Wednesday, May 4, 2011
The Big Day Is Here! **Sniff**
June 25, 2003- I became a mom.
That's not Abi's birthday. She was born in February of 2004. That June date was the fateful day I held a pregnancy test in my hand that had two beautifully pink lines on it, announcing loud and clear that our firstborn was already inside me, nestling herself into both my womb and my heart at the same time. In the following two or three days, I peed on every pregnancy stick I could get my hands on, each time watching in awe and wonder as the lines appeared and stayed around.
Alot has happened since that balmy Florida summer day. Childbirth, diapers, long nights, endless days, diapers, rashes, fevers that shook us to our core, diapers,first words, bad words, nice words, mean words- no-no's, poo-poo's, pee-pee's, uh-oh's, and diapers. Blues Clues, Lazytown, Dora, and Little Bill. Drooling, big girl panties, stickers, knee scrapes, and aliens in her room. First day of kindergarten, volunteering, crafts, apple juice, and field trips. Swimming in summers, hating "arm pit" shirts (tank tops), only wearing boots, only wearing rain galoshes, and showering in her underwear. Immunizations, broken arm, fever again. Christmases, birthdays, Easters, first grade, and 100th day of school day.
It all blurs together, like beautiful raindrops down a window pane. Each drop vital and full of life. And somehow, each drop transitioning into another drop, making a breathtaking cascade of time that flows from one life into another.
It's Mother's Day (almost). And in a way, that's what this blog is all about every day. But since it's the day we set aside to honor the sacrifice of a mother's heart, I wanted to call out the moms in my family that I honor and admire... Because their story is a part of MY story and in some way or another, they shape the mom I am.
My Mom. All 5'2" of her. With her sass, her sheer beauty, her concern, her VOICE. If I could bottle the lullabies she has sang to me throughout my life and give a bottle to the world, the world would be at peace. Not because of her vocal abilities (she has NONE). Not because of her epic song writing skills (ZILCH). But because of the love that IS her symphony. I sing to Abi almost every day. It is my prayer that the sound of my song brings to her heart what my mom's song always has to mine. And even if she's on the other side of the planet, my song will take her to where I am. Home.
My sister. Lori was born into our family ten and a half years after me. I always joke that she was my firstborn child. But somewhere between changing her newborn diapers and today, she became the best friend I've ever had. A little more than 24 hours after giving birth to her first child, she found herself sitting in a chair next to her heart while he was hooked up to monitors and wires, fighting for his health and his life. If you know my baby sister, you know she is a wildcat. She's fierce and feisty. She's loud and boisterous. She's emotional and ridiculously alive in every thing she does. After giving birth, she was physically exhausted and in more pain than she thought possible, but she turned into the Rock of Gibraltar for her baby and her husband. (And she lets me have her baby whenever I want him, so she gets ten gold stickers for that).
My first best friend, Kim. My mom's younger sister, just 16 when I was born. We grew up together. Sleepovers, games, Barbies, shopping trips... she was in love with me from day one, and I have loved her back every single day since. My heart was broken when she married and had a baby of her own. But like the true friend she is, I never lost my place. And 34 years later, we're thick as thieves. I forget she's my aunt. She's my sister. My friend. I love you, Kim.
My aunts Pam and Phyll. Oh the special place in my heart you hold! Lunches at your kitchen tables, swimming with all the cousins, watermelon with our own butter knives, holidays, birthdays, special days... You're in all of my childhood memories! You bandaged knees, refereed fights, and judged contests all summer long. I can only imagine the relief every September brought to you.
My Nana. Queen Nana of the World. Just the sound of her name makes me smile. My dad's mom is still a grandma that kids drool over. There were 8 of us grandchildren, and if you ask ANY of us who her favorite grandchild is, I can guarantee you we will ALL think WE are. She let us eat Cool Whip for dinner, sleep with the Christmas tree lights on, took us out separately for special days, let us "run away" to her house, and was at every sporting event or school play as was humanly possible. I'm her favorite, of course. Really. ;-)
My Nanny. Quirky, crazy, cooking mama supreme, Nanny. The woman can COOK. My childhood memories of shelling peas, watching her hang her clothes out to dry, and seeing her rake the carpet (yes, you read correctly) are now becoming valuable to me as a part of my own story. See, I show love by cooking. And by cleaning. My husband (for the most part) comes home to a clean house and can appreciate the value of a home cooked meal because Nanny instilled these qualities in my mom. I'm already counting the months until Thanksgiving. We're halfway there. Ahhhhhh.
My mother-in-law. Raising 7 children (Raymond, Russell, Rodrick, Rachele, Randall, Richard, and Radford) to all love Jesus, play piano, and love each other is no small feat. Through years of Daddy being overseas or on the road, she held her course. She's a tiny woman. But only on the outside. And I love her because she gave me the greatest gift I've ever been given.
Mother's Day holds a special meaning to EVERY mom's heart. But to those of us who have ever struggled with infertility or loss, this day is our big sigh of relief. I never tire of the emotion I feel that morning, when we're in church and the moms are asked to stand. Standing represents accomplishment. It represents tears, prayer, endurance, patience, and a love that you just can't understand until it kisses you. Standing that first Mother's Day represented God's promise fulfilled in my heart.
And standing every year since represents me and a little green eyed girl, who was fashioned in the image and likeness of her daddy, but bears such a resemblance to her Heavenly Father, it takes my breath away.
Let me end this with two quotes that truly summarize the love we are celebrating this weekend.
A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path. - Agatha Christie
I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. - Abraham Lincoln
Happy Mother's Day.