right before my head hit my window, I saw him fly from his car seat through the air and towards the open window in the back seat. That image will never leave my mind and I don't deserve for it to. I deserve for that image to play on an eternal loop burned in my brain. Anytime my eyes are opened or closed I deserve to see that moment. When I'm almost asleep at night, I deserve to be woken up frantically thinking it's happening all over and over and over again... forever.
But there is someone who didn't deserve that though, someone who didn't deserve to spend their last seconds in a fear induced panic, not only afraid of his mother's strange behavior, but also moments later the indescribable fear that must have overtaken him as he flew out of the back window. He didn't ask for this, to have me for a mother, to live with constant instability, to not understand why his mom couldn't keep her eyes open long enough to feed him, why she drove so recklessly that even a 4-year-old boy could tell something wasn't right. And even more so, he damn sure didn't deserve this. But I did. I deserve all of that and much more. Maybe that's why he was taken from me. So he no longer had to live like that, no longer had to live in fear each day wondering when he would eat next or when Mommy would wake up or when she'd come back from a bender disguised as work. He's safe now. He's warm with a full belly. He's no longer afraid of anything while I live in eternal hell, as it should be.
I'm clean now. I got sober that very next day. I didn't do it because the accident was a wake up call that forced me to reevaluate life and my purpose here. Nope. In my opinion, I was no longer worthy of any of that hopeful stuff. I got sober because I decided I deserve to relive that moment constantly, clear-headed and wide awake. But you? You still deserve a wake-up call. You deserve to get a second chance at being the mother you were the day your first child was born. The mom who puts her children before anything and would go to the ends of the Earth to ensure their safety. The mom who would sing and dance just to make an owie go away.
So go, be that Mom. You may not feel like you deserve a second chance, but your children do, so if for no other reason, do it for them... before it's too late.