Guest Post by Laura Beck
It was always a difficult day for me growing up.
It was always a reminder of what I didn’t have and a reminder of what others did have.
When I was a newborn, I was put up for adoption and given to a couple that genuinely wanted me.
My mother, Marnie, is the woman who adopted me. She was smart, she had class, she was kind, and she loved nature.
She passed away from Cancer when I was six years old, and my memories of her have faded to only a few.
I have pictures, the words of others, and a few videotapes that prove that we were together.
She left me a letter that she had written on her death bed full of insight into who she was, her hopes for me in the future, advice, and the overwhelming sadness that she felt knowing that she was leaving me.
Many things, both ridiculous and painful, happened between her death and where I stand today.
My father got re-married to a heartless woman who hurt me significantly, and I met my birth parents.
The only stable woman figure in my life, my grandmother, passed away as well as my best friend- my grandfather.
More happened, obviously, but you get the point- I learned a lot, I experienced a lot.
I’ve held on to her letter and read it many times over my life.
It helped me through some very confusing and painful times.
Reading it always helped me to feel her unconditional love. It made me miss her and long for the mother that loved me the way she did.
I thought I understood loss completely.
I thought that I understood everything that it meant to be motherless and the sadness that comes along with it.
Then I held my son in my arms as he passed away.
and everything spilt open.
the pain was so loud.
and it never went away.
Everything little thing in my entire reality- in my whole world- changed.
Losing him was by far the worst that has ever happened to me.
I long for him every single day of my life since he took his last breath.
Being separated from him is unnatural and awful, and it will be a part of this world that I will never understand.
It’s not just me that this happened to, it’s many other women in many different situations.
And then I think about my mother. How she knew that she was dying and couldn’t stop it and I have an entirely new view on how much that must have hurt for her.
After all those years, she finally got her baby and then she only had six years with me.
Since then I thought Mother’s Day would be one of the most painful days of the year for me.
But the facts are, it isn’t.
Every day is hard.
Some more then others and there is no rhyme or reason.
I try not to have expectations for what I think I might feel on any given day of the year because it sets me up for not staying true to my real feelings.
It keeps me in anticipation and bracing myself for the wicked backlash of grief, but I can never plan when it’s going to show up.
The ebb and flow of grief does what comes naturally, and I am just the sailor on its waters.
Mother’s Day is no exclusion, but for me, it is a reminder of pure and unconditional love. Horrible things happen, but I will always be a better person for knowing my mother’s love and for knowing my son’s love.
No matter where they are and no matter how they died.
I feel the separation of my son and me so strongly that it woke up the feeling of separation between my mother and me.
I feel like I know her more now through experiencing my grief over losing my son.
Generation upon generation of women and mothers have got me to this point right now.
I am right here, right now, because of them. She is a part of my story, and so is he.
They might not be here. You can not see them.
Yet they have made the most impact.
They have changed the course of my entire life more than anyone. How amazing is that?
They are so important.
This year I plan on celebrating my motherhood and my mother.
None of it is perfect, but I am forever grateful for them.