Saturday, May 11, 2013

Your Mama!

HA! I don't know. I thought that title would be funny. Maybe someone can smile at that, especially in light of a holiday that is hard for a lot of people.

Including me.

This day is not just hard for people suffering through infertility or who have had a baby or an older child die, but for those people who have lost their own mothers. Or for the single woman who wants to be married and have children. Or for those who are estranged from their own children. This is a day filled with joy for many and pain for many more.

Let me tell you about my only truly happy Mother's Day. It was May 8, 2011. Every year before that, we had been trying to have a baby and had lost Avery to miscarriage. And so every holiday was a reminder of what I didn't have. I remember one year at the church we were going to at the time, they were handing out flowers to all the moms and I walked near the person as they began to hand me a flower and I blurted out with a strangled throat and tears in my eyes, "I am not a mom." And I fled to my seat. For years, Mother's Day was horrid for me.

But in May of 2011, my stomach was filled with the life of our son, Gideon. Todd let me sleep in that day and we decided to skip church (even though I was pregnant, I still didnt want to attend church on a Mother's Day). We went to Ciro's in Houston, which was not too far from where we lived and it has delicious Italian food! (
And we had Icees that day too, of course!) Todd and I sat at dinner excited and we talked about how next year would be at Mother's Day and how much our life would be changing soon. And we were so excited. And as I ate my fettuccine alfredo, Gideon kicked and squirmed within me, letting me know he was enjoying the food as much as I. He loved Italian food! I remember the table where we sat. I remember that the chair was uncomfortable to my pregnant hips. I remember the smile on my husband's face and the joy that he had in his eyes because he saw that I was finally happy on a Mother's Day. He told me how much he loves me and that I was a great mommy. What a joyful, perfect day I had, with both of my boys. Knowing I was (and still am!) blessed beyond measure.

That was the last restaurant and the last date we went on before Gideon died. He died exactly one week later.

This is my 2nd Mother's Day without him. His birthday is coming up in just a few days and so my emotions are all over the place right now. Its bittersweet. Always bittersweet. Bitter, indeed. Bitter because I miss him. Bitter because I will always miss him. Bitter because I wonder what it would be like to have 2 small, sticky hands to hold this year at church instead of just one. Bitter because I have to walk through this life without him.

But, oh, so sweet.

Sweet because no matter what, I am his mommy and I am proud of him. Sweet because I love him. Sweet because I got him for 33 weeks 4 days. Sweet because I got to feel him kick within me, see and kiss his face. Sweet because he is with the Father right now, not crying, no pain, only joy. Sweet because the first face he ever saw was the face of Jesus. Sweet. Very sweet.

I will be attending church tomorrow. Many mom's who have had a baby die do not go to church on this day because its like a spotlight on our grief. And I have been there. I do understand that. But my church is different. Instead of only handing roses (or some other trinket) out to only mom's, they give them to ALL women who are adults. We also have all the women wear hats and they all go to the front and have the church pick their favorite hat (I don't have a hat this year, I ended up not feeling up to making one). And our pastor, is extremely good about remembering how painful this day can be and often speaks on how difficult this day is for women who are grieving. The women in our church, hug me and let me know they are praying for us and thinking of Gideon. Its really the kind of church I want to be in on a day like Mother's Day.

This year, I will hold one son in my arms as I go to church. And I will wear the necklace of my older son's footprints around my neck, as I do everyday.  I will hurt. But I will smile. I will miss my son's strawberry blonde, curly hair. But I will worship God. I will cry as I see the moms with all of their children on earth with them. But I will celebrate that one day,  I will get to hold all of my children! I will smile and weep tomorrow. I will hold my head up high because I am the mom to 3 children. Two who are in Heaven and one one the earth. I will laugh and enjoy the day that the Lord has made.

This is the gift that Todd and Silas made for me this year. The hand print on the left belongs to Silas and the print on the right is the paw of our Gideon Bear that was made for us by a beautiful woman from Molly Bears. Isn't it awesome how Todd included both of our boys?!? Makes this mommy's heart happy!

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust you. -Isaiah 26:3

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