Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Real Gift


Today is Mother's Day. It's a day that is bittersweet for many, blissfully happy for a few, and really sad for others. Hallmark would have you think that it's all flowers and chocolates and happiness but for so many, it's not.


This Mother's Day, I am happy. I am happy for so many reasons. I am grateful for that I get to wake up to the faces of two of my children every day. They are such a gift. I never forget that.

Every single day, I remember how much I love them and how much I wanted them. I don't need breakfast in bed or flowers or even a card. I am happy...more than happy...just to have them, just as they are. I'm not saying they're perfect. But they are perfect to me.


This time last year I didn't know if Ginger would be born alive. My whole pregnancy with her, I hoped and prayed I'd get to see her sweet face, kiss her soft skin, and listen to her laugh. Getting to spend this year with her has been a gift- more than I ever could have hoped or wished for...she really is my dream come true.


Of course, I am thinking about Vivian and Annemarie today. Whenever I post something about them, invariably someone will email me and talk about how sad I sound. And the truth is...I am sad sometimes. I walk through grief, and it's okay to be sad. You can be happy and sad all at the same time. I still miss Vivian and Annemarie, and I suspect I always will. I will always wish for them to be here by my side.

But even though they are gone, I am still their mom. I am still a mother to my girls in Heaven. And if people don't "get" that, or they think it's morbid or whatever...I couldn't give a hoot. They will always be my daughters. And I'm always going to love them. Period.


Yesterday, Paprika watched Disney's original animated Alice In Wonderland for the first time on DVD. She loved it so much, and next thing I knew, she had whipped up THIS outfit. This is her "Alice In Wonderland" outfit. I don't know if anyone else can see the resemblance, but I do.

I am impressed at how she made this costume out of clothes she has- one of her favorite dresses (from Mimi and PopPop), her ballet tights, her tap shoes, a headband, and an old bag we had laying around as the apron.

I know it's a silly thing, but it was one of those ordinary moments that is a gift of motherhood. Watching your child grow and be creative, and funny, and silly...these are moments I don't ever take for granted. Ever.


For all the moms who have lost children, the moms who have lost their only children, and the women who want to be moms but can't be due to infertility or life's circumstances...I just want to give you all a big hug today and let you know that I am thinking of you. I don't say that lightly. I am heartbroken for you all, and hope that this upcoming year brings healing, hope, and happiness.

Last year at Mother's Day, I was so sad. This past year has brought so much healing, and although things aren't all better, and won't ever be all better (how can they be, really?)...I am definitely in a better place than I was last Mother's Day. And that's progress...

Mother's Day will always be bittersweet for me. I am grateful to be celebrating all my children (even the ones in Heaven) and even if there are no presents to open, flowers, or cards for me today, it's okay by me. I am happy this year and grateful, just so grateful for another year of being able to wake up and have someone call me "Mom" - it truly is the best gift of all.


Louisa said...

absolutely beautiful post - so true

Devon said...

this is a beautiful post, erika...and you are just as much mom to v&a as you are to p&g....i'm missing them with you too.

and those two little girls just make me sweet!

Eve & Joel said...

Paprika, you look JUST like Alice! I can totally see it!

Brooklyn Book Lover said...

Beautiful post. I can relate to so much you have said.

Jamie said...

You are an AWESOME mama!!! Hope you had a great day!!!

I understand your loss...those people who comment in an ill fashion just don't understand. Losing a child is like losing a part of yourself...I totally get it. We lost twins early(miscarriage)...but they are loved always!

Anonymous said...

The people who don't get that we are still mothers to our children in heaven are usually the people who haven't been through what we have. Its heartbreaking that there are some people who feel this way, but really I could care less. I am the mother of TWO daughters :)

Oh my goodness paprika looks just like alice. That is so adorable!!

danbnan said...

There is such beauty and truth in your words...loved this post Erika. I hope you had a wonderful day, though I know you'd give anything to have had all 4 of your girls sharing it with you. Hugs...

FourJedis said...

What a sweet, sweet post, E. It is so evident by looking at your girls how great of a mom you are to them. I wish more than anything that your twins could have shared yesterday with you down here and could be playing with Paprika and Ginger throughout their daily adventures. Paprika is more Alice than Alice herself. Her imagination is beyond amazing.

Brenna said...

LOVE the Paprika as Alice pics...she's such an amazing kiddo E, you have so much to be proud of! And little Ginger gets cuter by the day, if that's even possible! I was thinking of you and Vivian and Annemarie over the weekend, and of all of our friends with babies in heaven. Sending you and all of your girls lots of love~