Eden Sterlington is one of those. I reached out to her after reading several of her LinkedIn and Facebook postings. We exchanged several lovely messages and comments. When I asked her to guest blog, she was immediate. Yes. When I read her post, a tear fell down my cheek. It was beautiful and real, exactly what I expected.
Eden is the author of SatisFillment: Your Proven Pathway to POWER Action Guide (SatisFillment: Your Proven Pathways to Power, Passion, and Peace of Mind). But there's so much more to her story. Please visit Eden's websites at http://www.intimacyofficer.com/ and http://www.getbacktopassion.com/.
I was alone in my studio apartment; living in Maryland at the time. I was 30, single, childless, gainfully employed, and 600 miles away from my family. I wanted it that way. I was enjoying discovering who I was independent of family entanglements. Little did I know that very soon, those entanglements were going to be my rescue.
I followed the instructions exactly. Some things you just don't want to be wrong about. It wasn't the first time I'd missed a period. I'd been on the Pill for years. I was accustomed to an occasional missed period. I wasn't pregnant then. I'd never been pregnant. I didn't feel any different now. Surely, something as life-altering as pregnancy would at least feel different.
The test was positive. I was going to be someone's mother. This was not my intention. My “relationship,” as it turns out, was only exclusive on my side. When I let him know, he wanted me to have an abortion. When I refused, he moved to the US Virgin Islands. Suffice it to say, I got his point. I also promised myself and my baby that if he got back in, it would be on the child's terms−not his.
Fast forward 40 weeks. I'm back home with my family−the only help I could count on. In the stirrups after 28 hours of labor, I finally met her. I met Mommy's little bodily organ rearranger. She was a warm, soft, well-swathed little lump in my arms. Her tiny eyes struggled to focus. I held her closer to my heart. She calmed down. I introduced myself; seemed appropriate somehow. After all, I knew all about her. She only knew me from the inside and the sound of my muffled voice.
In that moment, I believed I understood unconditional love better than I ever had before. It didn't mean that she wouldn't make mistakes; it didn't mean that she wouldn't make BIG mistakes. I knew she would make bad decisions, do wrong things, exhaust me in a way no one else ever would. But the unbounded trust and love I saw in her little dark grey, blinky eyes pierced my fear, sadness, abandonment, and overwhelm straight to the center of my heart and the core of my soul. The love I had for her was different than ANYTHING I'd ever felt or would ever feel again. I knew she was counting on me for everything. I purposed in my heart, I would use all my remaining breaths not to let her down.
Fast forward to the present. She's 17 and preparing for college. She is unquestionably the best thing I've ever done in my life. She still leaves lights on when she leaves a room, she only answers her cell phone “sometimes” when I call, and she can wreck a room faster than anyone I know. She's a teenager. She's a popular teenager. Weekends are never our own in our tiny apartment. It seems I get to lease a regular rotation of other people's daughters week after week.
At the same time, she's beautiful, healthy, smart, funny, compassionate, and artistic. She's blossoming into quite a young woman. She's more focused than the average teen. Her ambition is to be an engineer. Her dream is to appear on the covers of Time and Newsweek at least once. I admire her conviction. She's my Shero! She's been through a lot with me. Yet, 17 years later, one thing hasn't changed. I will still use all my remaining breaths not to let her down. She shares her heart with me. She trusts me with her feelings. We communicate openly (I always make sure I'm sitting down first). Most of the time, we even like each other. We always love each other, but liking each other is another dimension of “groovy” that is absolutely miraculous to achieve.
I became a mother by surprise. She became my daughter without her consent. Together, we have forged the bond unbreakable. She will forever and always be my “Pooh.” My life has been forever changed by a title I wear with the greatest honor−Mom.