Letter to JJ

The unsent story of a 2020 Mom.

Dear Julia Jeanne,

Yes, Jeanne like Jeanne D’Arc, that holy warrior who defeated armies and led her men to victory countless times with the power of her faith.
Your mommy really picked a nice name for you.
JJ, you don’t remember me, but you must know that I’m the mother of a beautiful little girl, as sweet and full of energy as chocolate filled with chili pepper.
I am the mother of a miracle, who turns 1 year and 7 months old today, April 23rd.

I’m a 2020 mom.
With two loans to pay off and lots, lots of expenses.
I am a mother who too soon after giving birth went to work, forced to leave my child to the loving care of her grandmother, pressed by the debts that only grow and that weigh like stones on her back.
Because a mother knows that sometimes love is not enough.
To make dreams that my daughter doesn’t yet know she has, comes true.
To cultivate her passions.
To keep up in a world where the superfluous has become more and more necessary.

I’m a 2020 mom, JJ, one of those who gives her whole self at every moment of the day.
I’m a loving mother in the morning when my daughter wakes up.
A little stricter in the evening when she does not want to eat at all the food I’ve cook for her.
But I’m sweet again at night when she is sleeping peacefully and I spend hours watching her in her perfection.
I am a 2020 mom, who tries her best to learn a new job, hoping to see my temporary employment renewed month after month.

I am a 2020 mom even when it comes to looking after a mate who sometimes demands more attention than my daughter.
And after that, there’s the house to keep in order.
The expenses to keep track of.
The payments.
The supermarket.
The pediatrician.
The nursery.
And my postpartum visits
No, those can wait. There’s no time.
I’m tired, more tired the next morning when I get up rather than the night when I go to bed.
But everyone says I have no right to complain.
All the mothers have been there I am now and I, with only one daughter, really don’t realize how lucky I am.
Everyone says that.
Of course, I realize how lucky I am.
It would be impossible not to realize that my life through her eyes is brighter, full of hope and love.
But I look around me when the weight of everyday life threatens to blur the light.
I look around me, and I see no one.

Only her.

I’m a 2020 mom.
And feel lonely JJ.
Every month of my daughter inevitably brings new responsibilities.
But as a 2020 mom knows, I don’t have the luxury of taking a break.
Did you want to go back to work?
Did you want to be a career woman?
Don’t think that this excuses you from making your partner find everything ready as if you had never been away from home.
Women are the angel of the fireplace, they say.
Pity that many of them have bleeding hands and feet because of the chains of obligation that bind them inextricably.

I’m a 2020 mom JJ, I don’t cry.
I stopped feeling anything a long time ago.
My boyfriend has been screaming at me, threatening me, humiliate me till the point to say to my mother is a shame that I refuse to have sex with him.
But I am a 2020 mother and, smiling, I wake up with a caress my daughter every morning, making that sunrise that she is for me shine every day more and more.

But then the silence begins.
Dense and impregnating like a thick fog that creeps up to the bones.

Without telling me anything, he closed his bank account and stopped contributing to bills and nursery.
Suddenly, he was acting like a stranger.
But when we were outside the house, everything was different.
Outside he was the sweetest, most caring, and most loving one.
I guess that was the moment when I really thought I was the one with something wrong.
The one who wasn’t able to see all his love for me.
But even all my insecurities weren’t enough to make me lose my way.
Because I, JJ, always had a little ray of sunshine by my side that warmed my heart wherever I was.

And so the time goes by.
The leaves fall and scrounge under the stroller, while in the morning I take my daughter to the nursery.
My hair, now white for the most part, matches my uncultivated eyebrows and my worn-out clothes.
I stopped being a 2020 mom a long time ago.
But the days go by, unstoppable as a stream.

But she doesn’t.
She never goes through my mind.

And then I left to South Korea, to consolidate my job position.
In my head the desire to curb the growing burden of debt, which had become more and more oppressive.
But in my heart, I saw in front of me the possibility of guaranteeing my daughter the future she deserves.

You know, JJ,
When I left, I promised my daughter that once we were reunited, we would never be apart.
I told her that when she will become a mom too, she would understand.
And that I would make her proud of me.

When I left, I had barely enough money in my bank account to rent the bed I was occupying in a shared room.
I only had one meal a day, taking advantage of the food that could be found in the office or the meals reimbursed by the company.
I was so hungry at that time.
But I didn’t care, because all I did was keep my eyes straight on the target and count the days when I would finally be able to embrace my little girl again.
You know, JJ, I really believed in that promise I made to my daughter.

But life had other plans.

And on one, cold Sunday night that I’ll never forget, I get an e-mail from the father of my daughter.
The email said he had no more reasons to stay in Italy since our relationship was ended a long time ago, so he decided to go back to live with his grandparents in Paris.
And in doing so, he also took my daughter with him.
During night time.
Stealing from the protection of my family home the most precious treasure.

All I remember of that moment is a dark abyss.

Me wandering around like a blind, drowning in a deep ocean of tar.
I remember me with the last spark I have left, more stubborn than hope, clinging with all my strength to a rock, remaining there like beached, exhausted.

I was crying for the first time.

All traces of my daughter were gone.
As if she was only the warmest of my dreams.
As if she never existed.
And my last message to her father the day before that unforgettable Sunday was about the pony horse I wanted to get her for Christmas.
I will get a little extra paid, I thought, I can make her a wonderful surprise.
But she never saw my gift.
And we never spent Christmas together.

It’s been five months.
A lot has happened since then, but I never stopped fighting to get her back.
Work, work hard to deal with all the payments.
The house. The loan, the bills.
Now even the lawyer.
Especially in these difficult, pandemic times.

You know, JJ, over the past few months, I’ve learned that time and patience are the most precious of virtues.
Time, because we never know what our last moment with the one we love will be.
And patience, because sometimes justice takes long, winding roads that we can’t control.
We can only have faith.

And faith doesn’t leave me.

I’m a 2020 mom, Jeanne.
I was born in an era full of rights and possibilities.
But I’m missing the most precious one:

the one of being your mom.

🐾 Leaving paw-prints all around 🐾

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