My mom died so young. She was only 42-years-old. I am 36 now. I cannot fathom leaving behind my family before my kids really get to know who I am. That’s what happened to me. What would life be like if I only had 6 years left? It’s a thought that keeps me awake at night. I can’t get it out of mind.
She passed at a time when the last thing on my mind was motherhood. I never thought to ask any questions about her pregnancies. And that burdened me during my own pregnancy. How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant? Did you have any complications? What was my due date? I was sure my father would not be able to answer these questions. Not because he didn’t know, but when we talk about my mother he sometimes still tears up. I can tell just the thought of her not being with us still hurts his heart. And all I want to do in the world is to keep my dad’s heart from hurting. I couldn’t bear to ask him.
I want my kids to know how they came into this world – though in-vitro fertilization and genuine love. I want them to know how premature they were, but how quickly they grew, and grew, and grew. They are only three years old now, so they don’t completely understand. I don’t want them left with any questions in case I only have 6 years left.
Now, when I question my mothering abilities, I want to turn to my own mother. While only in my mind is that possible, her impact on the way I parent has survived, but not without much self-doubt. Am I doing this right? Mom, please teach me hold them correctly. Should I have tried harder to breast feed? Mom, please tell me I didn’t give up too easily. How do I get them to listen to me? Mom, please tell me that I’m not scaring them when I yell. What I would give for just an hour with her again. I’d take her hand and wouldn’t stop talking until the hour was though.
I want my son to know that he will get it – holding a baby. Within days he’ll feel like an old pro. I want my daughters to know that breast-feeding isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Don’t feel guilty for giving up. Breastfeeding is not for everyone. I want all three of them to know, that even on the days that they completely ignored my demands and I completely lost it, I still loved them with all that I am. These things they won’t understand at three, so I’ll write to them now if they ever doubt their abilities years down the road. I don’t want them left with any questions in case I only have 6 years left.
It is possible, I guess, that I only have 6 years left. It’s more likely though, that I will see my children grow into adults and have children of their own. So, until my day comes I am going to live, love and let go. I’m going to be happy and find beauty in every little thing. I am going to see the world around me instead of letting it pass me by. I’m going to do what fills my heart with joy. I am going to love and be loved. I’m going to love so strong my once broken heart will seem indestructible. I am going appreciate the love around me and never again take it for granted. I am going to let go of my burdens. I’m letting go of the unanswered questions. I’m letting go, Mom. It’s time.