The Reason by Carmen Vickery
This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge.
Video source: Youtube.
2003. It seems like a lifetime ago. A distant memory drifting around in my hazy mind. It was the year that my life changed unequivocally. I was young, homeless, jobless and addicted to meth. It was also the year that the greatest gift of all was bestowed upon me.....my first born son. Now, I know that having your first child results in drastic changes for everyone, but for me it was earth shattering. I was 5 months pregnant when the discovery of my pregnancy was made. I have many regrets that go along with the development of that fetus; alas the past cannot be undone. That child not only saved my life, but he gave me sustenance and a reason to live. He became my sunshine in my dull depressing life, my will that pushed me to carry on when I thought that I couldn't take any more. That baby who could not speak, could not walk, who depended on me for every last thing inspired me like no one has ever inspired me before or since. I changed everything about myself to become the best mom that I could be and to give him the life that he deserved. For the first time in my life I was no longer alone.
When my baby was four months old I went back to school to upgrade so that I could go to college and give us a real life. Being a single mom was difficult, but I knew I didn't want to do it on a waitress's income. As much as it hurt to have to miss many of that sweet little baby's firsts, I knew it had to be done. One day as my friend was driving me from school to pick up my baby, Hoobastank's The Reason came on the radio. The very first time I heard that song, I knew it was meant to be my song intended for my precious child. It gave me goose bumps and brought tears to my eyes. By the end of the song tears were silently spilling onto my cheeks. To this day, that song has the same effect on me as it did the very first time. It is my eloquent apology to my son for the things I can not take back. It is the anthem for my sober life.
Carmen Vickery is from Edmonton, AB.