I have been blogging since February of 2008 and I have not written a post on Mother's Day yet. Probably because Mother's Day hurts. It reminds me of my own mom not being here...as she died 7 years ago in April and I can't even remember if I spent her last Mother's Day on earth with her. I'd imagine I did, as she had just been diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer and I drove 12 hours round trip many weekends during the year she lived after her diagnosis...in fact, as I recall, John and I drove down and redid her bedroom for her--painted it a light lavender (still have that color on our paint tarp) and tried to make it comfortable for her.
For 10 years, it reminded me that I was STILL not a mother. In 2008, I was of the full faith and belief that I WOULD be a mother in 2009---to a sweet little girl named Emma, and who would be born in Krygyzstan. Though I believed it, I still didn't claim Mother's Day as it wasn't mine yet.
Last year, I OWNED Mother's Day! It was FINALLY, FINALLY mine!!!!!!! When the mothers were recognized in church, guess who stood up with her baby belly? YEP! ME! And cried, and cried, and cried some more with a thankful heart for the miracle of the baby growing inside of me. I can't believe that I didn't write about it, though I wrote a little bit in Matthew's journal. I think even then, maybe a teeny part of me was still holding her breath....waiting for THIS year when I actually had a sweet little one cooing up at me.
If I didn't know better, I'd say that maybe, some little piece of me still wasn't sure it was real.
And then today...what to write about for today? Actually, I already wrote something for today but I am not going to post it.
It is sad. It is full of the cemetery and longings and should-have-beens and a broken heart.
And though that's how today has been for me, I absolutely, positively will not let it end this way. We went out to Mom's this weekend for Mother's Day (another reason I will not post what I wrote earlier because I titled it, "What use do I have for Mother's Day?" and I am thankful, thankful, THANKFUL for the precious mother I have in John's mom. If for only her, I have a TON of use for Mother's Day.) and I was resigned to the fact that I was probably going to miss Katy and Kristie's radio show. I had seen my RSVP thing on Facebook and it said 4pm. We were en route (with HORRIBLE traffic, to boot!) at that time. I figured out how to stream the show on my phone (totally thinking when I heard Kristie say at 4:16, "Well, we are almost up for time," that some how I'd gotten the times REALLY wrong and then realized I was listening to the archived 1st test show--where I heard Andrea and Belle!) but couldn't figure out how to get the 'live' show and gave up. Imagine how HAPPY I was when I remembered, "CENTRAL TIME!" and we got home in time to give me 45 minutes with the show! (Oh, how I love Central Time--soooooo miss Central Time!)
Today's topic was Facing Firsts...and honestly, I don't think that this being the first or eighth or 34th Mother's Day without Matthew would make any difference to me....they are all days without my mother or my only child. Hence, not great.
But the support!!! The support!!!! The chat room that goes on while the show is heard is amazing! And eye-opening.
All day, I have been getting emails and texts and Facebook messages (in addition to cards and flowers galore) telling me how much I am loved and being thought of and reminding me that I am a mother. Not to mention that I have been smothered with love this week...and I use smothered so, so affectionately.
And I have to be honest when I say that each time I read something that said, "Lori, you ARE a mother," I had to sort of giggle--like I would forget that!! In fact, I sort of wondered why so many people would make such a big point to tell me such. OF COURSE I am a mother. I know that! Why would people be so adamant in their messages to me? Honestly, I found it sort of...well, definitely endearing, but a little odd.
Being in the chat room for the radio show turned the light bulb on. People want me to know that because the world seems to forget that if you don't have a child to show for it, you must not be a mother.
Further, if you didn't have a full-term pregnancy, you must not be a mother.
More, if you didn't even make it out of the first trimester, you CERTAINLY can't be a mother. Heck....it was probably only tissue or had something wrong that you wouldn't have wanted to continue growing anyway. (SERIOUSLY...people offer that as COMFORT. If you ever have, DON'T again. If you know someone who has, DON'T ever let them again.)
At least the rest of the world feels that.
MY world doesn't.
MY world loves me. MY world sends me encouragement in spades. MY world gives me Mother's Day gifts and cards and love. MY world cries with me and for me. MY world prays for me and tells me so. MY world surrounds me like a cocoon and fiercely protects me from anyone in the rest of the world who dares hurt my feelings or not give honor to me or to Matthew. MY world includes a husband who'd do just about anything he could to make this easier for me. MY world has a church that has shown more compassion to our family than I ever expected a church would. MY world is full of doctors and nurses and who treat us like family. MY world has support systems that others only dream about. MY world, though shaken to the core, is still a safe place for me because of the people in it.
MY world is, for the most part, amazing.
And I am so, so, so sad that there are women all over this country, and world, really, who have broken hearts and don't have the slightest idea of what it's like to live in MY world.
I cannot imagine what my days would be like without the support and the compassion and care I have. And yet, so many women don't have to imagine....they live it.
They are forgotten by their own husbands or mothers or best friends.
Their children are not even remembered, which I can say is nearly as bad as actually losing one's child.
They are beautiful women with wounded hearts and they suffer so often alone.
Save for those of us who sadly and all too intimately know....
So, I have not been able to post Happy Mother's Day to anyone here or on Facebook for several reasons. Mainly because I know so, so many women whose babies are in Heaven and it might take me all day to get to each of them, but also because I've sort of wanted to just forget that Mother's Day even existed.
Of course, the people in MY world would let that happen. I am much loved.
Yet so, so many other women would consider it a luxury to simply hear their little one's name spoken or to be given a hug and told, "I know this must be a hard day for you."
Friends, make no doubt that today has been a very, very difficult day for me. Probably one of the hardest in a long time. (I always seem to say that, don't I?)
But...my cup runneth over. I am grateful, from the bottom of my heart, to each and every person that loves me and supports me...whether over the computer or in real life.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you....