Yes, I know it’s July but I had to get this out.
My right shoulder is burning in pain from the awkward way I’m currently holding my 10 week old son. He’s comfy, sleeping, and so very cute. Me? I’m breathing lightly and paused 100 tasks in hopes that he’ll stay asleep longer than 20 minutes. Just like labor and delivery, I’ll go through a bit of pain if it’ll benefit my greatest love.
The fact that God gave me the opportunity and responsibility to nurture and teach this beautiful human is not something I take lightly… And aside from the lack of sleep, my life as a mother has been nothing short of amazing especially since I have help. My husband is an excellent father and my lovely family will do anything for us. I feel very blessed.
Little One was born a week or so before Mother’s Day. In that time I didn’t think much about celebrating as a first time mom because it’d also be the first Mother’s Day without my own mom. Just two weeks before Little One was born, my mom passed. She had painful stage 4 cancer that she never complained about. She was the strongest person I know and encouraged my sister and I to be just as strong, independent, and faithful to God.
In the beginning (diagnosis) I was SO angry at everything and everyone. Nothing the doctors said was good enough for me, the nurses weren’t caring enough for me, no one was moving fast enough for me and in my mind, even my mom wasn’t trying hard enough. Trying hard enough to do what, you ask? I have no clue. I don’t know what I was thinking, the whole thing is a blur.
I remember wondering, “Why is this happening to ME?” and “Why is this happening to MY mom?” As if to imply we deserve the happenings of life any less than another family…
But why not me?
I prayed (and still pray) all day every day; for healing, peace, understanding, courage and patience. My anger eventually subsided because of my faith in God and by redirecting my focus toward things I have power over.
Random memory: My family traveled a lot when I was growing up. At our hotel stays, my mom would keep the complimentary soaps and lotions which I thought was strange because we always used our own things from home. Eventually I found out she saved them to create care packages (hundreds) to give away to the homeless, and for sick, older patients in the hospital my dad worked in and others. I remember packing up gift bags and passing them out for hours. Her mind was always on how to benefit other people.
My mom was also loving and faithful to her church family and always looked after the older ladies of the church. Since I was her shadow when I was younger, we spent a lot of time visiting them in their homes, giving rides to and from church, having dinner with church people and so much more. Honestly, most times as a kid I really just wanted to go home, but I knew in my heart it was right and I tried not to complain much.
So on my first Mother’s Day I reflected on how I love my mom more than anything I could every express in words. Her love for her daughters and the rest of her family is undeniably unconditional. She taught me so much about life from how to treat and accept others to how to seize opportunities to give and practice selflessness.
The thing about loving as hard as my mom did, is the disappointment that arises when it’s not reciprocated. That’s a character trait that I received from her. Regardless, she taught me to love people where they are in the amount that they can handle.
“How people treat and respond to you is not always a reflection of what you deserve. Sometimes it’s only an indication of what they’re capable of.”
My first Mother’s Day made me thankful to God that SHE was MY mother. Before she passed I told her that I know I’m going to be a great Mom because of her and my sister. The two best moms I know. She’ll never meet my Little One, but I like to think she is watching over him as he grows.
My first Mother’s Day inspired me to write down stories my mom has told me so I can tell them to my son one day. I also wrote down her favorite songs, recipes, sayings, bible verses and everything I could think of. Though she is not physically here, I plan to keep her spirit alive in my family as long as I live.
I can hear this verse in her voice:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
I miss you mommy, and I’ll love you always.