Baby Love

There have been many days between the last post and this one.
I went into labor 27 days early and delivered our sweet baby Emma on August 4th, 23 days before her due date. I now have three kids under three and a half years old and miss my mom more profoundly than I thought possible. I was able to get through labor without a massive melt down and then – the next day, I felt this flooding of pain and heart ache start at my toes and slowly, inch its way up through my body till my heard felt like it would explode and the tears were pouring and I felt like the sobs heaving throughout my being would cause me to fall to the ground. I look at this precious and amazing new baby and I am….speechless. To feel great sorrow and great love at the same time is physically confusing and emotionally – it is daunting to be in my body and living this life right now. It is a time when my twin boys need the most love and presence and yet; I feel sometimes like I am floating above my life, watching it happen frame by frame. I hope and pray for more …. being; being present in the moment and present in my parenting, and present in my grief. Then, I want to work on remembering. Remembering all the amazing gifts my mother has bestowed on me and in me. Her love was so big, so real and so present. I can only hope and try to love like she did.

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Love is:

Love is: your mother coming to your house every day you are on bed rest, while pregnant with twin boys starting at week 26–to make you breakfast, check in on you and chat so you are not lonely and not worrying alone about ensuring your babies stay inside to cook a little longer…

Love is: coming over to your house every day after the twin boys were born to make sure you had a small cup of coffee and a shower before starting the next 9 hours of infant twin parenting alone…

Love is: your mother sending you care packages in the mail when you are in college, filled with love and nurturing notes of encouragement. Then sending you sweet cards of ‘you can do it honey’ during finals weeks.

Love is:  the look on your mothers face when she looks at you and you know, deep down, how tenderly you are loved and adored.

Love is:  the feeling of comfort and joy when you are sitting in the presence of you mom; feeling ever so deeply connected that you just know your souls are speaking to one another.

Love is: your mother coming to all your little league softball games, high school field hockey and softball games – the unconditional love there – present – for all the ups and downs that come with being a teen athlete.

Love is: your mom showing you how to love others – by loving you so deeply and fully- that there is no doubt in your mind you are the most important person in her universe.

Love is: your mom making you your favorite meal for your birthday, along with the same; home made birthday cake you have been enjoying for many fun and love filled birthdays.

Love is: being taught to celebrate the big and small things in life; that there are small joys to be had every single day; if we all just take the time to be still, and experience them.

Love is: learning to meditate along side your mother at age 8.

Love is: a feeling in your heart, and soul.

Love is: my mother.

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Some days are okay; some are bad….none are good.

Today marks one month and five days since my mom left this earth. The one month anniversary of her death was incredibly painful, the one month anniversary of her leaving her very sick body. I found myself numb and my body vibrating again; the way it was the days after she died. What I have learned in the past month is the following:

~ I am still in complete shock that in 10 short months, my vibrant, loving and health and exercise conscious mother was diagnosed with a rare cancer, had major surgery, chemo and now has died.

~I am in shock that she is gone. Every single day something happens that causes me to want to send her a text or pick up the phone and call her.

~Every day I feel an emptiness deep down in my soul.

~ I am afraid – of everything right now.

~ I wonder how I will survive this pain and this emptiness and this mind blowing fear?

~ I have learned a lot about people. Those who really SHOW UP in times of grief and those who RUN away.  I think people are interesting; death and grief cause them to either struggle with their own mortality and run away, or they struggle with how to hold and help you through your grief and they run away. People have no clue the little things they can do for others that truly make a difference. Maybe that list for others to learn from will come later…. ‘how to help your grieving friend, loved one, relative etc’ –

~ Hence I have learned a lot about the friends I keep; mostly that they are supremely amazing and the kindest people in the world.

~ and though I have learned many, many more valuable things; what I have learned is more of a ‘re-remembering’ of sorts: That my mom and I had the most amazing, unusual, deep love and friendship. I feel like the luckiest daughter in the world! I am trying these days to remember before she got sick- which is a difficult task when overwrought with deep sadness and anger about what has happened.

And my reality right now, is that each day is challenging, each day is painful and there are no good days. Not that I expected any so soon- I am just new to this level of pain, grief and loss- and so am observing these feelings out loud right now, observing and acknowledging this massive hole in my life.  And for what it is worth– I am still angry at this entire situation. Some people are more in tune with the universe and can tap into the universal message or find the positive spin on heartache, life difficulty or challenges– I am not one of them; or at least not right now. Right now– I am pissed off and miss my mom.

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Dealing with the angry side of grief….

The past several days have been very difficult. Yesterday I was filled with Anger; deep, deep seeded anger that my life has been so fundamentally transformed into such a  state of grief over the loss of my mother. I found it impossible to work through the strong emotion of grief. I have been finding it tolerable to function at work with the other grief emotions of sadness or loneliness or any ohter. When ANGER came rearing its ugly head yesterday: I could not function, I could not focus, I could not listen to what others had to say, I could not read.

This anger; it lasted all day. It lasted into the night, even though I had a good night with my children, step dad and Aunt Ginger.
This anger, was focused on not just one thing; but a myriad of people, circumstances and factors. Anger at the cancer, anger at the medical team that was treating my mother, anger at friends, myself, God, the universe- anger everwhere. There are some that say ‘one must work through the anger to move past it’- but I am not sure about that right now. I am not ready to work through it. I am going to hold on to this anger for a bit longer; hold on like it is HOT COAL. And I am going to see where I end up.

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A new day

Every day is a new day; fresh with opportunity. I would like to take today and be less angry that my life has changed so profusely. I would like to add Grace to my life in this time of tremendous sorrow. I am not sure how I am going to accomplish this – One day at a time I supposed- however– I am going to research books on grief and see if they can help guide my path and this new journey I find myself on. As the Monk said at my mom’s service. I would like to ‘exist less so I can BE MORE’. 

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Grief. A vast chasm in my life.

The definition of Grief: Deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death.

The thing about grief, is it is like walking around in a mine field. You never know exactly when someone will say something that will open the flood gates, get a text that will send you over the tearful edge, or an email with loving sentiment about your lost loved one, that will cause you to crawl back into bed and not want to get back out. Today was one of those days. I received a text asking if and when I could help clean out my mom’s closet, her clothes, shoes, and other personal affects. It seared me, it sent me into the oblivion of tears so deep, it was hard to breathe. I am not sure how I will face the clothes, the cleaning of the closet, the slow movements that we must take to clean out and clear up the personal affects of someone we loved so much. I am afraid. I am deeply afraid the clothes will smell like her and I will not survive that. I am afraid I will want to keep all of her clothes, and not be able to let any of them go. I am afraid I will feel differently about her personal affects than my step-dad or anyone else who loves her. I am afraid. There is no guidebook for what lies in my future. Yesterday, there were no mine fields. Just the empty space of her glaring absence in my life. Today, mine fields where abundant and I felt like I could not take one step forward. Some day, I will write about my mom. Some day, I will write about our amazing friendship and the wonderful times spent and perhaps, that will help explain the depths of my pain. But for now, all I have is grief, remorse about time and this huge gaping hole in my life where my mom used to be. 

 

 

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Day 18 and Day 1 all at the same time.

Today is day 18 of my mother’s passing. Today is also day 1 of this blog. I am tired, have insomnia as usual and find myself back here on the couch, rethinking the past 9 months of my life. While eventually I will write more about my loving and wonderful mother; today…. today is for reflecting and as in the past 18 days, it is a time of reflecting on how I – or any of us- spend our time. Time with loved ones, time at work, time online, time in front of the TV, time in the kitchen, time giving to others and time taking from others. How have we spent our time? Will you- or I – look back on the time and be filled with regret? Possibly? Life is complicated and we are pulled in so many different directions- kids, work, laundry, food, extra curricular activities, and if your a mom- heaven forbid we forget or put ‘self-care’ on the back burner while our life explodes with to-do lists and then with tragedy. I spent the past 9 months of my life in a whirlwind. Diagnosis, surgery, chemo, trips to the ER, ambulance rides, lengthy hospital stays, wheelchairs, hospital beds, walkers, bedpans, bed sores, death. While trying to work, parent and be a wife. This has been the most trying and painful time of my life. Ya see, my mom was my best friend. We were like Peas and Carrots. And this, this is our story and my story of, as my mom has been saying since being diagnosed -that she was going to ‘trust love’. Trusting love to help me not only transcend my grief, but to recall all the wonderful times, and be fully in the present, to knowingly be ‘in my body’, rather than way out in the universe pretending this did not happen; to walk through this pain, rather than around it (or running around it as the case has been) and to be a more mindful parent as I struggle so deeply with missing my happy and joyful mother, every single day. Oh, and did I mention I am 33 weeks pregnant? Yes, being mindful on that front too. 

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