Under Pressure

“Under Pressure” Pencil. 2000. (I covered up a section to avoid identifying a person.)

Being a mother is stressful. So is being a wife. And being a woman in general. I try so hard to be good at my many jobs and wear many hats, but most of the time I feel like I’m juggling and the joke’s on me because I can’t juggle. I put a lot of pressure on myself.

I’ve wanted to be married and be a mom for as long as I can remember. When I was in high school, I dreamed of falling in love, getting married, and having children right away. I couldn’t imagine not having children soon after getting married because I didn’t think I would be able to maintain enough conversation with a guy who would choose to be with me. I was so clueless. It sounds silly now because my favorite person to talk to is my husband, and only about half of our conversations are about our children. Continue reading “Under Pressure”

Beside Myself

“Beside Myself” Free Verse Poetry, Poetry Workshop, 2002

I’m amazed I didn’t cry
That night when I parked beside the lake
To talk to God.
I needed Him to listen to me
Because you would leave in eight hours.

I knew that fifty-two weeks
Would pass before I could see you or
Kiss you again.
Until you’re home, I’ll close my eyes and
Imagine you walking beside me.

It’s been forty-four weeks since
You left for overseas adventure.
Tell me, baby,
Am I still the only woman who
You can talk to for six hours straight?

More than I need the courage
I prayed for long ago, I need to
Hear your laughter.
It’s hard living without your soft brow
And your scratchy sculptor’s hand in mine.

-Brandi Easterling Collins

My biggest fear

Fear. It can be crippling. It can also change as we age. What’s your biggest fear right now at this moment? Will you have the same answer tomorrow?

When I was little, my biggest fear was abandonment. After my father passed away, my mother remarried the man who would end up raising me and shaping my life in ways I didn’t know were possible at the time. I was only four, which is how old my daughter is now. I didn’t understand everything that had happened. I just had a fuzzy memory of my mother holding me over the side of my father’s hospital bed and telling me to say goodbye. I hadn’t said anything; I’d just waved. Waving instead of speaking is something my daughter does sometimes when she’s apprehensive about something. She’s afraid of the dark and worries when she thinks I am mad at her.

Not long after my mother and stepfather got married, I began having a recurring nightmare. I think I was about six when it began and it happened several times during the next few years. I dreamt about having to go hunting with my stepfather, just the two of us. In the dream, he made me stand under the water in a creek so that he could stand on my shoulders and look for deer through his binoculars. When I couldn’t hold my breath any longer, I pushed him off my shoulders, and he fell into the water and hit his head on the rocks. He wouldn’t wake up. At that point, I would always wake up crying. Pretty twisted for a kid’s dream, huh?

Continue reading “My biggest fear”