Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Reflections on Mother's day

Mother's day, always celebrated the first Sunday in May can be traced back to Greek and Roman times where festivals were held to celebrate the Gods. However Mother's day was truly created by a woman named Anna Jarvis in 1908 and wasn't accepted as a US holiday until 1914.  

It's a day where we celebrate our Mothers, who wouldn't want to do that. The woman who carried you inside of her and nurtured you for 9 - 10 months and then continued to carry you and nurture you the rest of your life. It's a very romantic notion......

Mother's day however means something wholly different to those who have lost a child. Those who have had still births, miscarriages, children die far too soon. No mother should bury their child. 

I am one of those women. 

In January of 1999 I gave birth to a healthy 6lb 9oz little boy named Nicholas Christian. I remember it well because it was Super Bowl weekend and my husband had happened to befriend a local radio celebrity and bond with him over the birth of their children. (He was wearing our Garth Brooks T-shirt and that sparked a conversation between the two of them) When you go in to have your child, the last thing on your mind is that your baby could die three months later with no warning. 

May 8, 1999. A typical Saturday morning also the day before Mother's Day. My husband asked me what I'd like to do for mother's day and after some thought I told him maybe it would be nice to go to the Cleveland Zoo with the boys. Granted it was a four hour trip to Ohio, but our boys were excellent travelers and we loved taking road trips so it wasn't a really big endeavor. 

The night before we'd gone to a Buffalo Sabres game that I'd won tickets to and we'd had a wonderful time. We'd left the boys with my parents for the evening and picked them up around 11PM. My husband wanted me to hold Nicholas in my lap that evening as we drove home, but I refused saying "He's much safer in his car seat." So we strapped him in with his brothers and headed home. 

My husband got up with the baby the next morning fed and changed him and laid him back down. We didn't know that this would be the last time he would do that for him. He came back to bed and we snuggled back down to sleep. He could have brought Nicholas into the bed with us but we were super cautious about that because we had a water bed. None of the boys were allowed to sleep in the bed with us because of our fears of the horror stories that happened with other children and water beds. 

Hours later my husband got up and I got up and I got in the shower. That was when he began to scream....

That day my son went to the arms of God. 

Since that day Mother's day took on a whole new meaning for me. It was the day that I went to a funeral home instead of celebrating. I was picking out caskets while other fathers were picking out flowers, I was mourning the loss of my son, while others were celebrating that they were mothers. 

Over the years I've always thought of Mother's Day with a feeling of dread. This year is no different. For me Mother's day is a reminder of the fact that there's someone missing. Every holiday there will be the thought, there's a stocking missing another plate at the table, there's someone missing. And that is the truth for thousands of Mothers this Mother's day. I always celebrated for the sake of my children, never for myself. Now as they have grown older and move out the realization comes over me again....there's someone missing. Nicholas would have been 17  this year. He would have been picking colleges and going to the prom. He and his younger sister would be fighting. But those things were never meant to be. My husband and I talked about the fact that if we'd had him, would we have tried for another child and the answer was yes. I can't imagine life without my beautiful daughter. She is our rainbow child and a light in our lives. 

But someone is missing......

This year of all years with both my boys out of the house it's hitting me harder the trials and tribulations and ongoing issues over the last few years and then being haunted by 

There's someone missing......

My oldest child, still not speaking to me for reasons of his own. My younger son out of state, and my daughter moving onto high school. So many things happening over the last few years. And there's someone missing.....

I'd been feeling so down because of all of this until I talked to a wise woman who I've been friends with for many years and consider a part of my family. More of a sister than a friend and a true angel in my life. She said something that really made me think. "Mother's day is only a date on the calendar, you can celebrate it and celebrate life ANY and EVERY day." 

So this year, for the first time in many years. I'm not celebrating being a mother. I'm celebrating the life I have. It's a pretty good one.....I'm also celebrating the memory of my son and I know he's around me and with me every day and loving me. I'm celebrating life.

For all the Mothers and Grandmothers out there I hope you celebrate life this Mother's day. Celebrate the beautiful life you have all the memories that you share and the years to come. And always keep in your mind to be thankful because somewhere for another family someone IS missing....
So instead of counting your problems always always count your blessings <3 

This is me, my daughter, and my amazing beautiful and incredibly loved Mom.

Happy Mother's Day

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