Really, most of my days are now. Part of me is relishing the sheer amount of time I have to focus on Linley but then I feel guilty for not missing Piper in that moment but then I remind myself that there is nothing I could do about being absent Piper anyways and I may as well continue to love Linley to the fullest...
So I do.
But that conversation runs through my head non stop throughout my day.
Yesterday though I forced myself to love on my Linley. To appreciate that she is the very one who made me a mommy and that she is the very one who has kept me a mommy. Her role in my life has become infinitely more critical to my breathing constantly. This may not be an entirely healthy dependence to have on a seven year old but I am trusting that God will balance this out in the process of grief.
But yesterday, bittersweet though it was, was wonderful. Chad and Linley both showered me with encouragement and love and as always, much laughing. My gift from Linley was this sweet note. Can you read it? Because it says this :
"I love my mommy! Her favorite restaurant is Aqua Linda. My mom likes chai very much. My mom likes to shake her booty. Whoop whoop! My mom likes tall dogs. I like my mom because she is smooth. Her eyes are blueish greenish. My mom reads and snuggles with me and reads with me. My mom is asome!!! Love, Linley"
So now you know a little about Susanna...and my apparent booty shaking. Thankfully I traded any self conscienceness in at the door of mothering about 7 years ago. She also drew a picture of me. Apart from thinking how wonderfully talented she was...I was thinking "blast, I look sad there". I was hoping she wasn't seeing as much of this sadness as she evidently is.
Proof my girl is perceptively talented:
None the less, I love both items.
And Chad picked me up this:
It's the sparkly one.
You know, the one that most married woman already wear but we have a story...'Cause we are Needhams and there is always, always a story.
When I was 8 months pregnant with my sweet Piper, I was out in my yard up to my elbows in dirt and plants and attempting to beautify the simple little home we were living in at the time. After a few hours of this madness I happened to glance down at my hand and quickly noticed a lack of sparkle. My diamond in my engagement ring had fallen out somewhere in the midst of my garden. The next few hours were filled with me crying, Chad searching and Linley repeatedly asking if we were still married. (we were; I checked) After looking to no avail, Chad soothed me with big plans to purchase me a new one after Piper arrived and life got back to normal...which it never really did, as you know. And I have always missed wearing my bling bling, despite not being a girly girl in any sense.
So now that life is oh so much simpler, my love put a ring on it. And I love it and love that he knew it was important to my yoga pant wearing, ponytail adorned, not in the least bit fancy, self. I adore that about him.
So here's to Mothers Day 2012. A day I celebrate but also respectfully dislike. My role as mommy is different this year. I appreciate what I have but miss what I lost. And millions of women all over the globe have the same gaping hole in a holiday that only a select few can celebrate with pure joy.
Women who desire children that their bodies will not give them. Women who have lost children. Women who have children who don't seem to like their mothers. Women who miss their own mothers. Women who don't miss their mothers. Women who have children far away. Women who worry about being the best mommy they can be. Women who don't care. Women who don't desire their own children. Women who have children with four legs and fur. Women who know they will lose their role as mommy. Women who fear my life. Women to whom this holiday was a reminder of this, that or the other and the tears that followed.
Women. And mothers, some.
Last year I was jubilant. This year I am choosing to be joyfully resigned. This is a conundrum no doubt but again, my God is bigger than my confusion or my fear or my sadness or my longings.
I'll try if you will.