It means something different to everyone.
To some, it is the first holiday that they are getting to spend with their new baby.
For others, it’s going to be the last they get to celebrate with their mom. Or the first since they lost them.
There’s some that will get to have a happy breakfast in bed with homemade cards from their little humans that make their heart soar.
For others, Mother’s day is a day that is a reminder of all that should have been and is not.
I have had 9 Mother’s days that really mattered to me. The ones before my children were born don’t matter anymore. I have had some that were filled with smiles and hugs, others that were full of “what if’s.” My first with Noah was waking up to breakfast in bed from Jimmy and sweet gummy slobbery smiles of my 6ish month old.
Then there is this year. It’s a terrible conflicting feeling. It’s the joy that is Noah and Avery. And the agony that shadows my love of Heath and Zoe. The pain that comes from imagining where I’m actually supposed to be, because this isn’t really my life. I’m supposed to be exhausted from sleepless nights of rocking and nursing, not tired from the NICU nightmares that haunt me every single time I close my eyes.
I have some friends (not the fake kind of friends that smile in the hallway but the real ones) that send me sweet things that remind me that they didn’t forget. They are aware of the horrible pain that comes with these horrendous holidays that are supposed to mean love, but really seem to single out those of us that are not the typical Hallmark situations.
As time passes, I have come to realize that I don’t like holidays. I don’t like celebrating like everything is ok. I don’t like to pretend that I’m fine because I’m not.
I cover my pain with sarcasm and irritation that I seem to make funny. I joke that I have a “bad attitude” when it’s really the cover for my resentment that other people seem to walk around like everything is fine. Like my world didn’t come crashing down a little over 6 months ago. Like Heath isn’t the only person I think about all the time. Every. single. second.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my kids, all of them. I adore Noah and his kind gentle heart. I love that he has such a soft spot for his siblings and talks about all of them easily and with such a sweet look on his face.
I love that Avery has this wide open fire in her soul and that nothing seems to hold her back. I can’t believe that we made such amazing people that I hope and pray contribute wonderful things to this awful world.
But that doesn’t change the fact that Mother’s Day isn’t the greeting card holiday that it may be for so many.
I hope that this can be comfort for those like me that aren’t like everyone else. You are not by yourself when this day brings up such hard feelings, some difficult thoughts and memories. I hope that you know that you are not alone when you dream of the “what if’s” and “why’s.” It’s okay to not be okay. It’s fine to not be fine.
If you’re missing your baby. If you’re missing your mom. If you’re missing your life.
For those of you that are smiling past the pain. For those of you that are pushing beyond the agony. For those that are exhausted beyond measure. For you that are crying alone because you don’t want to talk about it. For you that are facing another day with strength and brilliance when all you really want to do is stay in bed.
For you that are stronger than anyone can ever imagine.
You are not alone.