13 Years Ago

It was just a short 13 years ago I was washing the kitchen floor, my belly uncomfortably big as it stretched to hold you, keeping you safe and warm and nestled. The phone rang. It was the doctor. “How do you feel about having the baby tomorrow morning?” You were a scheduled C-Section planned for October 10th. It would only be two days sooner, but it instantly became an overwhelming thought “No, I am not ready.” Having two days to finish cleaning, preparing mentally and physically seemed like a necessity. But, in the end the pros outweighed the cons. A few phone calls later, making plans for someone to watch your big brother, and the decision was made. I would be the first scheduled C-Section of the day. October 8, 2004.

I will admit when I learned I was pregnant for a second time, I was not overjoyed. I was scared. I felt guilty. Feeling as though I did not perfect being a mom to your big brother, I wondered how I could become a mom to two. I remember even apologizing to your big brother – he had no clue why – but in a weird, distorted way I felt like I was betraying him. I didn’t want to fail this mom gig.

You were here. And suddenly, I was a mom to two boys. You screamed as they quite literally opened up your world. I can imagine the bright lights of the operating room pierced your snug home. A beautiful, perfect baby boy. And how you looked so much like your dad. You had so many visitors, so many people who could not wait to hold you. A big brother who wore a baseball cap that proudly stated such looked at you admiringly. We brought you home a day early, ready to begin yet another chapter. I recovered much quicker and certainly much easier than with your brother. There were still challenging days and difficult moments, but it all fell into place.

You have been a miracle. A soul that is so full of love and kindness. A remarkable human being. I once thought how could my heart possibly have room for the love of another child. And yet, my heart does not remember how it felt without you in it. You and your brother together filled up my heart to completeness. You were given to me despite me not feeling ready or worthy. Someone or something obviously knew better than I. Thank you for being my son. Thank you for letting me be your mom. My world is so much brighter because of you. I love you my sweetest.

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Messages

I once wrote about wishing I could go forward in time to see my boys okay – as a way of giving me peace today. Having a knowledge that in the end, it will all be okay. Lately, I have been having discussions with T, in response to his observations about his father, about life really and people. Truthfully, I have found it somewhat difficult walking a fine line between speaking negatively about his father’s actions/words and providing some clarification and lessons. As T gets older and starts to understand more I’d like to be able to offer positive words to ignite a knowingness in T that he does not have to follow his father’s path. And I speak specifically of T simply because of his recent conversations with me, but hope D hears me as well. At the moment D is muddled in between being a 17 year old, stubborn, on-the-verge-of-fleeing-the-nest-but-keeping-one-foot-cautiously-in-the-door, defiant, and yet loving and happy young man. HeĀ knows his father, but he so desperately wants his father – on the surface I don’t think D is even aware of this feeling – consciously anyway. I, as his mom, am left in a challenging corner that I have been arduously working to maneuver. Which leads me to the purpose of this post. There have been so many messages I have hoped my boys receive from me and understand and keep with them as they grow.

  1. Always hold the door open for others – not just women, but everyone. A small gesture of kindness truly can spark a light of hope in someone’s day.
  2. Be unselfish in your life. The world is bigger than you and I. Know when you do for others, you actually benefit just as much.
  3. But..remember to take care of your self. When you grow your being in a positive light, when you feed your own soul, when you treat your mind, body, and spirit as the temple it is, you will evoke happy energy.
  4. Your past does not define your future. Every single day you have a choice.
  5. Exercise. It not only strengthens your muscles, it strengthens your mind.
  6. Volunteer. Give to charity. Make a difference. And don’t forget the Starfish Story.
  7. Respect your partner. Take a deep breath and please think before you speak. Words can’t be taken back. YOU own your actions and your words.
  8. Family. Don’t ever give up on family.
  9. Truth. In your life, be truth. Speak it, show it, and model it.
  10. Be kind. Remember you have no idea what someone has gone through, what they have endured or experienced.
  11. Don’t forget to respect others and yourself. We are all human beings existing in a shared space.
  12. Don’t get caught up in the small details so much so that you lose sight of the bigger picture.
  13. Someday if you have you own children, relish in each moment, every stage of their life, plant seeds of confidence, and self-worth, and love in their hearts with your words and your actions.
  14. Go to bed every night saying “Good Night, I love You” to at least one person.

I am sure I could add more to this list and maybe someday I will. But know my beautiful boys, I love you with all my heart. Everything I am and everything I do, is because of both of you. You are my heart. You are my soul. You are my breath. Please forgive me for the mistakes I have made as your mom, but know I have tried and will always try to do and be my best for you. You are my reason.

Grief Will Stay

“I don’t think you will ever get over the grief.” These are words spoken to me from my counselor a few weeks ago. Having a family, being a mom was my dream. And while I will forever and always be a mom, the dream of family has become fleeting. I will never have it now. One of the unfortunate consequences of divorce is along with dissolving all that is unhealthy, all that is good is gone as well. Try as I might to act like a sieve to catch the little shiny pieces, the holes are too big and all washes through. It has been so tiring on my soul.

My brother continues to tell me to lose all expectations to avoid continuous disappointment. But this is so hard. I have become a single parent in almost all aspects. Do you know how hard it is to parent a 17 year old boy? I envy those who can go to bed at night with someone alongside them. Someone to discuss the day, to problem solve, to truly be a partner in all of life’s challenges. I won’t use running solo as an excuse to be less of a mom. Trust me, I am doing all that I can to steer both of my boys in the right direction. But I confess there are moments I feel I teeter on completely breaking down.

As much as it hurts to continue to feel grief, it’s here to stay. Yes, grief won’t leave. But, it may be time for me to work on accepting the grief, letting it lay where it may fall. I can not change grief. I certainly can not go back in time and change my dream. But I can accept.

“Growth is uncomfortable because you’ve never been here before – you’ve never been this version of you. So give yourself a little grace and breathe through it.” – Kristin Lohr

Renewal

In 2017 there will be a renewal of…

absolutely, positively hope. yes, a renewal of hope

love, love, love. you may have gone astray at times, but I challenge you, love, to a renewal

meditation. from the candle gazing ceremony last night where the flame represented change to the seconds of deep, conscious breaths, meditation is surely up for renewal

without a doubt motivation will stand strong. you have been by my side for as long as I can remember and 2017 will be no different

magnified compassion. pushing its limits. to overcome.

ADVENTURE. oh where did you go? Surely you must know you did not show up nearly enough in 2016!

and of course peace. peace within my heart. within my soul.

happiness. that radiates. that shines from my eyes and leaves a dusting. everywhere.

Are you ready 2017? I am!

 

Looking Back

It’s been a few weeks. My mind has gone astray. Yet so much to write, so much to say. What’s become apparent to me is how much perspective I gain when looking back. In the moment I’m stifled, but later I am free. And in this time of feeling free, I am able to relish in the memory. To learn what I need to learn. To strengthen my soul, my being. To realize my mistakes and clear my judgment.

I crossed the finish line of the Marine Core Marathon. 26.2 miles. (Actually, according to my brother’s Garmin, it was more like 26.7 miles!). Confident going into the race, albeit nervous, I started out well. Temperatures reaching 80 degrees, humidity making all runners that much more sticky and wet, I ran well. Until mile 18 or 19. Starting to fade, my strength, my knees and back aching, I started to walk. With small jogging intervals in-between and self-talk that included more of “I can’t believe this. I don’t think I can do it” than it should have, I none-the-less placed one foot in front of the other. Scenarios of having to tell family and friends I did not finish, replayed in my mind. My stomach felt sick. Knowing I needed nutrition, I tried to replenish but my body refused. The noise of people cheering along the populated streets, the music, all of it felt like sensory overload. I worried about the fine line I was walking between determination and requiring a medic. Fully aware anxiety can blur that line. My face spoke of defeat. Reaching the top of the last hill, short but steep, I started to jog. Crossing the finish line greeted by many Marines all smiles shaking the hands of those that managed to get to the “other” side, I continued with a feeling of sadness. I slowly and not proudly walked towards a Marine who placed the medal over my head. Smiling so slightly, he offered more of a laugh back at me. He, I am sure, has ran a true race of endurance. Protecting our country. And he most probably has witnessed more than I could ever imagine. Yet, he and all of his fellow Marines cheered us on this day, supporting us, encouraging us, pushing us. And looking back, I still understand how I felt. I know I didn’t reach my goal. I know why I felt defeated. But I now know, it was an amazing day full of lessons and gifts and love.

Over the past four years, I can look back and see more clearly what was happening. In the moment, it was blurry. Looking back, it is clear. There are always moments of hope, goodness, happiness. Sometimes it takes looking back in order to be able to appreciate and relish in them.

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Relish