Monday, November 26, 2012
Her Saddest Day
I was a little surprised one day when one of my mom's friends was reliving the birth of her first daughter on facebook, because I hadn't stopped to think about how even when my babies are 38...I'll still find myself reminiscing about their birth. But of course I will! And it will pull my heartstrings and bring happiness all at the same time, as I remember those special days again.
Having this maternal understanding makes it that much harder to get through a day like today. The day of my father's birth. I don't look at it through my lenses, although I miss my dad and think of him on his birthday. I worry about my Grandma. Because even though her baby was 60 years old when he died, he was just that...her firstborn son. Today, she got out of bed and thought of her baby, her toddler, her child boy, her teenager, her newly married son, her adult son, and then her sick son that died all too soon. But her thoughts would not be far from the 26th of November, 1949...the day he was born. She thought of how it rained really hard that day, and I imagine she remembered the fear she felt ..just a 20 year old girl about to give birth for the first time. She remembered his traumatic breech birth and the relief that poured over her
as she held him in her arms just minutes before midnight. I don't know everything about that day...but she does.
No longer is this day a happy one for her. My Grandma is a strong woman, and I don't remember ever seeing her cry growing up. But the night we went to say goodbye to Dad's body, she broke down with the rest of us. And she sat down on the couch in that room and I sat with her. She told me that she just couldn't leave him. So we sat there and cried together and I saw her not as my Grandma, but just as a mother. Eventually my Grandpa came and took her hand and led her out. It was the saddest thing I've ever experienced first hand. A mother saying goodbye to her son. She had outlived her baby. And outliving him means living his birthday without him every year since.
I called her tonight and it was all I could do to keep from crying. It helps only a little to write about it here. I pray that I won't have to experience losing a child, young or old. Grandma said how thankful she was to have had him in her life for so long, and that she can't imagine losing a young child...but even as she said that I could feel her hurt despite the 60years she had as his mom.
Go kiss your babies...little or big. Life's gifts are precious.