I wake suddenly, and for a moment, I forget where I am. I don’t know what time it is, but the darkness tells me it’s still the middle of the night. Quiet, unfamiliar sounds surround me: the click of heat turning on, the low hum of a refrigerator, a few footsteps echoing down from the ceiling above me. It is those footsteps that help me remember: I’m not in the house I once called my own -- I’m in my new apartment. Divorce requires compromise, so I was the one to move.
Faint light filters in through the window, revealing my daughter’s room. Other than the mattress that we’ve placed in the middle of the floor, the room is empty. It will stay that way until my parents arrive next week to help.
Next to me, my daughter sighs in her sleep. Her head is resting on my shoulder, her tiny hand grasping the t-shirt I am wearing. Because my eyes still haven’t adjusted to the dark, my other senses are working overtime. I breathe in her sweet scent, the one that has stayed with her since she was an infant. While I don’t yet know this place, I know that smell. Memories dance in front of me -- how I would rock her to sleep as a baby, my nose pressed against the crown of her head, our breath falling in sync with one another.
Although I am tired, I’m restless, and I lie awake, scared. Not because of the dark or being in this unknown place, but for my future. For my daughter’s future. This wasn’t the life I had promised her she would have.
As the morning slowly starts to make its way in to start this new day, I realize that the only darkness surrounding me now is the night. And even that night is slowly fading away to reveal a new chapter, a starting over, a new beginning. My breath slows at the promise these things hold, and finally, I fall back asleep.
When I open my eyes again, I’m no longer fearful. The fluttering in my stomach this time is one of excitement, of hope. And for this day, for this life, for this little girl whose arms are wrapped around me, and for this moment -- so full of promise -- I am grateful.
Minutes later, my daughter opens her eyes, and we realize it is snowing. We watch as the snow gently falls outside her window, covering the ground. The blank, white canvas it creates seems so fitting. We rise to this new day and begin unpacking; painting this fresh canvas with plans for our new life and future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: COREY
Corey is a marketing professional, graphic designer, writer, and single mom to her amazing daughter, Zoey. One of her favorite pastimes is working on her blog, The Nostalgia Diaries, where her goal is to simplify, enhance, and engage people’s lives by helping them focus on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.
Check out The Nostalgia Diaries at: