Tuesday, May 13, 2014

When Mother's Day Hurts

I remember my first mother's day in May 2010.
I was pregnant with our first child.
Full of wonder and excitement.
My belly growing more every day.
The feeling of the kicks, punches, and hiccups I would feel from him every day.

I was a little jealous of my husband because I was still pregnant for
mother's day but our son would be born before father's day.
Yes, I was a mother already but it felt like it didn't count because he wasn't born yet.

I look back and think back to that first mother's day and think how naive and silly I was to think that just because my child wasn't in my arms I was less of a mother.
I remember on that first mother's day my husband cooked a delicious dinner for me.
We had just returned from our trip to Arizona for my husband's college graduation.
So many firsts in that first year of marriage.

The next three mother's days were all ones that I looked forward to.
My sweet husband always made a wonderful dinner and made me take a "day off."
Guilty free naps or time to read a book.

But this year?
This year it's different.
This year Mother's day was painful.
I cried on and off the two days leading up to Mother's day.
I just wanted to skip it.
Could I just sleep through the day and ignore it completely?
I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realized I looked pregnant but I'm not.
I didn't want anyone to wish me a "Happy Mother's Day" because honestly I'm not happy.
And I feel guilty for saying that because I know I've been blessed with two wonderful boys but it doesn't make it hurt less.
There is still an ache in my heart for the child that I'm missing.
There is still a brokenness that I can't shake.

I had a conversation with someone just before Mother's day.
She asked me about the title of my blog.
Thankful For Thorns.
I told her how it's being thankful for even the hard stuff in life.
I quoted the lyrics that my blog title came from.
"Everybody loves a rose, but will you be thankful for the thorns."
And then I confessed to a perfect stranger that I'm having a really difficult time
living out that title.
How can I be thankful to have lost a child?

I never realized before this year how Mother's day could be painful.
All of my previous mother's days were ones I looked forward to.
As a kid/teen we almost always went out to dinner with family and spent the whole day together. Sometimes we would go to the mall after dinner or we would to back to my aunt's house. Either way Mother's day and Father's day were always fun celebrations.
Then I became a mother myself and in my own joy I completely overlooked countless other's pain.

Children without mothers.
Mothers without children.
The walking wounded with hearts that are broken.
For so many it's a day full of hurt.
It reminds so many of what they've lost.
It reminds many of what they never had the chance to have.

Mother's day was a popular day to announce pregnancies.
New babies due to arrive late October early November.
Babies that will be born close to the day my daughter should have been.
My heart aches.
I'm genuinely happy and excited for them but I would be lying if I said my heart didn't hurt with each announcement. I would be lying to you if I told you I wasn't jealous or that I was completely fine with this. I would be lying if I said I was ok with this broken road I'm walking on.

Grief is a strange thing.
It hits you when you least expect it.
It leaves you feeling deflated and empty.
It makes you feel crazy and angry.
It causes you to cry when you were just laughing.
And the whole time you just wonder if it's ok to feel the way you do.
My dear friend can I just tell you; Yes, it's ok to feel the way you do.
Yes, it's ok to cry, to be angry, to laugh, to be happy.
And I promise, you're not crazy.
I wish I could give each and every person who is hurting this mother's day a huge hug.
Know that you're not alone.

I'm still grieving. I still cry. I still feel alone. But I grieve with hope.
I have the hope of knowing my sweet daughter is in the arms of Jesus.
I have the hope that someday I will finally meet her.
I have the hope that God has a plan even though I don't understand it.
I have hope.
I pray that if your heart is hurting today that you have that hope too.

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