May 14, 2012
I knew the day was going to be rough. So did Lee as he handed me the keys to the car so I could leave church in the middle of services, nearly blinded by tears and emotion. I drove home and grabbed Kelsey who joined me in an emergency run to Krispy Kreme for a donut fix. It worked. Tears subsided and smiles appeared.
Later, the smiles continued as I read the Mother’s Day messages Carly & Kelsey wrote in sidewalk chalk over our entire driveway. I love that my 21 and 16 year-old daughters didn’t think they were too old for this sweet display. They also placed post it notes throughout the entire house with little messages just for me – in the refrigerator, on the bathroom mirror, the lamp, my car, etc.
Actually, our entire weekend together was quite special. It started with Carly inviting Kelsey to join her as a pick up player on her co-ed softball team. Kelsey was actually a ringer. The opposing team sarcastically shouted from the bench, “What are you, twelve?” as she went up to bat, so she responded by drilling the ball soundly out past the head of the left fielder for a stand-up double. She also played first base like a pro – catching extremely hard and fast throws from shortstop every time for an out, while I had to close my eyes, hoping she didn’t get beaned in the head. Carly could be heard to shout, “That’s MY sister!” Carly’s team trounced them!
But I am a mother of three. This first Mother’s Day without Nick is so hard, so sad. I couldn’t have made it through without Lee, Carly & Kelsey. Their love comforted my fragile heart. What I cherished the most was when the two girls would say, “Remember when Nick said….” or “That was so funny when Nick….” Each girl can mimic Nick verbatim and it is hilarious. The memories brought laughter and warmth.
I then read a posting from another mother who lost her daughter last year, also experiencing her first Mother’s Day without her daughter. I absolutely loved the post and it was exactly what I needed to read. Here is the article written by Erma Bombeck shared in the post:
THE CHOSEN MOTHERS
By Erma Bombeck
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit. Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with life threatening illnesses are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger….
“Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint Matthew.
Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint Cecilia.
Rutledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint Gerard.”
Finally, He passes a name to an angel and says, “Give her a child with cancer.” The angel is curious. “Why this one God? She’s so happy.” ”Exactly.” smiles God, “Could I give a child with cancer a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.”
“But, does she have patience?” asks the angel. ”I don’t want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she will handle it.
“I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has its’ own world. She has to make it live in her world and that’s not going to be easy.”
“But, Lord, I don’t think she believes in you.”
“No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.” The angel gasps -“Selfishness? Is that a virtue?” God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she’ll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take anything her child does for granted. She will never consider a single step ordinary. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see…ignorance, cruelty, prejudice…and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side.”
I am so blessed to have Lee, Carly, Kelsey, Nick and God by my side. Happy Mother’s Day