Whoa, time sure does fly! I realized today that I hadn't posted anything in a while. I have been so wrapped up in getting through various events and getting ready for finals, that I haven't been able to just sit and write. When I began feeling the jitters of withdrawal, I recognized the signs, and here I am.
First let me wish all mom's a belated 'Happy Mothers Day,' I hope it was truly a wonderful day for all of you. I know it can be very difficult for those of you, who like myself, have lost a child. It has a bittersweetness to it that is hard to explain unless you have experienced it yourself. I have however found that it is getting easier to cope with Mothers Day and the fact that Rachel is not present. I did not get the urge to run to the cemetary and place flowers on her grave, as I have the past 4 years. I simply thought about her all day long, she was in everything I did. From the moment I awoke to the moment I turned off the lights at bedtime, she was there.
Mothers Day began with the family going to church, followed by a visit with my mother-in-law, and then out to dinner in the evening with my children. It was a contemplative day, filled with the joy of watching my grandson, and the wonder of seeing everything new again, as only can be seen through the eyes of a child. But as I said earlier, Rachel was very much present throughout the day. At dinner, we were seated at our table, and the first thing I noticed was an extra place setting. The reservation had been made for six, yet there was settings for seven. I am pretty sure that no one else really noticed it, but I did, and I just thought to myself, okay, she's here, that's good.
Later that evening I just sat and reminisced about all the other Mothers days in my life, the creative gifts the children would make for me, and just the joy of knowing I was a mom. I might not win the 'Mother of the Year' award, but I did okay. I did miss Rachel, her creative and thoughtful gifts, always finding something very unique to give me, that spoke of the person I am. The plant she gave me the last Mothers Day we were together, still blooms and continues to flourish; as well as the gifts from previous years that bear her unique style. As I lay in bed that night, I finally let a few tears flow, tears I did not realize I had held at bay. Tears that finally were free to course their way down my cheeks, letting me know it still hurts, but that its okay and that I'll be alright.
There will always be special days that remind us of what is missing, there will always be reflective times, when we look back and remember. This is good, it is okay, it is part of the love we shared with our loved one. Yes, I so wish it could be different, but we are not given different, we are given life, and we take each day with stride. Yesterday at our bible sharing group, we read the story of 'Ruth,' a beautiful story of compassion, loyalty and hope in adversity. As I read through the passage, I felt as if I was being reminded that even when I was at my darkest, I had a 'Ruth' who saw to it that I would be taken care of. How appropriate that I should be reading this story at this time, of a woman who lost not only her husband, but her sons as well. Yet through the compassion of another, was able to find hope again.
My 'Ruths' came in many forms, and by way of many caring people, and even when I tried to push them away, they continued to stand by me, knowing I was just hurting. One of my 'Ruths' called me on Mothers Day to make sure I was okay, to ask how may day had gone. We are not alone, and if we allow others, who are willing to share our burdens, walk with us even in silence, or just sit with us quietly, we will find ways of getting through those difficult events and celebrations. We will find the strength to wake up to the Mothers Days, and birthdays, and all other special days in between. We find the courage to smile, to laugh and to live again. Above all, allow yourself to grieve, to cry, to miss and to reminisce, it is all part of the process and it is truly okay. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, and if they do, just let them know you have earned the right, and they can't take that away from you.
My mom is still alive and for this I feel truly blessed and grateful, but I know so many of you have lost your mom's, making Mothers Day very difficult. I don't know how you feel, nor will I try to assume I do. But one thing I can say, is that she is with you, always with you, watching over you and that the love you shared is as alive today as it was yesterday. Just like Rachel is ever present in my life, so too is your mom. Our loved ones remain with us always, pulling tightly at our hearts, and sending us love in their very own special way.
Blessings! and until we meet again.