Families logo

The Strongest One

Life makes diamonds of us all

By Lisa VanGalenPublished 4 months ago 3 min read
The Strongest One
Photo by Tyler Mullins on Unsplash

Everything she did was for her two boys. To give them more than she ever had. Life dealt her cards that didn't fit together, and wouldn't provide a winning hand, but she refused to fold.

The money never stretched far enough and she often found herself forgoing meals to feed her sons. They needed it more than she did. After all, she had eaten the day before, hadn't she? And fasting was good for one's figure.

With only two years between her children, clothes could be shared, until they reached their teen years. Growth spurts made it challenging to continue the process. Shoes no longer lasted for a second pair of feet.

The cheapest sandals, the thinnest fabrics, and the poorest quality were all she desired for herself. There would be time and funds for the good things once they were grown.

Time crawled and raced. Jobs came and went. Birthdays, holidays, and school events were all recorded for posterity with none but her to care. Pictures on the wall, tucked into albums, hung on the fridge, fading over time until she replaced them with newer images.

Twenty years of experiences collected and remembered, a shared past and joined future. Letting them fly and possibly fail was a daunting idea, yet finally, she could live for herself alone.

If only she could remember who she was.

Her childhood left scars no one could see. They coloured her daily life, shaping choices and decisions, leading her on her solitary path. Adversity built a foundation from which she stood solidly, facing the words slung in anger, the slurs cast as she walked away from the man who gave her children and nothing else.

History crept up, haunting her whenever life tossed a curve ball. Doubt in her abilities needed constant reinforcement. A belief in something more. The community that once shunned her opened their hearts and doors. Time offered healing and support when she reached the end of the road. Where family turned away, turned her out, ridiculed and maligned her to the point of tears, those who saw her true self took her hand and helped her up.

Lighting the path for her sons, she stood tall, her tears brushed away and dropped to the earth, watering the seeds she had sown. The seeds of independence. Of confidence and self-reliance. Of understanding and compassion. A garden full of love and joy. The storms would come and batter them, destroy the small steps of progress, and sweep clean the path. Each new start gave better opportunities, and life choices for each of them to embrace.

Finding internal guidance, she bravely chose to be of service to others, helping shape young lives, and providing an example for those who felt abandoned, neglected, or overlooked. Gentle discipline instead of nonchalance, structure instead of chaos, goals instead of dreams, all presented with firm kindness and unwavering support.

And now, the boys are grown, walking their destined paths, the circuitous routes of each bringing them in and out of contact, their shared past an unshakable bond that distance could not break. Striking out to seek their fortunes, they looked back to see her watching proudly. They had done it. They had survived. Despite the odds, the torment, and the uncertainty, the world stood freely before them and they could have it all.

Time passes. The house is quiet. Their rooms, once strewn with childhood things, are spotless and lifeless. Standing on the edge of a new reality, the old fears stepped in to stop her.

"You're not good enough."

"You're not smart enough."

"You're not strong enough."

​"You're not enough. You will never be enough."

And yet she was. She had always been, and would always be



About the Creator

Lisa VanGalen

I am a panster by nature, discovering my characters as they reveal themselves. To date, my novel writing has involved the paranormal or magick within a more familiar setting, blending it with mysteries, police procedurals, or thrillers.

Enjoyed the story?
Support the Creator.

Subscribe for free to receive all their stories in your feed. You could also pledge your support or give them a one-off tip, letting them know you appreciate their work.

Subscribe For FreePledge Your Support

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

    Lisa VanGalenWritten by Lisa VanGalen

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.