Right there. Where I could witness it up close. Where I could touch it and feel it. Where I could pull it close to my heart.
I've held beauty.
I've held miracles in my arms.
And for some reason, that doesn't make me as sad you as you would think. I was there for my babies through it all. I held them and carried them and loved them through it all.
From beginning to end and beyond, I have loved them.
It doesn't matter if you can see the number of children I have in my arms, they are in my heart.
It stings a little when only one is acknowledged but it doesn't matter. The truth resides where it needs to. It rests in that sacred place and brings peace.
Yesterday I was awakened with two smiling faces wishing me a Happy Mother's Day. My daughter jumped on the bed with me and gave me a card. It had Belle from Beauty and the Beast on it (that is her favorite princess) and when the card opened, Be Our Guest started playing. She was so excited about the card that she ripped it out of my hands. But I still saw. Before she took the card, stood up and started singing and dancing along to the song right there on my bed, I saw.
All of my children had signed that card.
Alexandria, Emmerson and Vivienne.
I smiled and cried and thanked my husband for his thoughtfulness.
His reply was, You are still their Mother.
Mother's Day can be bittersweet for those who have lost their mothers.
It can also be bittersweet for those of us who have lost their children.
I am learning and accepting that holidays and important occasions are going to be just that: Bittersweet.
But my husband is right. Death did not steal from me the privilege of being their mommy. I will always be their mommy.
I just love and mother in a different way.
All mothers hold precious love in those deep crevices of her heart. All mothers hold hurt as well. There is always pain where there is deep love, profound growth and the letting go.
Motherhood takes a strength that would make most break. But to be a mommy when a child or baby has died . . . I don't know what that kind of strength is called . . . it is something far beyond strength though.
To all you mother's out there, whether you love here in the physical or you love from a strength like no other, Happy Mother's Day!