Dear Ms. Feverfew –
Today is that most dreaded of days for us first mothers, Mother’s Day, when we are so painfully reminded of our loss at every turn.
The family is all off having brunch…without me. I am here in bed, just like I have been for the past four weeks or so. And by family, I mean Mr. Amazing Man, Captain Knuckle, The Professor, My well-intentioned Mother, my New and Improved Dad, and my two amazing sisters in law. They took my Mother’s Day present with them, a brand-new-delivered-yesterday 2010 Honda Odyssey, polished metal metallic with a leather interior, sunroof, and seat heaters. (There’s a whole saga behind how I ended up with the van but I will spare you the horrible details …let’s just say I have made peace with driving a minivan and the bad juju from the Great Van Incident of the Spring of ’10 is slowly dissipating from my system.)
I guess I should be feeling badly that I am not out with them, tootling around in the shiny new van but in all honesty, I needed a break from all of them. They are driving me bonkers. Being on bedrest has actually worked out well for once. It was a nice convenient way to carve out a moment of silence and some alone time that I won’t otherwise get today.
My day started off in the sweetest of ways – The Professor came bounding into my room at 6:30 a.m., eager to present me with his Mother’s Day gifts he had crafted at school. He climbed up into bed with me and lovingly pulled out a wonderful card and flowers he had made. As he handed them to me, his cheeks flushed a rosy red, his chocolate brown eyes glistening with excitement, and his hair curling coyly around his ears, I couldn’t help but think of you. The two of you look so much like each other.
I praised the hand-made flowers and told him I would cherish them forever (which I will). And then I read the card. He knows me so well. Even at five years old. He knows how much joy I get from playing with him and just doing everyday things with him. He knows he can count on me to help him when he is sad and struggling to find a way to express his feelings. And he knows that more than just about anything else in the world, I love flowers. After one of his signature “drive-by snuggles,” he went downstairs to play on the Wii, leaving me with the gifts he gave me this morning.
And I couldn’t help but think of you again.
Mother’s Day is always such a double-edged sword. While I am thrilled to be honored by my children I am raising, there is always the mournful undercurrent of losing you to adoption and the constant gnawing of what if, what if, what if…
Perhaps it is best that I didn’t go with them to brunch. While they are blissfully inhaling bacon and Belgian waffles, I would have been sitting there knowing there was an empty place at the table and in my heart, one that can only be filled by you. So instead, I will lay here in bed with my body curled around your soon-to-be born little sister as I try to gracefully accept the paradox of a heart full of gratitude for the beautiful sons that I have, yet flurried with apprehension for the daughter who will be born tomorrow and aching with sadness for the daughter I lost.
Much love this honeysuckle scented morning –