The words rang in my ears. It is always better to tell someone something bad while they are incapable of moving and doped up on medication. I was in a semi-alert state, but fading fast and I knew I wouldn’t make it until everyone left and Gingham could tell me what was going on. I’m not sure I was in any state to handle any more. It was one of those moments where your life flashes in front of your eyes. You remember al the good times and the fun and the laughter, but where had it all gone? How was I reduced to a series, a string of rotten relationships. I was known as a strong independent woman, but at what point was it going to be for success and not failure? I was basically now reconstructed with replacement parts throughout my body, I was essentially the bionic woman, made up of steel; nuts and bolts. I could not leap buildings in a single bound, I could not see into the future, I could not create fire or freeze anything and yet, I believe I held powers unbeknown even to myself. Couldn’t whatever it was he wanted to say wait? I mean timing is everything and this would prove to be not such a great time. I tried to pretend like I didn’t hear him. I was married to him, he was used to my selective hearing. The party soon ended and everyone began to leave and I made my way, with help, up to my room. Gingham tucked me in, told me he would take the girls to his house for two weeks so I could rest and heel and then throws in “Oh by the way, your daughter got a tattoo.” What? Huh? My daughter is fifteen years old, she doesn’t have a tattoo. I was just in the hospital for five days, she wouldn’t take that opportunity to go and get herself a tattoo. That is not the child I raised, I’m sure she is messing with him right? Nope. A tattoo. I was livid, but based on the paralyzation of my facial muscles from my medication I looked like a botched Botox patient and had no real control over my muscles. I would have to deal with this in the morning, cause for the moment the pain began to set in, the medicine made me sleepy and I had no energy to be a parent. He would have to handle it this time. I called her into my room before I fell asleep to explain how disappointed I was in her decision. She looked at me, apologized and told me she got it for “us”. It was a symbol of three. Now I appreciated the gesture and of course love that that’s how she thought, but couldn’t she have just made three cookies, or three hamburgers, or cleaned three rooms? I woke up the next morning and let her know that she would in fact be grounded the rest of the entire summer. It was only the last week of June, so her and I were going to spend A LOT of quality time together. She would get to be my nursemaid and would work for me all summer. No friends over no going out. The punishment fit the crime in my eyes,, being that her punishment would only last two months and the tattoo the rest of her life. Fair in my book. This tattoo signified a lot more than the three of us, it reminded me she was not a little girl anymore. It told me that I need to regain control before I have none, it said to me “Hey, you now have a TEENAGE GIRL, WAKE UP.” No more pussyfooting around, no more tip toeing hoping they don’t grow up, no more, I have little ones, oh no. I had entered a realm of the unknown, unpredictable, unreliable, ever changing teenager girldom. And I was unprepared to say the least. I had a two-week reprieve coming to me and I was going to make the most of it. They packed their bags and got into Gingham’s car and I kissed them goodbye. They drove off and all of a sudden I felt the same dread and despair I did the first time my parents left me in WV with my daughter for the first time. I could barely move, I was in pain, I was only allowed to be up walking for twenty minutes a few times a day and then it happened. The depression, the self-pity, the self-doubt all began to set in. How was I going to keep my job, how was I going to parent my children, how was I ever going to find a man who would be willing to enter into this mess. Cause I was in fact a hot mess. As I lay on the couch feeling sorry for myself the doorbell rang….