frogs

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ONCE UPON A TIME.. …

a frog fell in a pot of water that was on a gas stove. The frog swam around happily without a care in the world.

Soon, the temperature of the water started to rise but the frog managed to adjust its body temperature accordingly. Although it wasn’t the worst of situations, he figured he would just be uncomfortable and a little unhappy because he wasn’t MISERABLE; so he tolerated it. But as the water started to reach a boiling point, the frog was no longer able to adjust its body temperature according to the water temperature.

“OH CRAP!”, Thought the frog,”I have to get out of the water soon!”

The environment he was in was too hot, it was NOT good for him! The frog tried to jump out of the pot but with water temperature was reaching its boiling point. the frog didn’t have enough strength to get out! What was the reason that a frog couldn’t make it?

Of course you wouldn’t blame the boiling water, would you? NO! The frog couldn’t make it due to his own inability to decide when he should’ve jumped out. We all need to adjust to situations occasionally, but there are times when we need to take the appropriate action (a LIFE CHANGE) when we have the strength to do so before it’s too late.

I’ve spent the last three years hearing story after story about why people need a life change. And when a life change is offered to them, they stay in the hot water. because it’s bad, but not too bad. No matter what you do in life, I encourage everyone to take the appropriate LEAP of faith when they feel it in their soul, rather than remaining complacent..

Because, I mean, the frog was complacent; for a bit, anyways.

~~ posted anonymously with permission to edit and repost on guiding hope

 

****

Growing up I witnessed the adults in my life muddle through their existence with fear and contempt. Metaphorically speaking, my young mind saw them as paid criers at a funeral, ringing their bells and mourning a person they never knew. The deceased ultimately came to represent the life they rejected. The hope they hid that eventually went out in a small puff of smoke. They knew they were to mourn but the who and why was lost on the paid cries.

I took this all in and rejected it. I suppose one could say this was my very first, and most important, life change.

I did not want to be my mother trapped in a mean and vicious mental illness. One that hurt everyone around her; Nor did I want to be my grandmother who stayed in an unhappy marriage because she accepted the unhappiness like a brick tied around her ankles, jumping into a river of deep depression every so often. There was also my grandfather, a man I loved with all the love a small child could give, but also knew his love had a limit based on my gender.

****

I have had many life changing events, choices to be made; to remain in that boiling pot or to jump out and hop away. Much like the frog, abandoning my current sinking ship is not an option; so the question that is begged is what other options is there for the frog of my life and current circumstance?

My answer is to blow out the fire on the stove. To have faith the owner of the pot thinks frog legs are nasty and the guest he was cooking me for is now gone. So there will be no relighting of the stove.

That works, for now.

The second beginning: an introduction to becoming self hosted

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The second beginning: an introduction to becoming self hosted!

My entire life I have lived in a valley surrounded by mountains with no way out. The voices of the world above me are carried by the wind with gusts of laughter and the tail end of conversations that die out on my ears. I have been abandoned in this gulch by my first love, the most important love in the life of any human infant.

Crying out to the voices above has become fruitless so the tears stop. This infant is now considered a good and happy baby. But, one can wonder what the voices would think if they could see the valley in which this child lives. Her body is useless at this stage, barely discovering how to manipulate her own hands. But the mind is strong. It is her foundation to which her entire life will be built, and it is sturdy.

The valley to which she was abandoned is not her end, her mind did not leave her exposed to the elements. Instead, it created a world of its own to cradle the fragile body until it was strong enough to crawl, walk and eventually run; to one day grow strong enough to build steps that would allow her to rise up to greet the voices. To become a part of the world above.

**

With each word written or typed I am building my staircase. I’m not sure how close I am to the top, but i’ll keep going. Who knows what will greet me at the top of my mountain, or if anything will greet me at all. Who knows, I might even want to go back down the stairs to the valley that has been my cradle since birth. But, only after the top has been seen and the mountains conquered.

**

I was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder at the age of 11 when I finally entered treatment after my father’s suicide. Since then I have had the entire DSMV thrown at me.

There came a point, at the age of 19, when I threw that stupid book out the window. I was tired of living in a box created by voices on the wind. So began my journey of self discovery.

I do not live by my diagnoses. They do not own me. But, to save time; actually, to save myself from having to come up with a million cheesy and poetic metaphors, I will use the correct terminology.

My childhood RAD diagnosis has morphed into lord knows what, insecure or avoidant attachment? All I know right now is the primal part of my brain lived in that valley described above since birth. As an adult I love people by nature but hate them by nurture.

Even for an adult RAD, there is hope. I was born with a mustard seed of hope in my heart and if nothing else survived my infancy and childhood, hope did. So, at 32 and with 4 children of my own what other choice did I have but to guide that hope? No, not just guide it, to plant it in soil and let it grow. Give it a voice because even a plant can sing if you know how to listen.

**

I gave birth to my oldest at 17 alone and in foster care. I had chosen to keep him and eventually aged out of the system and he was placed into my custody.

Teenage pregnancy is hard. For most girls in my situation it could been seen as an impossible situation; My sons father was an alcoholic drug addict, my mother psychotic, and I had been bounced around between family since the death of my father. I only followed my mom to arkansas from texas to be with my siblings.

But, I never saw my oldest in that light. I saw life in my belly, felt life; hope for his future. I will admit that I did see him as someone that would rescue me, and boy did he. He is my first step in what would eventually become my staircase leading me to the top of my mountain.

Giving birth is funny. Not funny haha, but funny as in mindblowing; for me anyway. I loved giving birth, it was more addictive to my deprived brain than crack. Something happened to me in those short hours before each of my children were born. I taped into something primal.

The closer a woman gets to delivering the more she shuts down. Voices become dull echoes that are barely audible and the optic nerve stops processing pictures to the brain. All she is left with are basic, animalistic senses. Her mind is in control as its most basic level. This moment is when magic can happen, if you’re in need of that kind of magic. It is like a gap in space and time where the soul of a person is in limbo. In that moment, despite giving birth, my brain also recognized an opportunity to gain more steps for its staircase. Pretty badass, huh?!

By tapping into my primal self I was able to begin healing at a primal level. Giving birth to my children was also my rebirth. And thus, my journey began; again.

I recognized what was happening with the birth of my second son, a little late but nonetheless. I did everything humanly possible to give my children a solid foundation and in doing so I was also rebuilding my own foundation. I did not parent my infants based on any one fad such as crunchy or whatever stupid word people want to label themselves with. Nope, I listened to my gut. My instincts are my biggest ally.

I never put my babies down. They were held constantly and I responded to every whimper. They nursed as they saw fit and my fat butt made a permanent indent on our couch. My babies slept in my arms from day one, put in a carrier on my chest when out and about and I knew their language before they learned to talk.

I have had so many people tell me I lose myself in my kids and it always makes me laugh; its an inside joke with myself. I don’t lose myself in my kids, they are the reason I ever discovered who I was!

**

Finally, if you made it this far congratulations, you have read a lot! Beware: that was just the introduction.

Eventually, as my voice rises I hope to offer a safe place for other people’s voices. But, all in due time.

The end.

floral print curtains

 

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I am constantly dreaming of houses and it is easy to assume that they all represent my state of mind at any given time. At this exact moment I don’t have to be asleep to know the state of my house. It is a quaint shack set in the heart of the dust bowl during the depression.

Standing on the front porch one can see for miles. Windmills turn slowly like deflated soccer balls, hot air with little to no humidity offering nothing more than chapped lips. The wood of the house is worn and faded, not warped but ageing with grace with a silent grey tint to the grain. It is a modest house.

 

The curtains flutter outside the open window offering color against the dull, brown scene of dust and tumbleweeds. They are a floral print that adds charm. A visitor might assume the curtains were the inhabitants desperate attempt to add charm to ruins but that is not the case at all. The house itself is plain, even dull; but its foundation is sturdy. The decor is not fancy, not thrown together out of desperation; it is modest flares of color against the muted tones of circumstance, a depression like era. New colors added every so often as times change and the economy shifts.

 

No, these curtains don’t flutter lifeless and pathetic in the stale breeze. They are a reminder that with each day times change, things get just a little easier.

 

**

 

My subconscious does not have to gently remind me of where I stand mentally; I am consciously aware, and I am ok with it. I know what is happening as it has been happening for a very long time and I am just now finding my peace with it.

 

The floral curtains I described above represented my desperate need for a mother; not even my own mother, but all that having a mother entails. Its like a julia roberts movie where she plays an awkward, socially inept waif standing in a ballroom in her jeans trying to dance and do fancy ball room stuff. I watch mothers and daughters in normal, healthy relationships and I am dumbfounded, I dont understand. I used to get jealous and think how lucky these daughters were to have that kind of relationship; that it must be a rare occurrence and they should consider themselves lucky. But that is not the case at all. The more I see of the world the more I realize that it is my own relationship with my mother that is the rare occurrence. Our relationship is not the norm like once believed.  

 

I feel a mike drop coming on. Like someone just got told off or put in their place and its now time to walk off stage. But, I want to be gentle with myself as it is an old scar.

 

It hit me yesterday that I am mourning my mother as if she had died. The mind is funny like that, serving to protect itself by any means possible; even if that means mourning the living. Following this realization I also came to understand I was holding on to something that would never come to fruition.

Years ago,  in college , I had to interview a psychologist for a psych paper. The paper was over borderline personality disorder and the one thing that stuck with me, 20 years later was his response to the question, “do borderlines ever recover?”

“With age they tend to mellow out, and yes, some do recover”

 

I have held onto that quote for a very long time, holding out hope that one day that would be my mother. I would have forgiven everything, removed every tear from my memory in order for that quote to become true. Surprisingly, it did sometimes. My mom’s illness is like a raging storm in the middle of the ocean. Every now and then, twice to be exact, the storm quieted and the sun came out. She acknowledged everything she had done and even apologized. As said before, I dropped all my pain off at the pound like an abandoned puppy and opened my heart back up to her. But the ocean is unpredictable. There is always another storm brewing. Just as quick as she was to ask for forgiveness she was back at it, disowning me as her daughter and telling me I was dead to her. What a mind fuck right?

 

It is not all doom and gloom though. When someone dies the living go through a period of mourning and then they move on with life. As macabre as it is to mourn the death of the living it allows one to move on; no longer holding on or being tied to false hope. It allows for new hope to bud and to become more than just floral print curtains fluttering in the dust.

Thank you kelly clarkson 

https://youtu.be/CTTjLxXFg0k

*click the YouTube link. It’s the most relevant song I have ever found. 

When I was a kid you tore up my room looking for my words. I don’t think you did it because you were worried about me, though. I think you did it because I was your competition.

How can you compete with a kid? You were grown and could do whatever you wanted and I was a nothing. Powerless. Maybe I’m on to something with my words, stumbling across answers as I  type. Is that why you wanted my journals and diaries? Maybe I was strong and you hated you could not dominate me. I was your first living baby and maybe you fed off being able to dominate and control. Maybe I fed your soul. You could manipulate my love for you to fill your broken cracks.

Mom, im assuming you are reading this. Unless you have changed so much in the past 5 years that I don’t know you anymore. Or maybe you quit tearing stuff up to find my words becsuse I’m not a kid you can control anymore and I lost my appeal.

There is so much I need to say to you without you attacking me. I want to start with your own words, that I forgot. I didn’t forget. That’s my problem, I can’t just forget. I remember you trying to get him off me, I do. I also remember the fights. But my anger comes from somewhere else. You did not rescue me. The first time I knew you would. The second time I hoped. But, I had to grow up and realize you were not going to stop him. I was on my own. You left me hanging.

I walked in one day on you talking to molly mae. You asked her, “why does she love you so much?”

You were jealous of molly mae because you were jealous of my love for nanny. All my love was supposed to be yours. I get that I guess, but not really because I want as many people to love my kids like I do as possible.

I want to tell you why I loved molly mae.

When you were having surgery on your ear to remove the Tumor (is that right, it was a tumor in your ear?) I got off nannys couch scared. Out of the blue I just wanted you and I could not stop crying. That’s when nanny and I began sewing molly mae. So, you see? Molly mae came to me in a time of uncertainty and fear. From that day forward she absorbed my fears. From nightmares to pain, she was there for me. She was a stuffed rabbit and at 32 I still see her as more than a needle and thread. But her birth was because I missed you.

I don’t miss you anymore. I miss the thought of you. I look for a mother in every female friend I have, so, I dont make friends easily. I don’t want to be a burden.

But mom, thank you. Because of you I never stray to far from the sidewalk (thank you kelly clarkson). I have learned to play on the safe side of the street so I don’t get hurt  (you need more music in your life, mom).

You are broken. Don broke you. Papa, nanny, the bullies at school. They all broke you and you passed down your broken pieces like an Olympic torch. But I put that flame out, im not into sports much these days. 

Petrified wood 

If i were to write a book, where would I start? My earliest memory? I have a couple of those. 
But which one came first? No, I won’t start there.

So then, where? Maybe this can be my start.

It’s 3 am and I decided to blog on the meaning of it all and stopped blogging when I found myself reading about nihilism. My college days are long over!

Well, truth be told the baby pulled me out of that mess, thankfully. For a belief in nothing it’s sure annoying.

   From the time I could hold a pencil I saw the power of silent words. Words that I could do anything with. They could be thrown away and be lost forever, burned as if to exact revenge, or be shown. It is the latter that I held on to like a door I could one day walk through.

I held my silent words close for a very long time; collecting spirals and diaries in a now vintage kids suitcase. My memories fade, even the pencil lead on my first diary is faded, but the words remain; like a tree turned to stone.

Yes, this will be where I start. With the blog entry that I will not complete but it is the one that journeys the life of one tree. A tree that may have been a giant, like a red wood, or as graceful as a weeping willow if it had been allowed to grow. Instead, this tree was cut down too soon to be sanded and sharpened into pencils, paper, furniture etc.

Wood will warp and break but stone can be chiseled. Petrified. I don’t want the tree to rot away and die and I sure as hell won’t let carpenters throw away scraps because they made a mistake.

So, I want to be like petrified wood. Sealing my past in stone so I can bring forth new growth.

  Friday, March 31st, 2:25 am:

” It’s times like these I wish I had a keyboard instead of typing this up on my phone; but some things need to be said regardless of the means used to get it out.

By posting what I write on this blog instead of saving to just delete later I feel like what is inside me is being sent out somewhere. There’s healing in allowing myself to believe hell has a point, that my suffering is not in vain.

Even the hell in the bible has a point. So, my hell does too, except I’m not dead and when I do die, I won’t end up in hell.

Nihilism is a dangerous propaganda that started as a thought and was thrown into the world to sow seeds. What is funny to me is even the belief in nothing has a point; nothing!”

Therapy in my dreams 

​I write the most at 3 am 
I Blame my inner screams on the silence and the dreams that wake me up triggering my fingers to type.

I don’t want to write; to think, or to feel. At least not feel the emotions that are prompting these words. I have been hell bent on healing and finding a soft patch of grass in my mind to rest my tired soul upon; and for that reason alone I’m typing despite my distaste for the uncomfortable emotions.

Tonight, it is my dreams that are causing me to squirm. I can’t name the emotion because I don’t know what to call it. Sadness, maybe, mixed with a little panic. That’s it, I woke up feeling panicked.

I dream about my husband a lot. That he is going to decide one day he has had enough and leave me. In my mind this fear is founded, because everyone leaves in the end, it’s just a matter of time.

I spend entire relationships trying to avoid this end, a type of death. If I’m not trying to fix it before it happens I cut people off, leave them before they leave me; or I avoid relationships altogether. The latter of which I turn to most often for it the least heartbreaking.

In my most recent dream I know this is what is going on with me because of the scene that followed. I dreamt of my mother.

She had bought the kids and I food, McDonald’s to be exact, but dumped it in the sink and ran water over it before anyone could eat. I yelled at her saying, “throw mine away, but not my kids. You will not hurt them like you did me. This is abuse” and the word abuse slithered out of my mouth like a snake smelling prey.

If I had woken up to a busy house then I would have been able to shake these feelings, they would have gotten lost in the chaos of motherhood. But instead, I woke up to a sleeping family and I am left to actually sift through the emotions.

I have an amazing therapist and I wish I could call her right now. If I could, this is what I would tell her.

I would say I am becoming more secure in my relationships. I’m allowing my husband to touch me whenever he wants, in fact
I am even initiating touch. I would say I’m sorry for canceling my appointment today, that I’m avoiding it because things are getting hard and uncomfortable.

But the words that are hidden so deep are the ones that need said the most
but I can’t bring them to my tongue. It is the belly of the beast that tortures me.

I just want my mother to love me. Sometimes, I think to myself, any mother will do. I silently pray somebody will stand up and fill that void in my heart and become a surrogate mother but in truth, all I really want is for my own mother to accept me. To love me.

And with that, im putting these emotions to rest and moving on. 

What is “God”?


​My foster parents hid behind the concept of God like snakes in a man’s shadow. Innocently using him to keep cool, having the man believe they were non venomous. 
I wonder if I came out of my foster home with a form of PTSD from years of a cult like mentality, I think I did.

I was chatting with a new friend one morning, years after getting out of foster care, when she said something that sent me running; physically and mentally.

My foster parents never watched anything higher than a PG rating, only listened to gospel, ate only the freshest and healthiest food. They were the epitome of self control and piety. But I knew the truth and rebelled against their game, im surprised I ever had anything to do with God after they got rid of me.

Back to my story. I invited this new friends son to my oldest son’s birthday, and she politely declined stating they don’t watch that kind of stuff because of religious beliefs.

She was a sweet woman as far as I could tell but her words grabbed my spirit and threw it down a dark hole. I relived the fight from my foster home, the struggle of never being worthy of God. I was taken back mentally to never being good enough, always the bad girl. I hated it, so I excused myself and left, never speaking to her again. I felt bad for bolting on a new friendship, but after that trigger every word from her or interaction would be a trigger.

I had some time alone this morning and this interaction crossed my mind. It made me think of a lot of things, but mainly, what is “God”?

I saw God as they did, I lived that mentality; but I saw a different man in my dreams. The God I saw laughed at my stupid jokes when I prayed. The man in my dreams spoke to me gently, but sternly. He was a friend, a father, and confidant.

I was so mad for such a long time. I always asked him, “if you love your children so much why do you hurt them? Why did you allow so many people to hurt me?”

One day it hit me though, how this world works. My bitterness towards being a chess piece was absolved when I realized someone that loved me was moving pieces to my personal game to bring me closer to the truth.

To this day, I live like a skiddish rabbit. Always ready to bolt when someone entering my circle so much as sneezes. But God, he never bolted. Every so often I will get a gentle nudge that he is still there, whether it’s in the form of a “band aid” or another trustworthy, patient person coming into my life.

Just about everything regarding my personality is a contradiction. I’m in a constant state of confusion about most things, but the one thing I do know for sure is what God is not. He does not harbor snakes, and he is not a snake charmer. 

Session 1

********

    I no longer have any secrets left. with my coat of many colors being worn for all to see, I hide deep within myself to protect my heart from their thoughts and judgement. 
I am the kid on the baseball team that is not any good but still gets out there and tries. I can’t throw the ball, and in all my ignorance of the sport, I run the ball to its target instead of trying to throw it. The other kids taunt me but it only reinforces my determination to learn, to become a decent player, and to be accepted by my team mates. My entire life is defined by this; my inability to play a sport everyone else has been playing since they could walk.

I have no shame. This is me, who I am. Metaphorically speaking, I embrace the fact I’m no good at baseball. But I keep at it; practicing day and night, waiting for the moment things click and I can actually throw the ball.

But, it’s moments like this that I get so, so confused and lost. It hit me suddenly that my entire life has been defined by the game aka my childhood abuse and its ramifications. I have spent a lifetime recovering and when asked, “who are you?” I reply with, “I am RADs, I am primal. I have tapped into a part of my brain that allows for growth, healing” 

THIS was session one. For the first time in twenty years I have found a glimmer of hope, confidence that there is a therapist  out there that can help me finally finish recovering from my childhood and learn how to start defining my life based on who I am rather than what has happened to me. 

Dear husband 

​Dear husband, 
You think I dont love you, and your right, I dont; because I dont even know what love is. 

I am not talking about a nicholas sparks kind of love, our life together is not a movie. That is not what real life looks like. 

Im writing you this letter because I want you to understsnd what real love looks like. I think you might have romantisized our relationship, and that is supposed to be a womans job!
I once had a dear friend explain to me what love is, before I ever met you and was so sad and lonely. 
He said, “relationships that last a lifetime never start off with two people falling in love. No, they learn to love. Love is not a feeling, but a choice you make every single day”
I thought he was a crazy old man, but now I understand what he was tryin to tell me. This is why our love will beat the odds and last a lifetime, because I choose  to love you every single day. 
I never “fell” in love with you. Now, before you let that statement hurt your heart hear me out. 
In the begging you were my friend (points for you!) And then, I wanted more because I saw you as safe. Safety; that is my definitation of “falling in love”  
You knew nothing of my past back then and to this day, you still know very little. I think that is what is causing our marital problems, my inability to speak out and tell you my truth, what I fight daily in my head. 
I grew into a woman with abandonment issues because of the circumstsnces surrounding my childhood. That alone is a landmine you stepped on, honey. 
Then, I married a man that abused me and my oldest son. When you met me I had sworn off men and had done so since my divorce. You were my first relationship in seven years. 
The thing is, you did not scare me. In fact, when I saw you with my oldest two boys my heart melted and I felt safe. Peaking around the corner to see you guys arguing over which was better, star wars or star trek, put a peace in my heart I didn’t  think I would ever be able to have again. My Definition  number two of “falling in love “; peace. 
See, dear husband, I dont love you. Because you are more to me than an emotion I have the ability to feel for anyone. You and you alone are my home, my safety, and my peace; and you are the only person on this planet I call my home in mind and spirit. 
So, in conclusion, I want to thank you. Before you I was battered, broken, and feared more abuse. Then, you showed me trust and dedication . I know I am hard to handle with my abandonment issues and the trauma I am still  dealing with  from my ex husband, and for that I am sorry. But dont think I dont see your patience and dedication. everyday that  you stand by my side is one day closer I come to healing. 
Love,
Your wife

My legacy to my children 

Baby wafers, big blanket, toys, diapers, sippy, shoes. 

I forgot my shoes; everyone back in the house. 
It was a beautiful Saturday. The slight breeze kept the baby cool while she was strapped to my back and every time I closed my eyes I was taken back to pleasant memories from my childhood. Memories of falling asleep outside on the trampoline with my dogs and a book next to me; a slight breeze that rocked me back and forth in my dreams. 
At the park the older kids had a pretend sword fight with sticks while I sat and watched the baby eat wafers and pull at the grass. It was present and past perfection. The weather and kids laughing continued to provoke my favorite childhood memories. 
I rolled on to my back and closed my eyes allowing the baby’s giggling coos and the soft breeze to guide the most pleasant of emotions. I was riding soft waves of happiness; this was our joy. What we were truly capable of without the negativity at home and the constant fighting with a stressed out husband. 
Opening my eyes I am hypnotized by the dancing branches of the tree we sat under. The green of the leaves were brilliant thanks to the early light of fall and they too solicited from me a peaceful memory. 
Back on my stomach I allow myself to get lost in my daughters exploration of the grass as my 14 year old sits down complaining of some trivial mishap between him and his 12 year old brother. 
It was then I decided to share with him a story from my childhood. It was the first time I have ever been able to share it with a feeling of peace. That which hurts us the most is usually never holding hands with a peaceful disposition. 
He focuses on the ground, preparing for a lecture, and I correct him. This is not a lecture; then I begin. I keep myself out of the story, making it about someone else for his sake. 
“When I was a little girl I had a friend with a father who was very, very sick. He was schizophrenic. Do you know what that is?”
“Yes, mom”
“Her parents got divorced and his mental health declined drastically. My friend felt very bad for her father. She wanted to help him but she didn’t know how
One night, the dogs started barking like crazy near her mothers window. When the phone rang her mother heard a noise and when she went to check it out her window was cracked open and a stool was laying on the ground, like someone had fell. 
A few days later her father died. He had committed suicide. Her mothers therapist speculated it was supposed to be a homicide/suicide but her father got scared. 
See son, You complain about minor stuff like not wanting broccoli with dinner or your brothers annoying you. But there are far worse things in life and people that have seen what hell looks like. Be thankful for your minor fights and broccoli”
He looks me in the eyes and we share a moment. In his eyes I see he knows the story was mine and in my heart I own it. There is no hiding truth, and no hiding my past from my kids. As they mature the more they understand of where I came from and how their lives compare. That I fought with every ounce of breath in me, every beat of my heart, and with every inch of my soul to be the mother I am for their sake. That they are more to me than just people, they are at the heart of who I am. I want them to know THAT is their worth; that they are loved beyond any words our language can express, beyond anything our finite minds can comprehend. 
It is my legacy to my children.