So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

You consider yourself a strong person. You’re over a decade into this parenting gig, and you feel relatively qualified to handle obstacles. You have honed your skills over the years, learned from your mistakes and feel relatively capable (most days). And then you get that call, from (insert your husband/wife/teacher/coach/friend/partner…and they call, in that creepy-calm ‘I have terrible news’ voice) and tell you to “Come to _____, there’s been an accident, an ambulance is on its way.”

That call is every person’s worst nightmare. The circumstances may change to fit your situation, but your feeling will be the same; panic, fear, dread…in no particular order. In that moment, with that call, your life was just altered. You will not be the same after that call. The person who called you with the news, with their creepy-calm voice has delivered information that will change how you view incoming calls, especially if you are a parent, and your children are not with you. Because going forward, you know when your phone rings, it could be ‘that call.’  You know that you are no longer protected from ‘that call’… you never were. And you now know that life can sucker punch you when you least expect it. 

This wasn’t my first sucker punch. It won’t be my last. 

For me, this particular sucker punch was a broken arm at a soccer practice for my 8-year old girl. In the scheme of things, that call could have been worse. That fact has run thru my mind no less than 800 thousand times. I told myself this over and over as I drove to the emergency room.

And then in the emergency room, you see her face, you see the pain in her eyes, you see her deformed arm and the badly broken bones, and your heart shatters into a million little pieces. It’s now not just a broken arm. It’s her broken arm, and she is your baby girl. Seeing her face crinkle up with pain will make you weak. And when you are standing outside the X-ray room and you hear her cry out in such agony, your legs will buckle, and your insides will lurch. You catch yourself because your son is standing next to you, with tears running down his face, because he too is scared for his little sister. So your husband grabs your hand and makes you look at him, so that you know that the room is not in fact spinning, and in his eyes is the gentle reminder that you need to keep yourself together. You need to be strong, because your son is scared – he saw the accident happen, he saw his little sister’s arm, broken and hanging, and he’s looking to you for assurance that she is going to be okay. He loves her too. And you owe him calm, you own him comfort. And that is difficult because you’ve never felt as helpless, as weak, as you had in that moment.

My little girl was in pain – and I thought it might kill me.

It was then that I realized the greatest fact of my life— their pain is my greatest weakness.

Up until that call, I felt like there wasn’t much that I couldn’t handle. I’ve been through some things. I’m a fairly resilient person with an ability to remain calm in a crisis. My now known exception is when it involves one of my children suffering. Seeing one of them in this level of pain, it was traumatizing. I did not know that I could be traumatized by a broken arm, but I was. I thought I was made of way sturdier stock. But when she cried, I cried. I couldn’t bear witnessing her pain. For days after, any movement she made was excruciating. She was struggling, but also doing her best to cope. One morning she said, “Mama, can you get Daddy?”  I told her that I would help her. She said “No Mommy. Because you cry when I cry. I don’t want you to cry. But this hurts, and I’m going to cry.”

So I cried. And she cried. And my husband came into the room for the 30th time that week to find both of us crying.

And oh how I felt like I failed her. How I wished that I could have been stronger for her. How I wish she could have looked at me and gotten the strength and comfort that she needed. But instead, when she looked at me, she saw her pain mirrored in my eyes.

The weeks that followed were difficult. They involved an unexpected surgery that had complications, and then a break of her wrist on her other arm. It was unbelievable. Her suffering was great. Her resilience, strength of character and spirit were greater. She made it easy on my husband and I that way. She was truly impressive. I continue to try to take my cues from her, and marvel at her ability to make the best of her situation. She is a warrior. 

Watching her suffering has weighed heavily on all of us. It’s taken its toll. When it comes to my children, as strong as I feel as a person, as a mom, as a parent, I now know-their pain is my greatest weakness. I’m just no match for it.

Lori E. Angiel

Lori resides in the suburbia of Western New York with her husband, their 2 children and sweet rescue pup, George Bailey (because, it’s a wonderful life, after all). When not working, she is doing the soccer mom thing on the sidelines of a soccer field, running the local trails and streets (year round in the most obnoxious reflective gear available) with her running (a/k/a support) group while they train for what is always known as the "last race we are ever doing", or shopping at TJ Maxx or Target.  Her favorite things include her training runs, skiing with her family and yoga.  She is also very devoted to drinking wine and spending as much time as possible with her friends and family.  Whenever the opportunity presents itself, you will find her sitting on a beach (applying copious amounts of sunscreen on her kiddos)....all the while writing about the little things in life that occur to her along the way.

Memories Fill the Holes in Their Hearts Where a Grandpa’s Love Should Be

In: Grief
Drawing, journal, and photo of man, color photo

“Girls, come here for a minute.” In some sort of yearly ritual, I guide my oldest two daughters to my bedroom, where a wooden chest sits. It’s painted in flowers of muted colors and has a brass keyhole on it, making it look like an antique. It isn’t. It’s only 20 years old. As my girls follow me into my room, I grab the skeleton key off my dresser that unlocks the wooden chest. I turn the key and open the wooden box that holds so many pieces that are supposed to remind me of my dad.  Pictures of him....

Keep Reading

The Calls Stopped When the Casket Closed

In: Grief
Father and toddler walking in cemetery, color photo

The night my mother died is raw. It was filled with a lot of emotions: anger, regret, sadness, guilt, and remorse. The next day, I woke up to multiple calls, text messages, posts on my Facebook wall, and Facebook messages. It was a flood. The flood soon turned into a drought. Before I could process what happened the night before, people were sending flowers, the funeral home was calling, and people were showing up at my door. The next two days there was an influx of people in and out of my house and a lot of food. But the...

Keep Reading

Losing a Child Changes Everything

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman at beach sunset

I‘ve had my life planned out since I was a teenager. My dreams were to be a teacher, wife, and mom in that order. I would teach elementary school and have the cutest classroom with the greatest lessons, and I’d teach until I was old and retired. The man of my dreams would sweep me off my feet in college, and we’d have a romantic wedding and start our great life together. Then, after a few years, we would have two children, a boy and a girl. We would be a blissfully boring, happy little family.  I didn’t want extravagant...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Love Lasts Forever

In: Grief, Grown Children, Motherhood
Silhouette mother and daughter

She was so pretty. So pretty it was hard to look away from that porcelain skin, those high cheekbones, stunning green eyes with just the right amount of sparkle and depth, and shiny black hair. And those lips, perfectly plump with neatly applied lipstick, always ready to give a kiss on the cheek or a knowing smile. More than pretty, she was beautiful—you know, beautiful inside and out. She was classy. Not fancy or prim and proper, not snobby—just classy. A certain air about her that made you notice and appreciate her presence when she walked into the room. She...

Keep Reading

Thumbprint Glasses and a Lifetime of Love

In: Grief, Motherhood
Broken thumbprint glass on floor, color photo

Yesterday my Nannie’s glass was shattered, intentionally thrown across the room by a child of mine. My heart shattered with it for that glass held memories. When we visited my Nannie in Florida, I would wake with the sun to the aroma of fresh eggs, bacon, and grits. I would stumble into her bright yellow kitchen. The counters always cluttered, the small white table nicely set, and the glasses full of orange juice. “Thumbprint glasses,” I called them. I would put my tiny thumb into the imprint of each beautiful dent and admire the rainbows the iridescent glass made. That...

Keep Reading

Some Babies Are Held Only in a Mother’s Heart

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Ultrasound of baby

“Whatever may come and whatever may pass, we have faith that our God will bring us to it and through it.” That’s what I wrote in a post after we announced our third pregnancy. It was the first pregnancy we went public with, but it was the third time we had two positive lines on a pregnancy test. You see, we had miscarriage after miscarriage after miscarriage. We went from surprised optimism to guarded yearning and finally stolen joy. The first baby was nothing more than a what-if before that test. It was a surprise to two people who loved...

Keep Reading

My Birthday Will Never Be the Same without My Mother

In: Grief
Mother and two daughters, older color photo

It’s been eight months since my mom took her last breath on earth and entered into her eternal resting place. Eight, long, motherless months. I expected holidays to be hard, as they should, because a piece of the family is missing. The spot where they once sat, ate, laughed, took pictures, and made memories is now empty. Just like a piece of my heart is empty. RELATED: I Didn’t Just Lose My Mom the Day She Died The holiday no one prepared me for was my birthday. A day that’s to be celebrated. It’s the day I took my first...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, I Miss You

In: Faith, Grief
Grown woman and her mother, color photo

Dear Mom, Yesterday I went over to your house. I was hoping you would open the door, but Daddy greeted me with his sweet smile. Yes, he still has a mustache. The one you hate, but I did manage to trim it up for him. I cut his hair too.   We talked about you over coffee and waited for you to join us, but you never did. He’s doing his best to do this life without you in it, but his eyes are clouded with memories and mixed with pain. He misses you, Momma. RELATED: I Didn’t Just Lose...

Keep Reading

Mom, You Were There for All My Firsts…Except This One

In: Grief
Sad woman looking out window

Firsts are monumental. Inaugural. Annual. They say you always remember the milestones, the annuals, the inaugurals.  You were there for those firsts during my first few years of life: my first tooth, first steps, first boo-boo. Always supporting me. Always cheering me on. When I grew up, you stood by me for the next wave of firsts: my first bad grade, my first heartbreak, the first fight with friends, my first solo in choir, my first stitches.  You stayed by my side during the pain from your divorce and dried my tears when Dad moved out. You even loved me...

Keep Reading

I Wanted to Call You Last Night, Dad

In: Grief, Grown Children
Woman sitting on dock alone by lake

I went to call you last night. I was sitting in my room, watching grown men play a child’s game. Alone. And when the last out was registered, in an improbable no-hitter, I needed to share my delight. I wanted to call you. But I couldn’t. Since you left, a mere 18 months ago, there have been many moments, when I have wanted to call. To say, hello, to ask for advice, to share good news, and bad. To discuss world events or shoot the breeze. To hear your corny jokes and lift your spirits. Or have you lift mine....

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!


Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime