Sunday, May 30, 2010

An Ugly Pair of Shoes

10 Months...

What can I say that hasn't already been said...
Exactly one year ago, I was frantically preparing to leave for Toronto. Our time in Toronto is so closely tied to that last week we spent with Noah. In my mind, it will always feel like the beginning of the end. So there are many memories attached to this month.

At the beginning of the month, we attended the Children's Hospital Memorial service. It was beautifully done and it was so nice to see some familiar faces that we have missed terribly. We were given this poem that has become a favorite of mine and helps put into words this journey of losing a child.

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable Shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.

I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.

I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in the world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by
before they think of how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of the shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

Author Unknown

Thank you to our wonderful friends for the amazing dinner yesterday evening. Thank you for remembering this day.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mothers Day

What to do with this holiday...a holiday that celebrates motherhood...where everywhere you look, there are reminders of what can no longer be.

This holiday has kind of creeped up on me, but now that it is here, I can't help feeling so very lost and so very, very empty.

In my googling last night, I came across this interesting tidbit..."in the US, Mother’s Day started with a proclamation written by Julia Ward Howe. She called for a gathering of women to mourn the sons killed in the civil war and protest the futility of “their sons killing the sons of other mothers”. It wasn’t until 1962 that it became the hallmark celebration of commercialization that we have today." Somehow it made me feel better to read know that this very commercialized holiday began like this...with mothers, like myself, gathering together, mourning the loss of their sons. I appreciate that it has grown into a day to honour mothers, but a day such as this also brings with it much sorrow to so many of us.

Today, I think of my own mother. I am so very thankful for her and for the support she has been to us all during these past years. I love you Mom!!

I think of my friends, and the wonderful mothers that I am privileged to know, and how I often marvel at their "supermom" skills.

But most of all today, I think of those who, like myself, woke up this morning unsure of what to do with this day...with the bittersweet experience of celebrating motherhood with their children...yet at the same time, mourning the loss of being able to mother all of our children here on earth.

I miss my little Noah...

I miss being known as "Noah's mom"...

I miss everything that being Noah's mom encompassed.

I hate that I am no longer able to do the job of mothering my boy here on earth, but in my heart, I will always be "Noah's mom". And no one can ever take that away from me.

So on this day, when it just plain hurts to do anything else, I will choose not to focus on what could have been. Instead, I choose to focus on the incredible gift I was given in mothering this beautiful child. I marvel that I was chosen for this task, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat...for that's just what mom's do. And I mourn for those who will never in their lifetime experience a joy such as our Noah.