Third Mother’s Day without Anna, already. THIRD. How can it feel like she just slipped through our fingers not long ago and still be the THIRD of anything? Two years ago we were in Italy trying to get the hell outta here for Mother’s Day (though of course we took her with us despite ourselves). Last year I think I worked at the hospital. This year was a quiet, exceptionally beautiful spring day at home. We had my close friend Sarah and her family over for a couple hours for brunch and to plant her eldest daughter’s “garden” in our backyard. (A little tradition we started last year and great fun for Brad and I - this now 3-year-old darling gets a little section of our garden as her very own, with all produce and bounty to be enjoyed by her. I think the planting and harvesting are the only things that really register any excitement at this point, but Brad and I get a lot out of knowing we have something special that she enjoys. She’s SO much fun.)
My amazing husband was at his best. He prepped the house, the yard, the brunch, even mopped the floor and did some vacuuming before I even got out of bed. He got out the hammock for me to enjoy the blue sky and dancing leaves that afternoon. He made me dinner. He loves me, and I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have him. (Other women think they’ve got the corner on the Good Man market, and I know there are others good men out there. Still. I’ll always believe Brad is just a little bit shinier than they are.)
I thought I would go out to the meadow to spend some time at Anna’s bench, but I didn’t. I thought about it several times, and it wasn’t until the next day that I was able to identify why I didn’t. I would’ve gotten angry. Bitter, enraged, frustrated...beside myself. At home, though, I was as content - and safe - as I could possibly be that day. So I rather subconsciously decided to not go to the Emotional Well that day after all. (The decision not to go to the meadow was probably also influenced by my previously mentioned primary focus on the well-being of Hilamina. Wailing and hitting maybe not so good for the babe. Calm and quiet the order of the day.)
So, it sucked because it sucks, being the mother of a dead child on Mother’s Day. But it was also lovely - exceedingly supported by the amazing weather, a luscious backyard, good friends, and my husband. Aside from Anna, what more could I want?
On Tuesday I dared read the Mother’s Day entries of other BLM blogs, and was again struck by the depth and truth of these women’s experiences, their ability to be raw and real and vulnerable. And how much we trust each other with those feelings and experiences. Brooke posted about the origin of Mother’s Day which was fantastic and much more relatable than the Hallmark version we know now. Renel talked about how her living son and husband tried to make the day special and how she tried to participate and enjoy, but that her heart wasn’t in it and tears were shed several times throughout the day - how confusing it is to grieve for what isn’t and be grateful for what is at the same time. SG had a day similar to mine - nice to know I was in good company, taking solace in the safety of home and not having To Do anything to make the day memorable when all you really want is for the whole day not to exist at all. And some bloggers were irreverent to all the smug moms expecting breakfast in bed, flowers, and home-made cards... you know, all the things we want but can’t have so we cast the Evil Eye on them for being so greedy as to expect all those bonuses when they already have the biggest bonus of all, every day, 24/7. (We’re not truly bitches, just suffering women standing together, finding dark humor in dark situation.) Again I refer you to these brave women’s blogs. They give as much wisdom and insight into my own experience as I do.