I have been thinking alot about Mother's Day this week, with it coming up on Sunday. I know most moms in the babyloss community have probably been thinking about it too. Maybe dreading it, maybe not. Either way, it is in the minds of many mothers.
My stillborn daughter did not make me a mother. Her older sister has that distinction. What she did make me is a better mother, or so I hope. She taught me what it means to really BE a mother. Ironic, because I never brought her home. I never gave her baths at night and never read Goodnight Moon to her. I have never had to put bandaids on her scraped up knees or mend her broken heart. I have never been able to paint her fingernails pink or enroll her in ballet. When I think of the things I would have done with her, as her mother, the part of my heart that stays forever broken starts to hurt.
She came into my life so quickly and left much too soon. And in that short, short time, she changed me. She taught me so much more about being a mother than I could have learned from anyone else. The lessons she taught aren't found in parenting books. You see, they could never do justice to this. There is no book that tells you how to live without your baby. How to wake up every day and remember that she is not here. How to handle seeing 4 year old little girls, knowing that for the rest of the day, you will remember your little girl who would be 4. The books don't tell you how to honor that baby and her short life. They certainly don't make mention of the fact that many of the world's best mothers are mothering babies that they can't hold.
Those lessons I have learned from her. If it weren't for her, I don't know if I would look at the rainbows and the tulips in the backyard, or the white butterflies the same way. I don't know if I would hug my children, her siblings, as tightly as I do. She taught me that love is fierce. And love is stronger than death. And love doesn't go away. She showed me the lengths that I would go to in order to keep her alive in everyone's hearts and minds. I am her mother and it is up to me to remember her and honor her. I do that everyday in the ways that I treat others and the ways that I love her daddy and siblings and grandparents.
I am her mother and she is my daughter. I am so very proud of that fact and will be thinking of her and her impact on me, especially this Sunday. Much peace to all of you this weekend.