Saturday, May 11, 2013

watering the ground

MaryAlice skipped into the room this morning when she woke up, plopped down on the bean bag chair beside me and with an innocent smile chirped, "Is the baby still in your tummy, Mama, or in Heaven?"  I smiled, took a deep breath and reassured both of us, "The baby is still in my tummy."

As Mother's Day approaches I'm more aware of things I'd like not to be... Well, maybe I'm glad I am more aware and able to be more sensitive, yet I wish the path to empathize needn't have been...

I used to feel bad and try to "mourn" alongside a friend when their loved one passed away, but never felt very helpful.  After I lost someone I loved dearly, I mourn differently.  I mourn as someone who has mourned before.  It is different now.  My pain for them is real... raw.  Each funeral brings back my own memories and I "get it".

My great aunt passed away yesterday and I not only mourn the loss of her on this earth because she was a wonderful lady; but my tears are for her family as I relate more than I ever used to.  The older I get the closer to home these deaths approach.  This time it is a mom of my cousin and dear friend.  We know she is in Heaven and in far better shape than here, but we only know
so we miss her in our finite minds.
We hold on to the hope we have through faith in Christ, but will continue to mourn the change in our lives and the void it creates.
Thinking of them as they grieve her death this Mother's Day and hold a visitation and grieve together on Sunday...

On Mother's Day I rejoice as a mom of three beautiful girls, yet...
I mourn the loss of a little one that will never be.  My arms are full yet hide an emptiness I share with many of those around me.  I carry another one inside me with a fragile grasp as a constant reminder that my life and this child too,  is not my own.  The miracle of life is more real today as it's no longer a guarantee like I may have once thought.  Now it is a step of faith I never knew other mom's carried. It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't been through it; although I do honestly treasure those who try.  It's like the fear I held with each subsequent pregnancy since Abby who has a genetic disorder and the added fear of others hasn't always been helpful either.  The "Aren't you worried about having another one like Abby" isn't helpful.  Of course, I'd have to be comatose to have not thought of that!

My eyes are opened to the other moms who carry their pain in silence... some are not as fortunate and carry it with empty arms.  I've walked infertility with several friends who have endured months and usually more like years of being poked and prodded like lab rats trying to conceive.  They count days and cycles, pop pills, give themselves shot after shot, and endure all kinds of procedures as they try to relax and not be uptight in their efforts to conceive; yet monthly they are reminded when they are still without the child they so desperately desire.

On a day many of us get to be celebrated by wonderful family who surround us, may we notice the blurry eyed and tear stained faces trying desperately to hide their suffering.  They mourn their status as "waiting" or the reality of moms or grandmas long gone.  May I never get so self focused that I don't have eyes to see those around me.

... still wish empathy could be more real without experiencing so much of it first hand.  Deciding to allow others' pains to change me as I chose to walk close enough absorb the blows with them.  Truth be told... after walking much of these roads myself, I'd sometimes like to keep my distance and never feel that kind of pain again, but choosing to love those around me enough to water the ground with my tears for their suffering...

 hmmm... a work in progress, indeed.

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