Like my life lately, I'd somehow taken several wrong turns as I wandered in a blind daze and instead of the hospital cafeteria I was in the chapel on my knees in front of the miniature alter at the rear of the room.
I wasn't sure if I even believed in god or religion but I somehow found myself here praying, begging to anyone that would listen to fix things and in return I would do anything they asked of me.
It was ironic really, being in a chapel praying that god would listen to me when in fact I was already in hell. I'd been in hell for sometime now but it wasn't getting any easier.
The darkness was thickening around me like a heavy smoke, weighing me down and choking me as it kept me prisoner here.
Grayson had fucked things up on a royal level, first he cheated on me then the guilt he carried around found him seeking solace in drugs which in turn cost him his career.
He was now in his own hell seeking thrills from illegal fights and general day to day dickery.
I couldn't help but recall that night at the hall of fame induction when he dragged me into the bathroom cubicle and kissed me so hard I couldn't breathe. It was only a few months ago but it felt like a lifetime.
'Don't ever doubt my love for you' that's what he'd said.
He was so raw and passionate in that moment I couldn't help but believe his words, god I clung onto them like my life depended on it and I could have sworn I felt his love right down into my soul.
But maybe I was naive, stupid even.
Perhaps I'd heard what I wanted to hear and my mind tricked me into feeling him showering me with the love I'd do desperately wanted from him.
Now I didn't know what was the truth and what was a lie. The boundaries between them had faded into a murky, dull painful mess and all I felt was despair.
Pain and misery were my best friends. They kept me company in even the darkest of moments as they hid amongst the shadows tempting me to join them and just give up.
Grayson had done this to me. But I was my fathers daughter, a Franklin and I wouldn't give in without putting up a bloody good fight. No matter how much he had destroyed my heart I was a mum and my kids needed me strong.
I had no option but to be strong but it didn't mean it hurt any less.
Grayson had ripped my heart out, shredded it into a million pieces then chucked it out like garbage and yet I still battled to keep my head above water.
It wasn't exactly living but I was surviving, I was really trying to carry on with life. Thankfully my three children gave me a reason to carry on fighting so that's why this entire shitty, cruel blow was so unexpected.
Grace getting sick didn't make any sense to me, how was that fair?
She was just a beautiful little girl, my little girl and now she was laying in a hospital bed being pumped full of poison in the hope that it would kill the disease before either one killed her.
Grayson hurting me I could accept in a way, we were adults and things don't always turn out like you dreamt they would, there isn't always a fairytale ending but this?
My daughter fighting every minute of every day for her life and me not being able to do a damn fucking thing about it?
No, I couldn't accept it, it wasn't fair and I didn't know what to do.
I went from crying a river of tears as I gazed up at the status of Jesus on the cross to laughing maniacally crazed by the horror of my situation and the hopelessness I felt.
I'd trade places with Gracie in a heartbeat, I'd take every bit of pain god wanted to throw at me and more if Grace was okay.
If she was just a little girl playing with her dolls and worshiping her father even when he was at rock bottom. Giggling as he threw her up way too high in the air just to freak me out and he'd catch her in his big strong hands and pull her into his body then cradle her as he smothered her with kisses and tickled her belly.
Her cute little laugh was like an angel singing but now that she was this ill it was a daunting thought.
An angel, my Gracie an angel.
So yes - I was laughing like a crazy person because i had realised that I might be in hell but there was no way heaven was taking my daughter.
Even if I had to burn down earth to make sure of it.
I was brought out of my own fucked up thoughts by the creaking of the chapel door followed by a light bang as it shut again.
I gazed back over my shoulder to see Miley coming up to me. She knelt down beside me and lightly nudged my shoulder with hers.
"Hey you, mum thought maybe you got lost" she chuckled clearly finding it abit amusing that she'd found me in this position in a chapel of all places. We were hardly a religious family so being here was pretty weird to say the least.
"Oh sorry I kinda did get lost I just ended up in here" I explained letting my eyes drift over the intricate carvings and relics that sat upon the alter. Even got just a hospital chapel this was a small yet very churchy setting.
"Get any replies so far?" Miley cocked her eyebrow and gestured her chin towards the crucifixion that hung in the centre of the room.
"Nope all quiet on gods end" I rolled my eyes at how stupid and insignificant I felt in here. What on earth was I thinking coming in here and just pleading to absolutely nobody to save my child. Perhaps I was looking for a miracle.
"Doesn't surprise me really. You okay?" My big sister shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly letting her strong atheist beliefs shine brightly.
"Miley do you think this is my fault? Gracie being sick I mean. Maybe this is gods way of punishing me" those thoughts had been plaguing me from the moment Grace had fell poorly.
Did I do something wrong?
Had it began my fault?
Was I to blame for this?
Was this my punishment for my sins?
"What on earth have you ever done that would deserve this?" Miley asked incredulously saying almost horrified that I'd even think that way. I admit it was totally irrational but still I couldn't help but wonder if this was some sort of divine punishment.
"I've made my fair share of sins trust me" how could I tell her what I'd done.
"Falling in love with two men at the same time isn't a sin Maddie, even if they are brothers. That's just unlucky" Big sisters were always wise weren't they? All my life Miley has this strange way of knowing how I felt without me having to even open my mouth.
"I'm your big sister dumbass I know everything! " well that was true. Miley the fountain of knowledge was what she should be called.
"And you don't hate me or think I'm disgusting?"
"No I would never think that way about you. It's funny cos growing up Mum and Katie always thought you and Grayson would get together but me and dad had our money on you and Hunter. I guess we were all half right or something like that" see, so fucking insightful, maybe she was psychic?!
"I never knew that. You acted like you hated me being around either of the twins"
"Well like I say I'm your big sister and I wanted to protect you... plus I may or may not have had a secret crush of them at one point and was insanely jealous of your friendship with Hunter growing up and even when Grayson was being mean to you at least he knew you existed enough to have some sort of affect on him"
"I'm sorry I didn't realise. What a fucking mess that all turned out to be anyway so you probably had a lucky escape" I sighed sadly and ran my hand over my face in frustration at what a huge big pile of shit my life had turned out to be.
"I dunno about that I bet the sex was out of this world right?! I mean did you spend time with them alone or was it like a three way thing?" Miley grinned like a Cheshire Cat wiggling her eyebrows suggestively
"Miley I'm not gonna tell you that stuff"
"Hey like I said I'm your big sister and you owe me all the dirty details. Like they are identical twins, is that identical in every department? " okay does my sister was wise but she also had a really dirty mind and it was clear she'd spent some time thinking about this.
"Christ we are in a chapel and you are talking about threesomes and the size of their dicks " I knew my face was bright red and I was so embarrassed but I couldn't help but laugh at the inappropriateness of our conversation given the setting.
This was typical Miley, even when she was giving birth to my niece Harlow she'd been talking about the size of Jayden's dick and how she hoped her vagina was stick going to be tight for him.
I had tried to pass it off as the drugs talking for her when the midwife and doctor had looked absolutely horrified but then Miley grabbed Jayden's junk and asked us to look at what a huge package she had a hold of.
Then she'd laughed. She'd fucking howled like a hyena finding the scene highly amusing. I could have killed her, I was just thankful our mum had gone to the bathroom and missed that bizarre conversation.
"Ah huh so you did have threesomes you filthy bitch- I'm so proud of you getting some two at a time of that tasty-"
"Do not finish that sentence!" I shoved my hand over her mouth and forced her words to come up as a muffle of noise and laughter.
Once I was satisfied she'd given up I removed my hand and wiped it on her arm to remove any trace of her drawl and I shook my head at her trying my best to burst out laughing at the things she'd said.
"Barrett dick, two at a time taste Barrett twin dick" Miley blurted out proud that she'd tricked me before we fell into each other's arms hugging and roaring with a wild fit of giggles.
"True that" I admitted proudly in between crazy laughing.
My god it felt so good to be silly and laugh so hard that my stomach hurt.
It was inappropriate and wrong on so many levels to be in this chapel, a hospital chapel of all places laughing about my wild threesomes with Hunter and Grayson whilst my daughter laid seriously ill in the children's ward but it was also so damn refreshing to just have five minutes of silliness.
Once we stopped laughing and got to our feet I hugged my sister tightly to my chest gaining strength from her like I did when I was a little girl and she'd rescue me from cut knees, wild stinging bees and mean boys.
"You know you can do this little sis. You are the strongest person I know" Miley kissed my forehead and stroked my cheek as she spoke and something about the way she looked right into my heart made me believe her.
I could do this. I could get through whatever Grayson threw at me or how sick Grace was. Whatever the world wanted to challenge me with I could battle it.
I could be strong for them all because maybe it was time that I was their anchor. This was my chance to be the strong one, to fight when they didn't have any fight left in them and pull them through the darkness and the cold and bring them back to the light.
This was my time to fight for everyone that I loved.