What is Mother’s Day, to a woman who is only half a mother?
This year, it seems as if Mother’s Day has approached silently. I knew it was coming, but yet I didn’t. Josh asked what I wanted, to which I replied I simply wanted the dog’s cages out of Logan’s room and it put back in order. Unwilling to wait until tomorrow, I removed the dog’s belongings and restored his room to what was, except for his chair which will be brought back in tomorrow. But now I sit here, with a beer, unable to leave the room. I feel tethered, to nothing in particular. I just can’t bring myself to leave the room. I look at his belongings around the room and I begin to feel the weight of what will be missing tomorrow.
I have to admit, I have not been surviving well the past several months. And if I’m being honest with myself, the past 2 years since Logan died. I have self-reflected more than I care to count, and I think in the beginning I was “strong” because everyone needed me to be. The boys weren’t functioning and somebody needed to be a firm foundation. So I provided that. My friends and family struggled watching me grieve and recoiled at the mention of Logan’s name or any confirmation that I was not the “strong” force that I had been presenting. I feel as if I walk around with this flashing neon sign that says “her baby died” and everyone knows. Everyone is watching. They tip-toe around the normal things in their lives for fear of how I will react. So I put on a brave face, I be strong for them, because they can’t be strong for me. And I would do anything to just be treated like a normal person with normal problems. I endure their insensitive comments about their ratty children, bastard husband, baby mama drama, the unwanted pregnancies; all of it, with a kind smile, I tell them it’s okay.
Last year we celebrated Logan’s 1st birthday and I think that was the first time the box broke open. I felt emotions I didn’t know I still contained. After a few months, I was able to fold the lid back down and shove the box aside. I didn’t have the energy to sift through what lies in that box. But the downward spiral never stopped. I’m good at putting on a brave face. So most don’t know, and those who do, could never fathom the depth I was falling into. I also master the art of distractions. I have given myself lists, gotten involved in a number of groups, run Wyatt all across town for his activities, work trips, etc. All keep my mind occupied. I can’t sit still for fear of what will consume me. When idle time appears I read a book or watch tv.
The past few months the lid to that box has started to bulge. It’s not in the corner anymore, but in my lap. I’ve been pushing down this lip for so long, I’m so tired. Two weekends ago, I returned from KMOM. I was excited to see my husband. I walked in the door and was smacked with an anxiety attack that popped that lip open. Everything came spilling out of that box like an explosion. Nothing I did would put it back. I sat on the laundry room floor and cried for half an hour, just done. And life has not gotten any easier since that day. I’m more aware, but empty.
I’ve spent 2 years searching for God, holding onto this hope that I knew there was an end, an other side to all this grief, fear, anxiety and turmoil. That if I just kept ahold of that hope, I would find my way through this forest that constantly threatened to consume me. Looking back now, all I see is myself walking blind through a forest with no trail. No matter where I turn, I’m cut by thorns, bruised by a rock and ultimately falling off the cliff. I’m left desperately wondering, what is the point?
I have been under constant anxiety attacks 95% of day, every day. The adrenaline I feel sporadically running through my body only spikes the fear I already live with. With each pump of my heart brings paranoia, fear, anger, sadness, uncertainty. And I’m just left feeling broken. I have no desire to function in this life, and I’m beginning to wonder what the life that follows this one. Many times I have thought, “I could just leave, everything, and walk away.” I love my family, but I have hold here.
So as I sit here in Logan’s room, looking at his stuff, that hole grows bigger. The ache grows stronger. I was listening to the radio yesterday, a woman called in complaining because of the gift her husband got her for Mother’s Day. I wanted to slap her. Your children are your gift, today and everyday. You may hate them from time to time, but they are your gift. They can be taken at any time. And you take that for granted every single day. I can’t even remember what it felt like to hold my child in my arms. All I have are his belongings to cling to. That is my gift.
So what is Mother’s Day to a woman who is half a mother? This year, it’s brokenness. This year is fear. Loneliness. Crippling anxiety. Barrenness. Unworthiness.