The piece below is my blog post from one year ago. As we celebrate another Mother’s Day, I wanted to write a new blog. After re-reading the one my former self penned, I do not think I could top it, and will therefore share it again.
Celebrating Mother’s Day is not just for those who have living children. For several years, I was a mother of an angel. And then two angels. And then three. It is only by the grace of our undying will to never give up that we finally had a rainbow baby. Being a mother to a living child is not without its challenges, rough days, and prayers that her motor delays will just go away. It does not erase our past, nor negate the fact that I am still a mother of three angels.
Being a mother means you loved another human more than you ever loved before. It is making sacrifices that otherwise seem unimaginable, especially for those children whose lives are cut short, dies in our arms, or who we never even see.
I became a mother in 2010. I became a parent five years later.
I am a mother to four, parent to one.
I created four babies. I nurtured four babies. I loved four babies.
Mother’s Day is not about how many children we look after here on Earth, but rather it is about how many times we loved someone deeper than anyone else–even before we ever met them. It is about how we turn our selfish lives into completely selfless ones. It is about how we ride the emotional roller coaster reaching peaks of joy and valleys of despair. It is about how we know–whether or not our children were fortunate enough to have a physical life in this world–that we gave ourselves, our hopes, our dreams, and our souls to another.
Losing Sophia broke me. The grief knocked me to my knees. The overwhelming sadness took over my days. The hopelessness and sense of “why me?” saturated my every thought. But as the heartache healed, I rebuilt who I was and what my purpose could be. I wrote, I shared, I connected with others. The comfort I found buoyed my confidence, and made me the stronger mother I need to be today for our rainbow baby Evelyn.
Because I loved so hard in 2010, loved a tiny human who could not come home with us, I found my true potential as a person and as a mother. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart, the ego-centric, or the cowardly. It cultivates a strength like nothing else can. It creates a compassionate heart that has no where to go but to the innocent. My journey of three losses lead me to becoming a parent to our nearly two-year-old, for which each day I am enormously grateful.
On this Mother’s Day, I celebrate all my children. Each left a legacy. Each brought me great happiness and great sorrow. Each one is part of this family, and of who we always speak, remember, and love. Mother’s Day is not about which child brings you the best gift, but rather about how each child (angel or otherwise) is a great gift.