Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Memories

Mother's Day isn't a holiday I look forward to.  It's a day charged with emotions and memories, knowing that the reason I became a mother isn't with me anymore.  My first Mother's Day as a mom started because of Austin.  From the moment I learned I was pregnant, I was forever connected to this life.  Now that he is gone, this holiday will forever have a void. 

I will always start and end this day in tears, remembering the precious years I had with him, longing to see and hold him again, and wishing for just one more day with my sweet boy.  There will always be a visible hole in my heart on this day, even though I struggle to keep a smile on my face for my other.  It's a constant tug of war.  I love both of my sons equally, you just feel torn when one is no longer with you.  It's a struggle between honoring the son I had and treasuring the one I still have.

This year had an added loss, as it was Tim's first Mother's Day without his mom.  I don't know what that loss is like but my heart aches for Tim, as both his parents are gone from this Earth.  This day was also filled with memories of my mother-in-law, June.  I think back to our last Mother's Day with her, an emotional one in that we were in the midst of her illness at that time. 

We didn't have an actual diagnosis of cancer at that time but you could feel the collective pause as we each held our breath.  Last Mother's Day wasn't like other's past, in that we couldn't share a meal with her because she was so sick.  It was just a simple day spent by her side, talking, laughing, sharing and watching tv with her.  Sadly, we lost June just over a month later.

Knowing all this, I didn't expect Tim to do anything for me this year.  I just felt it was unsaid.  Since losing Austin, we don't make much of the day because it's just hard to do so.  This year, I worried about Tim and didn't want to emphasize or draw any more attention to the loss he might feel.  However, my husband never ceases to amaze me and did things throughout the weekend to make me feel special.  And that is just one of the MANY reasons I love him so!

There were many treasured moments and memories this weekend...from having breakfast with my guys, to driving down country roads with my little man at the wheel, and then again sitting behind him as he took me on a 4-wheeler ride, Mom handing me a bouquet of flowers from her garden and adding to it the wild roses picked by Tim and Noah, and an impromptu dinner on the deck with Mom and the family.  The smiles and sense of togetherness as we gathered around the patio table...sharing some yummy food fresh from the grill...yard games and giggling babies dancing in the yard.

One very special moment came unexpectedly from my little sister.  She had won a gift at a church function for being the youngest mother.  It happened to be a solar butterfly, and knowing how special butterflies are to me, she opted to give it to us for Austin's graveside.  It was so touching that, number one, she thought of me on this day, and two, somehow Austin made his presence known that day (as he always does) through a butterfly.

But among all these heartfelt memories, maybe the best was standing under the stars hugging Noah.  His loving smile looking down on me just lifted my spirits, warmed my soul, and hugged my heart.  We spent the last few moments of the night snuggled on the couch together.  He didn't want to go to bed, soaking up every last minute with his Mom.  His sincere reaction made me feel like a Queen.  It was the perfect ending to the day.


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