Hannah and I got creative at the weekend. We made a card, a special one, for a really special person. But despite loving assisting her and watching her deep in contemplation – choosing what she wanted to stick on the card or what colour felt tip took her fancy (mostly to put in her mouth and chew on *sigh*) and then making attempts to eat the card *another sigh*, I couldn’t help but feel slightly melancholy.
You see, we made 2 cards last year – one for both her Grandma’s.
However, this year is different.
Sunday 6th March in the UK is Mother’s day and it’ll be the first one without my mum.
Those pesky first ‘anniversaries’ or significant days when someone dies have the potential to be a bit rubbish, don’t they?
But I’m not alone. Mother’s day, no matter what date it is across the world, may be a melancholy one for lots of other people.
Isn’t it funny, how when you start writing something, a memory pops into your head and you can actually hear someone else speaking? I’ve just had one of those….
My mum loved most flowers, except carnations, but especially freesia, and she was by no means frugal (she was EXTREMELY generous), but I smile now whilst typing this post as every single year we’d have the same conversation as the day approached – she’d positively insist (being a bit pre-emptive!) that I didn’t buy her flowers for Mother’s Day. It irked her that the cost of flowers were hiked up especially for this day. She believed it was ‘consumerism gone mad’. I think she had a point.
My mum and I didn’t have an atypical mother-daughter relationship that other people might do; I wasn’t the ‘perfect’ daughter, nor was she the ‘perfect’ mother – whatever ‘perfect’ is, that is.
But neither of us ever claimed we were perfect…nor did we ever feel the need to try and emulate a ‘perfect’ relationship or, in fact, a ‘perfect’ self.
I couldn’t do the things for her that maybe someone else could have done, because Hannah was always my priority (but she knew that, she told me) and she couldn’t do the things that I may’ve needed her to do when Hannah was born – things that other new mamas might just take for granted. Nor, over the last 6 years, could she do the things for Hannah that other Grandma’s can do.
But it was what it was….and it taught me a lot and made me a MUCH stronger person for it. So for that, I am thankful.
For other people, Mothers’ Day can invoke sadness for a whole host of other reasons:
For women (perhaps like me a few years ago) who want a child of their own but are told they’ll probably never have one – PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP !
For people who’ve lost a ‘mother’ figure who wasn’t blood related
For women who’ve lost their babies, no matter how old they were
And for SO many other reasons.
It’s not always a day of celebration, sadly. It can be a cruel reminder of what once was..or could never be.
This year, despite it being a first ‘anniversary’, I’m not going to sit in my wardrobe, weeping and eating dark chocolate hobnobs all day. Mind you, now I come to mention it, the prospect of that sounds rather appealing actually…but without the weeping, obviously!
Nope. That isn’t going to happen (a) Because my Mum wouldn’t want that for me – she knows I have enough things to weep about if I had the time to sit and ponder on them (b) Because I consider myself blessed, really blessed.
I have a little girl – A little girl that the medical profession told me I’d probably never have.
A little kooky, slightly scruffy, sometimes scary and fearless, delightful little girl who makes my heart sing every time I look at her.
I’ve learned SO much since her birth – I could probably write a book about it!
But the most important things that Hannah (unwittingly) has taught me and that spring to mind right now are these:
I now know what unconditional love is TRULY all about – I really didn’t know what that was until Hannah came along.
I know that her needs come way before mine
I know that I can’t describe the depth of helplessness when your child is in pain and can’t tell you how she’s feeling.
I know fear. REAL fear. I’ve seen it in my baby’s eyes. I’ve lived it. That overwhelming fear of losing something so precious that your world would end can’t possibly be described.
I know that life wouldn’t be worth living without her. Turning down opportunities and experiences has sometimes been really hard, but I didn’t ‘sacrifice’ anything…Hannah is my priority, so that’s the way it has to be.
I’ve learned that Hannah can drive me completely potty AND scare me stiff with her fearless antics – It’s no wonder I’ve ‘aged’ so much since her birth *sigh*
I’ve learned that pleasure can be taken from the simplest of things…like watching Hannah try to brush her dolly’s hair, or when wiping her messy face when she’s eaten or that rare split second when she looks deep into your eyes and you just know you have a connection – that’s something that really wasn’t apparent when she was younger and took years to come.
I’ve learned that distancing yourself from others’ agendas, opinions, attitudes, judgements, drama’s or whatever – anything that’s having a negative impact on your life or your feelings – is completely necessary. We, in the special needs world, don’t need to watch soap operas – we have enough stresses and drama’s to write our own script, thank you very much!
I’ve learned that every single development ought to be celebrated for what it is – because no matter how small it may appear to others, it’s a HUGE development in our world
I’ve learned never to give up. NEVER!
I’ve learned not to suffer fools gladly.
I’ve learned that time spent together, being silly or doing nothing and just snuggling on the sofa is by FAR more precious than anything money could EVER buy.
I’ve learned that my daily aching back and pelvis from carrying and lifting her about isn’t a sacrifice. It’s a necessity.
I’ve learned to be patient. REALLY patient. I had to wait four whole years for a hug…but Oh, when it came…IT. WAS. HEAVENLY!!!…I’m getting leaky eyes just writing about it, so imagine what state I was in when she actually hugged me!…and I’m still waiting, for lots of developments, like speech…and I’ll wait forever, because I have to.
I know that she makes my heart sing EVERY. SINGLE. DAY
I’ve learned that whilst I can’t hear her voice, I’m blessed to hear her laugh and see her smile – that big, genuine, toothy, sometimes cheeky grin *melt*
…But, most importantly, despite everything that I’ve learned so far, I’m honoured that I was chosen to be her mama.
So, it’s time to bid Adieu for now, my lovelies.
If you are celebrating Mother’s Day, then I hope you have a lovely one.
HUGE hugs sent from me to those who may have a difficult time this year.
Thanks, as always, for dropping by.
Until next time
This post is dedicated to all those Angel Mamas who can’t be with us this year. They may not be around in the physical sense, but they’ll always be in our hearts. ❤
(mothers day graphic courtesy of photofunia.com)