Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mothers

In this place where I've resided for a while now, it seems like every single day is emotionally loaded.  Every day, whether they held special significance to me before or not, holds some new meaning. Holidays in particular have been this way.

Some days are joyful, some days are painful, some bring me to my knees.

Seems like the days that come and go without some roller coaster attached are so unusual that they are the ones really worth celebrating anymore.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day.

It's one of those days that came and went with little notice from me for most of my life.  I was a daughter and a granddaughter.  I was a goddaughter and a niece.  Then, I was a daughter-in-law too.  I made the phone calls, bought the flowers, jumped through the required hoops.

Then one year, I wanted nothing in the world more than to be a mother, and knew that there was chance it would never happen.  That year, I was supposed to be pregnant, awaiting my first child.  By May, though, that was gone, the baby was gone.  I was facing an unknown future that almost certainly involved extensive fertility therapies just to get the chance to maybe someday become pregnant again.

It was on that day that my relationship with Mother's Day changed forever.  I wrote about it here last year.

Since that day, things have been different.  I've been the receiver and the giver, and have had the joy of seeing it from the other side.  I've been the mother who wanted nothing more than a handwritten card some years, the mother who only really wanted 15 minutes to herself others.

This year, I'm not sure what I want.  Mostly because I'm not sure about much anymore.

I've made some choices in my life as a direct result of my role as mother, those choices have shaped who I am now.  I used to be far more comfortable with who that person was, who she became.  Then the choices of someone else made me start questioning whether I'd done the right thing at all, whether losing myself to the life of being a mom was really the right choice.  Whether I should have held on tighter to who I used to be.

I had no real idea the sacrifices we make to protect our children before.  I knew about them from a distanced perspective, sure, but now I know them up close and personal.

That's the thing about being a mom though....

We don't make our choices just for ourselves anymore.  We make them for others, even as we may struggle with what happens as a result of those decisions.

This year, I can only hope and trust that I'm making the right choices now.  That they are the right choices not just for me, but for my babies.  Today and in the future.

This year, I have to extend the deepest gratitude to my mother-in-law.  There have been so many times this year that I've leaned on her in a way I couldn't have ever anticipated.  We've been through a lot together, some would say we've been through hell even.  She is my ally, she is my supporter, she is more than just my husband's mother.  So much more. I love you, Kathi.

This year, I am in a different place as a daughter too.  Roles are reversing, and I'm doing the best I can to adjust to living in a world where my own mother needs me now.  She's adjusting to needing me too.  It's not been a smooth adjustment, as nothing in life ever really is.  My mom and I, we've been through our own different and distinct version of hell together.  Some roads she traveled alone, some I walked by myself, some we've journeyed together.  We are bruised and beaten, we are weary and tired, but we are hopeful.  And we are a team.  I love you, Mom.


Stealing the words I used last year,

To all the mothers out there, 
whether they are mothers in this world 
or only the world they imagine, 
my love.

5 comments:

  1. That was a very heartfelt blog. I just lost my mom last month after taking care of her. We had an up and down relationship for many years. I do not regret any moment in the last 6 months I have been with her. I even look back and think I should have done more even though I know I couldn't have. Caregiving is hard and you will sacrifice much, but know that this is your time together now. I miss mine so much.

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    1. I went through this just last year with my Dad, feel like I'm on some bizarre deja vu trip. Thank you for your kind words. I wish you peace and gentle memories tomorrow. The firsts are the hardest. Xoxo

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    1. You too!!!!! Love on those gorgeous babies of yours, and steal away some time just for you. Happy mother's day!

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  3. My darling daughter, I have Loved you with all my heart, unconditionally since the first time I held you in my arms. Transitions are difficult, I hope and pray, we come out on the other side closer than ever. Love you, Mom

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