Mother's Day

Its Mother's Day, a holiday when there is so much to celebrate. To start, Mary, the Mother of all Mother's. The one who said yes to everything that seemed wrong. First, carrying a child as a virgin.  A single mother, without a husband. Second, a mother who raised a son with strong convictions and reasons to spread the Good News. What trust she had and third, a mother who said good-bye to the infant she carried, nurtured and gave for us to live.

I think for me, personally, Mary exemplifies everything I am not and everything I did wrong but everything I hope to one day be. First, a mother, who says "yes". When we found out we were pregnant with our first. It all seemed wrong. Graduate school. A new house. One income. A baby??????  Really????  It wasn't time. I fought it with drawn out plans to be back at work within six weeks and eventually have a nanny and parent as little as possible.

Then, there was the second child, the child I really decided I wanted...after I gave up that work business and realized all I REALLY wanted to do was be at home. It took 8 months, a few drop offs to a friend and my poor husband driving home mid-experiment to try and have our second child.

Then, my own third. I remember getting pregnant. With an infant and a toddler. I remember the sun, shining in my bathroom, white bathroom curtain, purple bathmats and a test that gave two lines when I hoped there would be one. In that moment I wondered how I could say yes? Why I was living this life and if we could make it as a family?

Within a few days, those two lines were history and I was elated to be pregnant once again. I am blessed because I LOVE being pregnant, carrying babies and delivering...even if I vomit uncontrollably, can barely stand and gain 75 pounds to boot. I love the gift of life. The twinges of pain and the blessing of a baby rolling within my body. It truly is my favorite time in life. I remember watching as my two girls, barely 2 and not yet 1 played together and imagined a third child in the midst. How lucky we were.

I remember the sun shining more brightly. I remember the excitement I held and the decision to begin telling family.

I remember my mother's response. It was shortly after Mother's Day and the fear she had about us having a third child could be heard in her quivering voice. I knew she was hurt, or sad or even scared that I would be pregnant and have 3 children under three. I remember being hurt and sad that she didn't find the same joy I felt in the life within my body.

Then it happened. We decided on a beautiful May day to visit the Art Show in town. As we got out of the car, the nausea swept over me and that security blanket that all was well warmed my heart. As we walked, I beamed. A few friends stopped me congratulating me on my exciting new and I knew that this little one that flipped and flopped within my body was a gift. She was special.

After a long day, time out in the glorious sun we began to walk back to the car. The nauseating smell of a cigar didn't bother me. I panicked. I looked into my husbands reassuring eyes, and he reminded me, the days of morning sickness should be over. I felt something different and by the time we arrived back at our car, I knew.

Sucking in whatever air I could, I begged God not to take my child. I begged God to allow her to live but I knew at that moment, God had other plans.

We drove home while I shook uncontrollably knowing this life I carried would no longer be ours but His once again.

I was angry.

I was hurt.

I was overwhelmed.

I stared blankly into space as we drove into the garage and my husband carefully set me into our bed. He rubbed my shoulder reminding me to pray and left with the littles we already had. The wind slowly moved the curtains into our master bedroom and I laid there. Motionless. Hoping it would all be a dream.

Within hours the process of losing our daughter became reality and I began to miscarry. Without hesitation I insisted I go with my oldest to her first gymnastics exhibition. I sat, stoically, wanting to smile, pretending to find joy but dying inside, wishing I wasn't there, being angry at others who were carrying babies, healthy inside their womb.

The next morning as others readied for their Sunday services, I delivered the daughter who was to be our third. Zoe Grace came into our lives and left more quickly than anyone I had ever met.

I was empty.

I was broken.

Again, my husband, being the strength to my emotion, held me as I wept silently in his arms. He cradled me as I called friends and family and let them know that this time, we wouldn't welcome a little life into our home. He also reminded me of the two blessings already under our roof.

I lay in bed.

Hours passed.

That night I finally got out of bed and struggled to make my way to bath time. I looked down and my husband was bathing our two beautiful daughters. I wept for what would have been. Our third. Joining them in just mere months, in our home, Small but comfortable. And my oldest begged me to "yell at her so I would feel better". I will NEVER forget her asking me that. When I couldn't. When I wouldn't she simply smiled and said....

"Mama, some babies are too special to come to earth, so God calls them home...we call them angels".

That moment I realized what being a Mother truly is.

Mothering is the gift of love. Unconditionally. Its the gift of accepting that I am not in control but something much greater is. In that moment I realized how blessed I was to call these two cherubs my own.

I won't pretend that that moment, that sentence, that statement fixed it all. It didn't. Zoe Grace is very much a part of me. Zoe is the part of me that has learned to be more empathetic. She is the part that has learned to be more understanding. She is the part that calls me to be more forgiving and open. She is truly the gift that taught me to be a Mom...because in reality, being "Mom" simply means caring for His children until they return to His arms.

To ALL moms. Foster, Adoptive. Biological. Emotional. Physical. Spiritual. Lost Moms, Happy Mother's Day. We women truly are blessed in our joys, our losses, our friendships. We are blessed in our triumphs our challenges and our struggles. Mother's Day isn't just a day to take off but a day to celebrate the gifts we have and the gifts we have acknowledged along the way.

May this Mother's Day find you seeking joy, holding on to memories and knowing that you are loved.

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