So I haven’t been able to write for a while… a long while. I have tried more times than I care to mention and although I have had so much to share, so much to say, for some reason, I simply haven’t been able to put pen to paper, so to speak, for so long that even the concept of writing seems foreign to me now. My hands tremble as I try now. I feel as though I don’t remember how. If I hope that you will forgive my rusty hand and bear with me as I try and find my feet again.
I find myself at a point, once again, where this piece of paper is the only place I really have to turn, the only place I can really let it out, and so I will try again and hope that somehow I can find the words, somehow I can string them together and make them make sense in a way that will not only ease my weary heart but also provide some kind of inspiration for someone else, somewhere in this huge, crazy world.
In my last post, so long ago, I spoke about my desire to have a child, to be a mother. I mentioned how it was my goal to pursue that desire and make it happen despite the odds that were stacked against me. Well, life happened! In the time that has passed since then, I dug a very deep, very dark, very lonely hole for myself and in all honesty, stopped living all together. I survived day to day not knowing who I was or what I was doing, I did what I had to do, pretended to be the person the world needed me to be and wore the smile that everyone around me needed to see but behind closed doors I was numb, lifeless, an empty shell of a human being without purpose or meaning, lost and completely hopeless. Truth be told, I was just waiting to die. Although my cancer was in remission and my body was healing, my soul was broken, my heart was cold and my mind was convinced that my life was over. Yes, I do know how awful that sounds considered how what a miracle my survival is. I should have been alive and living every second to the fullest and I should have been doing everything that I dreamt of while I was lying on my death bed. That wasn’t the case though. I found out recently that it is actually a medical condition which is quite common for cancer patients who survive such advanced stages of cancer, it’s called the ‘transition phase’ and it is absolute hell!
I lived in that hole, in that ‘transition phase’ for quite a while, numb, cold, dead. And then, I woke up one morning and looked in mirror and said, “No more!” That was it. I knew at that point that if I didn’t do something I wouldn’t survive. I made the decision there and then to come back to life. To become Mands again. I changed EVERYTHING! I got divorced, I started doing make-up again, I started living. I forced myself back into life. I found that I was able to inspire people again; I was able to tell my story again, I was able to help people again. It was happening slowly but one day at a time I was coming back to life, I was becoming back to life. My business felt it, my friends saw it, my family saw it, but most importantly, I felt it. I was starting to feel alive again. Yes, I lost friends, I gained a few enemies, there were a million rumors and all that comes with a big life change but none of that bothered me because for the first time in so long, I was Mands, I was alive, I was free.
One day out of the blue I blessed with yet another miracle. Although I was on track with getting my life back, my heart was still cold and my soul still struggled with the concept of love and then, out of nowhere, God gave me back my soul. My BIG love, my soul mate, came back into my life after 9 years. I got another chance with ‘the one that got away’. We have such a history, such story…. That’s a whole new post on its own, but the important thing is, we got another chance. Yes, I had to fight for it, I had to fight hard! Fighting for Steve was like fighting cancer all over again, it was hard, it was long and there were a number of times that I came very, very close to giving up but it was worth it. It was always worth it. From the day I first saw his beautiful baby face 12 years ago, he’s been worth it. Life took us in different directions but love brought us back together….. 4 times! Now, I wake up every morning and I still can’t believe I get to see that face next to me, I get to hold that hand, I am going to marry that man.
Steve and I have had our share of tests over the years, more than ever over the past 6 months. First, just after we finally got to be together again, Steve had to leave to work in Nigeria for 4 months. That alone was enough to tear any ‘new couple’ apart. Not us though. We got through it. We faced a few very, very difficult challenges while he was away, apart from the distance, there were obstacles we had to overcome that broke both of us, some that we kept to ourselves and dealt with via long, tearful phone calls, worried messages and broken hearts, others that we shared with family and friends but, we made it through all of them and although those 4 months were the some of the longest months of my life, the passed and he came home. We made a promise not to waste any more time, this was our time! We had the most amazing holiday with my best of the best in Cape Town over December and came home to find out that we were expecting a little miracle. We were pregnant.
There are simply no words to describe how I felt when I found out that I was pregnant. I have waited forever to be a Mommy. Having a child has always been my biggest dream, my life-long desire. Hearing that there was a little person inside of me was the most amazing words I have ever heard anyone say to me and I have never been happier than I was in that moment. I could go on for hours about how I felt about that but unfortunately, right now; my soul simply cannot handle that.
Just after my birthday, Steve asked me to marry him, yet another moment that I doubt I will ever find the words to describe. Finally, I had my fairytale, I was alive, I was healthy, I was a Mommy and I was going to marry my Prince Charming, the man of my dreams. It all made sense in that moment, I knew then what the fight was for, I understood why I survived cancer, I knew why I had to go through all of the hell that this life has thrown at me. There was a perfect life waiting for me and it was finally here, I was finally living it. Steve, me, our baby and all of our fur kids were going to make the perfect family and it was all unfolding in the perfect dream.
Unfortunately, I am Mandy and this is my life and as I said in one of my previous posts, “Nothing is ever simple.” Yesterday, after a ‘maternal feeling” I made an emergency appointment and went to the hospital. Our little miracle, my little angel, is gone. I have had a miscarriage and I’ve lost my precious baby. I may only have been in my first trimester and to many, my baby was only an embryo and not a human being yet, but I really do not see it that way. To me, I was a Mommy, I had a human being inside of my body, I had a baby, which was my child. As far as I am concerned, right now, I am a parent who is mourning the loss of my child. Yes, I never got to look into those little eyes, I never got to hold that little hand, I never got to kiss that soft skin or cuddle that little body in my arms, but from the moment that child was conceived, I loved my Baby more than life itself. I was a Mommy and there is no one that can convince me differently. My little angel was born into heaven and is now alive and well in the arms of those who have gone before me to take care of my baby and prepare for the day that I can hold my child in my own arms.
Honestly, I am broken right now, my heart is torn and my soul is weak and weary from the stabbing pain that comes with the emptiness I feel in my body. This life has thrown some pretty hard curve balls at me but I must admit, this is definitely one of the worst. I look at Steve and I realise the pain in his eyes resembles the pain in me and there isn’t anything I can do, there is no comfort in this for either of us apart from the fact that we have each other and that we can and will keep trying. Although we will try again, we cannot replace the child we have lost. You cannot replace a human being, no matter how small, no matter how young. Trying again will not take away this loss and we will always feel this. No matter how many children we have, this will always be my little miracle, my little angel and I will always remember this little soul. May this precious little being rest in peace knowing that Mommy loves you forever.
That being said; I understand that I need to feel this, I need to mourn for my Baby, I need to cry, I need to be sad right now but I also know that I need to get up again, as I always do. I need to carry on, knowing that I can conquer this as I have everything else in this life, I need to stand up, wipe the tears from my face, the dust from my knees and keep walking because, I’m not done yet. My journey is not over yet and although life has once again tried to break me, I am a warrior, I am a fighter! I was built for this. I’ve got this. I’m still here and I am not going anywhere. Cancer couldn’t beat me, life can’t break me, I am a survivor!
If you have ever doubted that you can carry on, that you can fight another battle, that you can live another day…. Take a page from my book; take a step in my shoes. It is possible to overcome what this life throws at you. It is possible to get through the storm; it is possible to get over this mountain. You can do this. Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel, go through the hard times, feel the pain, but get up again, dust yourself off and carry on, there is so much more to this life, there is good in this world, there are amazing things in this life and you owe it to yourself to fight to experience them. Keep walking, keep fighting, keep living. You are an amazing human being!
I truly hope that of all the awesome warriors that have walked my journey with me are still me are still out there… I need you now! We’re in this together. I’m with you if you’re with me! As life throws a new battle at me, a new challenge, a new fight, I’m ready to go and I’m finally ready to inspire, to share, to move again. Are you with me?
Namaste, Forever and Always
One Day At A Time