Today, I sit at my desk. I am not really working. I do not get much work done this time of year. My mind is elsewhere. Sleep is also not something I do much of. I read. I immerse myself into the written word. Another person’s tale, their reflection, their picture. My reality forgotten when the page is turned.
Tuesday, will be the 5th anniversary of the death of our son. This weekend I will be celebrating my 6th Mother’s Day. We are still a family of three. Our arms are still very much empty.
One never knows what life will bring. To be 20 and looking ahead at 30 and 40 and 50. One never knows the love, stress, pain that one will endure. I do not wish you to think there is not happiness in our lives. There is, however, there is very much pain as well. That pain is ever-present and never-ending.
I am awaiting my tulips to bloom, spent my first Sunday at the lake for the summer. I am doing a walk with my friend in a couple of weeks as she has just been diagnosed with MS. I belong to Quilt Guild and just finished up our Quilt show with 320 items on display. My sister and my nephew were just home to visit.
Although, life is busy and never-ending that does not mean that my life is a constant joy. We do what we can, however, we do cry in the car on the way to work, or sit in tears in the living room early on Sunday morning. The house is still, nothing is moving.
This path was chosen for us. I have decided to accept some detours and create some on the way. It is all that I am able to do. I do not have the power to change it or make it different.
Life continues to be a struggle. My family still do not understand our feeling and wishes at times. My mother and sister cannot understand why my husband and I cannot hold our nephew. It is not possible. I am his mother. My arms are a very special and sacred place. They are where the love of our live took his last breath. I have tried to speak of it in a sense for them to understand. That does not mean we do not want to be around. To be involved to be part of it all.
I am being and doing what I can, what I am able.
This weekend I celebrate the life of our son. I will spend time with my husband, just the two of us. I will check my flower beds and wish for spring tulips.
Grief, is a lifetime journey. As with everything in life, our experiences mold our life, change our life. No, I am not debilitated. I am able to function, I get up, I dress, I leave my home. I live a productive life generally. Work, house, yards, gardens, quilting, reading, travel. But each thing I do and each place I visit I do so as a grieving Mother. I see things through a different filter.
Wishing you all a very Happy Mother’s Day and sending much love to those that will be standing grave side with me as we visit the resting place of those must precious to us.
We have made it though to the other side…
Yes, perhaps it sounds cliché. Having spent a few of these having to explain why it is a hard day for me, it is always good to make it to a new Monday. Yes, we do celebrate what we do have.
My husband bought me a lovely card and a book titled “I Love You Mommy”. We visited our son’s grave and went for a Sunday drive followed by dinner with my parents. All in all a great day. I did not sign into any social media. I decided a few months ago that my weekends are computer free. It feels nice. I love being in touch with everyone. I love reading about what is new and learning new things that you all teach me!! Although lately, I have just needed the down time away from all.
I wish you all a wonderful week!
It has been a week. At times it felt long and others it clipped along. It is nearing the end of the day and I am ready to go home.
Yesterday, I went home crying. I work with the modern-day version of “Regina George”. Yes, the 39-year-old version. Yesterday, she came back to our area gossiping about someone on the other side of the building and mentioned the name of a friend who no longer works here.. Well, I am one that always protects my friends and I just tried to clarify the situation in regards to her involvement or basically the lack there of…
Regina did not want to hear it as it differed from her conversation. I was promptly told that “she did not care, she doesn’t even know the girl, she no longer works here and I wasn’t even talking to you.” Well…. . OK then, be specific because you came back and announced it to the whole department. If it was a private conversation send an FREAKIN email. Hahaha..
I really am not upset at the fact she was rude because that is normal in her case. I am most upset that I allowed myself to be upset. It is not worth it. Over the course of the past few years I have been weeding out the negativity and unwanted. It is not needed and drags me down. I guess this week I am just too emotional and I became the 17-year-old vulnerable to the insult.
Today, I have my back straight, my head held high and all things on ignore. Regina sits next to me.. Although I cannot see her as.. remember I am on ignore. Hahahaha…
We were going to travel this weekend. That has been cancelled as my parents have been ill for a couple of weeks so we will just take a day trip. Go for a drive somewhere nice and have a nice lunch the four of us. We will celebrate Mother’s Day in our own little way. This is a hard time of year for us. 25 years ago today my Grandmother passed away, 23 years ago May 2nd my cousin, 8 years ago, the 13th, my uncle and 3 years ago on the 16th my son. All on my Mother’s side of the family. Mother’s Day is a time we celebrate and reflect on those we love.
I will send wishes to Heaven and to the wind for each and every one of you and wish you all a very Happy Mother’s Day.
…. I guess that is about the best way to start this. I first want to say that I am so grateful to be able to connect with you all. It has brought me great comfort to be able to share and in turn to be able to be a part of your blogs etc.
If you have been following along.. The answer to the question is X . I was so hoping that it would be different. You see my due date would have been at a very special time of the year for us.
With that brings the story of my weekend. We were to attend a birthday party for the young man born 8 days after our son. Husband and I had a very hard time going. It was everything we had emotionally. They had rented a bouncy thing for the kids to play in. As we stood in the drive, Watching the kids, up the road you can see our son’s headstone. So there we stood, tears in eyes.. Wondering, how we are going to make it through going inside and presents etc… And then……. I hear my husband’s cousin and his girlfriend talking. They are due Dec 28th.. 2 days earlier than I would be if I had not had the X! It is constant. No matter which way we turn there is something, another reminder, another punch in the gut. At this time, I am currently fighting the urge to just turn around and leave. Get in the car and go home where it is safe.
No, I tell myself. You will be branded the a$$ if you do not go. You will be considered rude etc if you do not do what they want you to do. Why are we programmed to do EVERYTHING that others expect but never once take into consideration how much we can handle emotionally? I keep asking myself this question. I stayed! I went to another room. I did not watch presents, or blowing out the candle. I cannot handle it. But I stayed. I made the effort because I love them and want them to be able to enjoy what we cannot. Not once did anyone even bother to consider what it would mean for us to have to sit there knowing that 8 days ago we should have done the same thing for our own son. Not once did anyone in the last week say I am sorry you didn’t get to experience this. I am sorry you will never know what it feels like to have your 2-year-old yelling Mommy as he runs across the lawn. We are just expected to do whatever it is that everyone else wants……..
One book has special meaning for my husband and I. The day before Mother’s Day 2012, he took me to the mall to pickup a couple of things. One of which was the book “On the Night You Were Born” by Nancy Tillman. The next day, on my first and only Mother’s Day, I sat rocking my sick, dying son as my husband read this story. Each night we read this to him at bedtime in the NICU. It means so very much. My last memory of this was hearing my husband read it at his grave as they lowered his casket.
Last night, as I signed into FB, I see that our cousin (the mother to the boy above) posted the first page of this book on her wall. She knows what that book means to us. I know we do not own it or have exclusive rights. We are family. A very close one at that. She knows what it means. It is etched into the back of our son’s headstone. I responded to her post. I attached a picture of my son’s headstone with the comment “Great Minds think alike”. She hid my post.
I am tired. I am weary. I am grieving for my son. I grieve for the Father’s Day my husband will never have as he passed before that day. This weekend is Mother’s Day. I wear that title proudly. I am C’s Mommy. He is my precious son. I have sacrificed much to hold this title. I was the Mommy who held Daddy’s hand when the DR came to our room and wanted us to end his life. I am the same Mommy that said “He is our son. We are a family and we will allow him to tell us what he can and cannot handle. We will fight together! We will stand behind him!” He may have been 17 days old but that matters not. He fought hard for his life. He is our son!
Today.. I am saying the same. Today, I am C’s Mommy and I will stand up for my feelings and my emotions. I will not allow anyone, family included to abuse the love of myself or my husband. Nor, will I allow anyone to belittle our position in life. We are parents and we have made a huge sacrifice to earn that title. Anyone can give birth…….. But, not just anyone can be a Mother.
Wishing you all much love this week and on this Mother’s Day weekend. You all deserve to know that you are honored. You are thought of with love.
Ok fair warning…. I am being selfish and need to vent…………………
Please let me tell you up front. I love my Grandmother very much. I have always been close with all of my Grandparents. My Grandmother has always had the tendency to be over critical well perhaps that is not the correct term but anyway and more over protective where others of us are concerned. I fall into the first category. This is of nothing I have done. My father left us when I was 4. I cannot help that fact and truth be known some 3 plus decades later she needs to take that up with her son. When my Grandfather was living he kept those tendencies in check. He would not allow such behaviour where we Grandchildren were involved. He has been gone for some time. Please, also do not mistake it as I should excuse her for her age of 80+ years. I have worked with elderly for +++ years in a nursing capacity and yes as we age we do become looser in the tongue. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.. But………This is not age related. My Grandmother was this way at 50.
I shall turn back the clock to Good Friday, 2013. I went to visit my Grandmother. As I have said before she means well but at the end of the day there are different ways to approach a subject……… My son was born on April 27th and passed almost 3 weeks later. After Mother’s Day. So Easter, Mother’s Day, his birthday and the date of his death are all in close proximity. It is a very difficult time of year for me. When we were expecting we “announced” the news at my Grandmother’s dinner table on Christmas Eve. Family dinners are hard for us. I love children. I want more children. It is just so very hard to sit at dinner and see high chairs all around of my cousin’s children and have that empty space next to us. Our void. She asked me about coming to dinner on Easter Sunday. My husband was going to be working and well I just wanted to be at home. That is all I could handle at that point. I said no “Husband” is working and well I will not be out. The rest of the conversation went something like this.
“There is something wrong with you. You need to see a Doctor. You do not come out, you do not come to dinner.`
“Grammy, what do you think is wrong with me“
Are you all sitting down……………I warned you. I will summarize the conversation…..
My Grandmother said the following words to me “Other Mother`s get over it!“
My response.. “Other mothers get over what. My only child died. I do not get to get up on Sunday morning and play Easter Bunny and hide eggs. There is no going for pictures at the mall. Next week I am not celebrating his first birthday and in several weeks I will be going to light a candle on his grave in memory of his death. You name me one Mother who has gotten over the loss of their child. I do not care if they were 19 days old as mine was, 5 years or 20. Name me one mother you know that has gotten over losing a child. “ At this point I am still trying to maintain composure. But the above comment started me crying. Thank goodness my Aunt came when she did. I had to leave. I have never felt more judged or hurt in my life.
I do no expect people to understand my feelings or my life. At least out of respect for the memory of my son and that fact that I AM his mother respect my feelings and my grief. If I need to stay home because Our Home is the only place in our life that is safe. It is our protection. We can shut the door and only let in what we need and or want to. It is where we can speak freely of our wants, our feelings, our desires without judgement from the outside world. It is where his blue blanket from the NICU still is folded neatly under my pillow every night as I sleep and a Willow Tree Angel sits on my bedside table kneeling in prayer. It is where our family’s photo from our first, last and only Mother’s Day hangs on our wall.
Fast forward to March 6, 2014. My Grandmother is not feeling well and yes I am nervous and trying to figure out what may or may not be going on. She has had a couple of appointments. She sees another Doctor next week for more tests. I called this evening on my way home from work to check in and see what was up. So her BP was very elevated when at the hospital the other day. She is having problems with her leg and one foot. She has a bad back due to Osteoporosis and deteriorating discs. Her leg and foot have given out twice recently resulting in her falling. Not sure if this is the cause. But next week many tests begin and a referral to a specialist is pending. My father called 3 weeks ago to tell me this and to keep me apprised of what is going on.
I get home and hang up from speaking with her. As my husband and I are preparing to leave the house to run a couple of errands 10 minutes or so later the phone rings. It is my Grandmother. “Oh by the way. That is all a secret. Because your cousins do not need to know this and worry…….“ I responded. “Well they are all adults now and it is about time that the sheltering stops. “ Yea, no one bothered to worry about my level of stress and what I can and cannot handle. Not a problem.. She is strong she can take everything we dump on her. I might add about these cousins. One is 30+ and married with two children. One is 28 and has been living with her boyfriend for 5 years. One is 24 and soon will be celebrating her 1st anniversary with her husband who is in Med School. The fourth cousin is in his 4th year of university.
No, I do not think that we want anyone worrying until we know what are dealing with but………….They are not 5 year olds. Don`t we all deserve the respect of knowing the truth. No, now I am tasked with being one of the gate keepers in protecting their outlook and stress levels. Who the hell cares about mine or my husbands.
And this is the reason why we do not venture far and spend more time at home……………because that is one of the ways we can limit how much stress we let in. Damned if you do and damned if you don`t….
Phewww. Thank you for letting me vent and tantrum is over. TGIF!