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  • Writer's pictureJessica Urlichs

Strong As a Mother

You ran in front of a car once, your hand slipped through mine and in split seconds I thought, I need you in this world, next to me, this world needs you. My arm somehow stretched across oceans to reach you while I held your sister in my other arm.

I flung you back, your name echoing in a voice that wasn’t mine.

I remember my hands shaking on the steering wheel the whole drive home.

When you were 8 months old you were unwell, it was winter and I was off to the midwife for your sister. I bundled you up in your woollens but you got a temperature. Suddenly you started going limp in my arms and shaking and then you vomited everywhere and my world stopped.

The ambulance must have travelled the whole city before it arrived. I stopped myself from falling into a million mosaics on the floor. I held you until my arms frayed at the seams and then I held you some more.

I remember the nights of dragging myself out of bed, my feet unravelling behind me. How I could hold myself up anymore, my eyes barely open, leaking tears.

But when I looked into yours I’d see the mountains I would move.

When I brought you into this world, I kept saying, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t and yet somehow, I did.

A lady with a clip board sat on my couch once while you cried in your bassinet. You were 3 months old, she told me you’d learn and to be strong. So with that my feet started moving, I stitched up my heart and I scooped you up.

Because I realised, I was.

Mothers are, even in our weakest moments.

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