Guest Post by Stephanie Kreb
A reminder of what I do have and a reminder of what is missing. I have two amazing sons and a daughter. My little girl died in my arms, because she was born with a fatal birth defect, the day before Mother’s Day and since them I have really hated the day, with a passion.
I find it so hard to be joyful on the day that brings back so many memories. Beautiful ones and such sad ones. She shouldn’t have lived after birth, but she did. She shouldn’t have moved or open her sweet mouth, but she did. That was an amazing gift for my husband and I. We had the chance to marvel at her. But then as swiftly as we met her we had to say our goodbyes. To tell her in the few hours that we had with her how much she was loved and cared for.
The first anniversary of her death was on Mother’s Day.
That was the day I needed to run away from here, from my home and the memories of what should have been. My husband, my kids, my family, we all ran away. We went out of town for the day. I have pictures of that day. Of what we did and the mostly fake smiles. I have pictures of some of the wonderful things we did that day but only recall a small amount. I was there physically, but I was not really there.
To tell you the truth I haven’t wanted to or cared to celebrate the day. How do you do it? Celebrate? Knowing that with all of the gifts that your children make for you there will always be one missing. One trinket missing. One card missing. It’s like looking at the family picture wondering how different it would be had she been here.
I told my husband I can’t handle the day. For me it doesn’t exist. I will still do things for my mom and mother-in-law but I wanted nothing to do with it. Move it to some obscure day in July. I really didn’t care.
This year my boys are making some beautiful things with their dad and friends at school. For them, it is important. Even though we, as a family miss her, they want to celebrate like their friends do. So for them, I have made a choice to TRY and be in the moment. TRY to live in the moment. I want to try to be a normal mom and enjoy the day. Have the funny shaped pancakes, the tea that got sweetened with salt instead of sugar, listen to my family trying to make a fuss over me while I get a few extra moments in bed, but I am unsure. Sometimes they say the anxiety is worse than the actual day. Like the first time you hold a baby and the first Christmas afterwards. Mother’s day I have avoided for 4 years. I think that it may be time to try. For my boys.
I am listening to the radio and a song came on that says you have to get up and try, try, try. I guess that’ll be my mantra on this Mother’s Day. To all of you, mothers, out there who will be celebrating Mother’s Day, my hugs and love to you. Try and enjoy this day.
I will TRY.