Monday, November 26, 2012

Her Saddest Day

Isn't it strange how until you are a mom there are so many emotions you don't understand?  I remember imagining what it would be like to give birth to my first baby.  I was excited and knew it would be indescribable, but still I didn't know how exactly I would feel.  And then Daphne was born and I wanted to memorize every detail about that day.  I wanted to hold onto that JOY, that unduplicated JOY, that comes when you meet your child for the first time.  I wrote every detail down of all of my babies birth stories...I just never wanted to forget anything.  And yet, every year when each one of them have a birthday it all comes spilling back anyway.  It's almost painful too, because I want to go back and hold them and freeze time and not let them get any bigger.  But life doesn't stop moving...

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. 

3 comments:

Crystal said...

I've had several friends lose babies (one year and younger) and I've always wondered how on earth they can keep living afterward. But of course, they do, though differently. It's not something I ever want to know about firsthand either!

Candi said...

Your heart and life are forever changed after the death of a dear loved one. Life does go on, although you're never the same. Thank God for the hope we have in Him, that we will see our loved ones again.He will help us through each and every day here, and He uses us in our weakness to reach out to others in need.

Rachel said...

This made me cry! Oh how it hurts my heart to even imagine living longer than my kids.