[....] stretches as she sits in the silence of the morning planning the day ahead. There is so much to do. She hasn't been to the doctor in years and her body is telling her that something is not right. She hopes it is just age and stress and as she focuses on a proper diet, exercise and rest in the coming months, she hopes that she will feel better. During the school year her sick days must be saved for the kids.
A rueful laugh comes from somewhere inside of her as she remembers the person who didn't ask questions, the person who just let her employer know that she had to take care of herself and her children. "I won't be in tomorrow, I have to take my son to the doctor." or "I won't be in next Thursday morning, doctor's appointment." [...] could no longer afford that dignity.
That was a few children ago. That was back when she subconsciously felt that if she fell they would be caught. So all of the doctor's appointments are emergency appointments. She hears the debate in the press and in congress. Preventative medicine, they think this health care is avoided because of lack of insurance. It is, but it is also avoided because so many don't have anyone to watch the kids or any way to get to that appointment or because of fear for how our employers might treat them. Sometimes it is for fear of what they might hear.
So many days are spent fatigued, just pushing through. [...] has felt for awhile now that she was not enough and part of the bitterness that she feels is for the fact that all that is good in her children's lives has to come from her being and most days there is simply not enough for all of them. She once searched her ex on Facebook and saw him frolicking in the park with his other son, running through the tall grass like in some old feminine product commercial. Her own children beg to go outside but she will not let them go where she cannot see them and she is exhausted. That was the day that she realized her children had been replaced. That too took something from her. Something nameless that held her erect.