Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day.

I don't even know what to write. I had a few messages left on my voicemail today from people who love me, checking to see how I am holding up today, because they sense that maybe today might be a hard day for me. And they are right. It is. How could it not be?

I made myself a cup of tea and grabbed my computer. Here I sit ready to decompress. A paragraph in I am already crying. My husband commented that I usually wait until half way through to cry. I just need to get it all out. The thoughts, the tears, the questions, the conclusions...all of it, out. So here it goes...

I love being a mom. Love it. Even at the graveside of my daughters' I didn't hate being a mom, I hated death. I have always dreamed of being a mother and when my son was born it was like I found my place in the world. I knew my purpose in life, to be my son's mom. When I learned that I was having twins my purpose tripled, I was to be three people's mom forever more.

Even as I adjusted to motherhood and its demands (and yes it was a huge adjustment) there was never a time I wanted to undo becoming a mom. Sure, at times I would have given my left arm for more sleep or a shower, but when my son flashed me that little toothless grin on his chubby face the challenges seemed so worthwhile. I anticipated a similar experience with Aubrey and Ellie. Twins would have their challenges of course, but I had two more little smiles to look forward to. Those special moments are profoundly rewarding even in the most hectic of circumstances.

Becoming a mom changed me. Raising a child stretched me and grew me. My life was no longer my own. I realigned my priorities, became less selfish, and developed patience. And I discovered how unbelievably much I could love something. The depth of my attachment to my son was immeasurable and instant. I never knew what it felt like to be willing to die for someone until I held my son in my arms. Motherhood is humbling, transforming, and beautiful...

...and completely heartbreaking.

Becoming a mom is the most uncertain endeavor in the universe. It offers no guarantees. It costs all the love you have in your entire being. And you have to pay upfront. Everything is on the line, all your hopes, dreams, your very heart. And you can't be sure if you get a lifetime, a day, or just a moment to be your child's mom. So why do we do it then? All of us that are mothers, why do we risk a lifetime of sadness and longing for what might be only a moment of joy?

Because it is absolutely worth it.

Every single tear I have cried, every moment of sadness, has been worth the privilege of being Aubrey and Ellie's mom. Knowing them, although for such a short time, was a true blessing. Nothing has impacted me as profoundly as the existence of my children, especially those two little girls. And a lifetime of missing them will never negate the joy they brought to my life. I don't understand why I could not keep them. I would prefer to be holding them now. But those moments with them were priceless. And nothing could make me give that up.

This post is for every mom who has had the privilege of holding their children for a lifetime or a short time...we all know it is so worth it. And we don't need a day to remind us of that. It is in our every heartbeat, our every breath. We didn't become mothers in time, it is not a process, but a single amazing moment. We were instantly and permanently transformed. And whether we still have our babies or they were taken to heaven, nothing can take from us that moment.

Dustin, Aubrey, and Ellie...thank you for making me a mom. It is truly my privilege and honor. I love you all.

3 comments:

  1. Amen!!! i CANT EVEN IMAGINE BETTER WORDS. YOU ARE A AMAZING WOMAN .

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  2. Your words on motherhood have touched my heart. Whether a mother has babes in heaven or on earth (or both), I think our greatest fear is losing a child. It just isn't the way the "circle of life" is supposed to work. My son's preschool teacher is well into her 70's. When I met with her before the school year to get to know her, we discovered we had the same family dynamic: 3 boys and a girl. Through conversation she shared how she lost one of her sons in his 30's...and she began to weep, even though it happened years before...the healing journey...is ever present and a healthy release to cry. I read your blog often and appreciate the rawness and vulnerability of your words. They are real, and I know that you are ministering to other women who've gone through similar situations. God bless you Rachel and this journey. I pray God showers you with his peace.

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  3. Hello Rachel, you lead me here to your blog through commenting on mine. The photographs of your daughter's name are priceless. What a beautiful gift to cherish. I have been waiting for Carly's email to be posted again on her blog, because I would like to have my brother's name written for my mother. He passed away suddenly the day he was born in 1988 and he would 21 this june. But I can't seem to find where Carly posts her email address...

    I was really moved by your writing. I think you are able to express your feelings (as many other's feel the same) into the perfect words. I was especially touched by this paragraph:

    "Becoming a mom is the most uncertain endeavor in the universe. It offers no guarantees. It costs all the love you have in your entire being. And you have to pay upfront. Everything is on the line, all your hopes, dreams, your very heart. And you can't be sure if you get a lifetime, a day, or just a moment to be your child's mom. So why do we do it then? All of us that are mothers, why do we risk a lifetime of sadness and longing for what might be only a moment of joy?" I don't think anyone would have said it better. I also agree that healing should not be determined in the degree of pain that is felt as time goes by. I believe that as long as you continue to feel that loss - you know you're still breathing! The moment you stopped grieving or hand over that pain, will be the day you yourself enter into His kingdom.

    I truly believe that writing your thoughts out and rereading then can be very therapeutic. Thank you for sharing, and inviting me to your blog.

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