She cried out, “No, Mommy, Tuesday. Thursday is too long!”
Thinking she misunderstood, I repeated, “No—not Tuesday, but Thursday.”
Again she cried out, “No, Tuesday, not Thursday, Mommy!”
I couldn’t understand why she was agitated, but I agreed just to please her. There was sadness in my heart as I bent over to kiss her forehead. With this news weighing on my shoulders, I knew the time had come to use some family leave. The Family Medical Leave Act allows an employee to take leave for a personal medical condition or to take care of a new baby or sick family member. Although there is no pay for the time off, it would be leave I was entitled to. So the next day, I’d start the process for this leave.
That night the pain was deeper than my heart could bear. But I didn’t call anyone. I decided to drown my sorrows.
When I got home, I had a strong urge to listen to my favorite song by Mariah Carey, “I Don’t Wanna Cry.” The melody of Mariah’s high-octave vocals embraced my pain and sorrow perfectly somehow. I drowned my emotions in a bottle of booze — E & J Cognac, straight. I got lost in the emptiness inside myself. . . . I kept drinking anyway. Could I have sunk any lower? But the booze didn’t lessen the pain. It had truly been one of the worst moments of my life. There was this huge void. It felt as though I wanted to give up, just keel over and die . . . . It had become so darn hard to live my life. . . . The sadness and loneliness felt unbeatable.
“Why won’t you take away my pain? Take away this pain! Would you?!” I screamed . . .
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