I thought about you yesterday.
It was your due date. And it was Mother’s Day.
You were going to be my best Mother’s Day present ever.
Instead, I cried every day of the week leading up to it.
I watched as several precious babies were born. I saw the pictures of their Mamas tenderly kissing them. The instinct to love and to hold and to protect written on all of their faces. I longed to hold you and to kiss you and to know who you are… who you were. I wished I could have kept you safe.
I wished I could go back to a time when I thought everything was in my control. That I could keep all my babies safe.
I hold my tummy as your brother kicks, and I repeat scripture… fighting to keep the anxiety at bay.
I look at your brothers, and I try to take them in, to cherish them as I watch them play. I pray for long, wonderful lives, and fight the fear again.
No one talks about the anxiety.
In some sense people know it hurts, but they do not understand the panic.
How one can be happy and hopeful and good most of the time, but suddenly a flip is switched. And you begin to walk around feeling like you are on the verge of a panic attack… fighting to stay in control of the irrational fear, and wondering why you cannot seem to control your emotions and get a grip.
What was the trigger?
For me, every time I feel this way I realize that the next day I have an appointment to check up on your little brother. It seems this is how my body must deal with my mind’s subconscious reaction to a deep trauma… to a deep loss.
I have cried silently in my car after most of my appointments, drowning in the relief that your brother is doing well.
I take these moments, and I let myself feel them. I try to fight the fear by acknowledging where it comes from.. by facing it head on. Sometimes this works.. sometimes it does not.
To be honest, it is a coping mechanism I have learned from a long time struggle with anxiety. I determined long ago that I would not be a slave to fear. And even now, I refuse to be a mother and wife consumed by anxiety.
Most people think I am a laid back Mom who just rolls with the punches. Easy going and calm.
And I guess am.
But this person.. this mother… I fought to become her. I still fight.
And I will fight for this abundant life that the Lord has given me. That he promised.
I fight to stay present in the joy of today.
I fight to let tomorrow worry about itself.
I remind myself that I am more than a conqueror through Christ who strengthens me. I am the strong Mom and wife my men need.
So this Mother’s day, after a week of crying, I chose to enjoy your Daddy and your brothers. I chose gratitude. I missed you more than I could ever put into words. I could not even speak the words “baby’s due date”, and those around me did not ask me to.
I chuckled as your brothers played “good guy” vs “bad guy”. I smiled as they pretended to be puppies and then dinosaurs and then robots. I listened to their roars, grunts, and loud laughter. I gave kisses and received them.
I watched your Dad with them, and thanked Jesus for giving me such a wonderful man. He wrapped me in his love. Flowers, new diaper bag, grocery shopping, clean car, laundry complete, all yard work done, favorite coffee, meals and snacks prepped for the week, and all with a smile on his face. How is he real? How is he mine?
Your Dad never said anything, but I know he saw me crying this past week. At night, he would climb into bed and just pull me close to him without saying a word. Just knowing.
There is nothing like it in this world… to be fully known and loved.
And that is what I can give you sweet baby.
You are known. You are loved. And someday we will meet again.
But for now your Mamma is going to enjoy every second with her sweet family here on earth.
I promise to laugh in the morning as I reminisce on your brother peeing all over your Dad and I that night. Chuckling as I look down on the blanket we used to cover the pee stain so we could just go back to sleep.
I will take a deep breath and smile when your brother asks me “Why?” for the 82435679183456014 time.
I will do my best to be thankful for housework because the only reason it exists is because of the many blessings I have been given.
I will fail more times than I can count, but I will walk in grace.
I guess that is what you have given me this Mother’s Day… a resolve to begin anew. To embrace the messy chaos of life, and be grateful.
So I will do my best.
And I will miss you and love you with a smile until Jesus calls me home.