Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

For me it feels complicated and confusing, unsure if I still belong amid this hallmark day. A reminiscent, joyful, memorable, bittersweet, significant day. I remember the excitement, anticipating Cooper's arrival. I was going to be a mom and what an amazing high to think that this was the first of many Mother's days to come. I don't know if there is an antonym to describe the polar opposite of "on cloud 9," but I certainly felt it the following year. Devastating, yes, yet unable to derail the unconditional, unending love that is motherhood.

I don't fit into the commercial mold that is Mother's Day and have been struggling with this question of identity since Cooper passed away.  I came across a blog post by Carmen's Mom, Lana, that had me in tears yesterday as she has so eloquently shared her experience, feelings which mirror my own.

This post is dedicated to all the moms out there who have lost babies through miscarriage and still birth, lost children young and old, and had failed adoptions. Special hugs today to the moms who have lost their only children and find themselves in the strange place of being both a mom and childless. You ARE a mom.

To all the women who have never been able to have children and find this day especially painful, my heart goes out to you.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
Nine years ago, Dave and I were visiting relatives on Mother’s Day. I had recently suffered my second miscarriage and was feeling vulnerable and emotional on the day dedicated to moms. As we sat in church that Sunday morning, I was hoping that the pastor wouldn’t make a big deal about all the moms. I thought I might sink into the ground when he asked all the moms to stand up and the ushers passed out pens decorated with flowers and “Happy Mother’s Day.” Everyone smiled and clapped. I was on the verge of tears.
As soon as the service ended, my father-in-law disappeared. A few minutes later he came back into the sanctuary, handed me one of the Mother’s Day pens and said, “You are a mom. I want you to have this.”

I felt like a mom but I didn’t think anyone else viewed me as one.

But someone did.

Thank you Doug.

Since that day, I’ve never been able to fully enjoy Mother’s Day. I feel for all the women who are hurting on that day.

And now I’ve joined another group of women, those who have loved, cared for and said goodbye to their child or children way too early.

Today is my first Mother’s Day since Carmen passed away.

I have my two bundles of joy who will make this day extra special. Lauren will be ecstatic to give me her Mother’s Day school project and the present I bought for myself but that she thinks Daddy bought (hee, hee!). Hope will be her usual ball of energy and exuberance. And Dave will do all sorts of things to make the day wonderful for me.

I am thankful.

But someone is missing.


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