Shop the fall collection ➔

I have three scars on my tummy that remind me I’m a mommy, too.

As Mother’s Day approaches and my arms are empty but I’m still a mommy, too. I can’t get rid of those scars, I don’t want to forget. Somehow they are a reminder that I’m a mommy, too.

It’s almost been a year without you, but I’m still a mommy, too.

You might be in heaven waiting for us, but that still makes me a mommy, too. I may not hear your cry, or see your face but I’m still a mommy to you. There may be an empty stroller in the closet and an empty cradle in your room, but that doesn’t make me any less of a mommy to you. When I bathe and when I change I’m reminded that they pulled you from me too soon. But I also remember that those three scars on my tummy remind me I will always be a mommy to you. 

I have a whole stockpile of scar removal creams and ointments in my bathroom cabinet but I can’t make myself use them. Losing those scars may mean that I’m not daily reminded of you. You may not be here with me, I may not get to share you with our family, but at least I have a daily reminder on my tummy that you were real, your life was valid, you will always be loved. Because those scars on my tummy will always remind me that I’m a mommy, too.

I may not have you here with me now but you were alive, you were developing, and you had such a strong heartbeat. You were my baby the moment I saw those two pink lines. Those pink lines have now faded, but I’m still a mommy to you. Someday with age and time, I know those scars that are on my tummy will fade, too. For now, I’ll hold onto them as long as I can because those scars on my tummy remind me that I am a mommy, too.  

Those three scars on my tummy remind me that I’m a mommy, too. They remind me how fragile and weak our bodies are until we are made new in glory. Those three scars on my tummy remind me that God’s purpose in my life wasn’t complete yet. Those three scars on my tummy are reminders to put my faith in Him, even when I don’t have the strength to move forward. Those three scars on my tummy remind me that I am still here for some reason, even when I don’t understand. Those three scars on my tummy remind me that His ways are higher than my ways, His thoughts are higher than my thoughts.

Those three scars on my tummy remind me that I have a purpose and a story to share.

Those three scars on my tummy remind me that you are a whole new creation, made new in Heaven with Jesus. Those three scars on my tummy remind me that you are perfect, without blemish, fault, or scars. Those scars on my tummy remind me that even though life is so hard, so challenging, and you feel so far I have the hope that we will be together again one day. One day those three scars on my tummy won’t be there because I will be in Heaven with you, but for now, those three scars on my tummy remind me that I am a mommy, too. 

Ashley Richburg

Ashley Richburg is a 29-year-old who lives in a suburb of Austin, TX with her sweet husband and two spunky Labrador retrievers. She loves topo chio, hammocking, and all things outside. 

Grief Is Persistent But God Is Faithful

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Woman praying by ocean

The loss of a parent doesn’t just sting, it leaves you with an irreplaceable hole in your heart. It’s been two years since my loving daddy went home to be with Jesus, and the loss I feel is still unimaginable.  I know in my heart he’s in a better place that is absent of pain and distress. However, his physical presence and wisdom are so dearly missed here on this earth.  He left behind an army of a family who adored him and looked to him for solid guidance. No matter how hard I try to look to the bright...

Keep Reading

l Will Never Stop Missing My Sister

In: Cancer, Grief, Loss
Woman in red shirt

It might be 16 years too late to properly depict the depressive senses that engulfed my whole being when I lost my only sister Aurora to colon cancer in 2006. Painful flashbacks continue to fill my everyday life at the most inopportune moments that  writing about it might somehow alleviate my grief. I remember getting that random phone call from her one sunny day in September 2006 and how guilt automatically hit me. It had been a while since I last saw her. “It’s positive,” she said. Backed with years of joking around and playing tricks on her since childhood,...

Keep Reading

My Parents Are Both Gone Now, and I’m Struggling

In: Grief
Man holding smiling infant, color photo

I lost my dad at the beginning of the summer. The last time I saw him, my daughter and I picked him up from the hospital after his bout of pneumonia. She talked to him about her last day of kindergarten and how she would now be a first-grader. He sat cupping his warm mug of coffee in his favorite chair while his favorite blanket covered his legs. He smiled and giggled about the kindergarten stories. He and my daughter share the same birthday so he always had that Pop-Pop proud look on his face toward her. He was tired...

Keep Reading

Having Cancer at 34 Taught Me How to Live

In: Cancer
Husband and wife on boat, color photo

This picture came up in my Facebook memories today. It took my breath away for a moment, just like it has for nine years now. It was the last picture taken of me before my midwife found the lump and my life changed forever.  The first time I saw that photo, I realized I didn’t know that woman anymore. She was naive. Laying there in the sun without any inkling that a cancer was growing inside her. Look at her—unafraid and without anxiety. Less than 48 hours later, she would be gone, replaced by someone who was afraid of each...

Keep Reading

My Hands Are Full, but They Should Be Fuller

In: Grief, Loss
Family walking on beach

When they are gay, the waves echo their gaiety; but when they are sad, then every breaker, as it rolls, seems to bring additional sadness, and to speak to us of hopelessness and of the pettiness of all our joys. -Baroness Orczy I sat in the sand at the edge of the shore, looked out at the vast Atlantic Ocean, and watched the waves change the landscape with each crash. I absentmindedly dug a hole in the sand next to me, but then a wave came. The hole filled first with water. Then, wet sand caved in. The surface of...

Keep Reading

To My Sons in Heaven: Your Short Lives Changed Mine Forever

In: Grief
Woman at sunse

Dear Noah, Caleb, and Micah: I can’t believe it’s been nine years since I held you in my arms. My sweet sons, losing you broke me in a way that I never thought was possible. I have loved you every second of every day since we first heard of your pending arrival. RELATED: A Letter to my Daughter in Heaven With each day that you have spent in eternity, my love for you has grown exponentially. I have a vision of the day we will hug once more. I imagine that by then, my heart will have expanded so much...

Keep Reading

What If I Could Meet My Mom Now?

In: Grief, Grown Children
Retro photo of woman in sunglasses

I attempt to swallow. My heart is in my throat. I hold back tears. The woman who stands before me is 36 and looks a lot like me, but is not me. I squeeze my arms, pinch my thigh to make sure. I don’t wake up. “Hello.” Her voice is soprano and nasally like mine. Her black, Farrah Fawcett hair frames her round face. We are the same height. We share the same eyes. The same smile. The same white teeth. The same nose. The same long legs. She wears a baggy t-shirt with white-washed jeans, the kind that are...

Keep Reading

317 Days of Love

In: Grief, Motherhood
Smiling baby girl

She couldn’t speak, yet her life spoke to so many. 317 days she was on this earth. She couldn’t speak . . . only one word she said before she passed. One precious word: “Mama.” I can still hear it clear as day. I remember the moment she was born. I looked at her daddy with tear-streaked cheeks, shaking as I heard her cry. The nurse said, “You have a baby girl!” and I was in such awe. I looked at her daddy whispering, “We have a baby girl.” I was in complete adoration. From her dainty little fingers to...

Keep Reading

The Woman He Married Is Long Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Marriage
Young couple smiling

My husband has been married to at least five different women—and they’re all versions of me. His first wife was the 21-year-old version of me, who was a fit and focused college athlete. She was a driven, perfectionist dream-chaser. She was ready to push and sacrifice to chase the dream. No challenge was too hard—but then again, the hardest thing in her life was her organic chemistry final. She had the eternal optimism that comes with naivety and innocence. She loved him with eagerness and couldn’t wait to build a life with him. He often still daydreams of this first...

Keep Reading

Not Having My Mom Here Never Stops Hurting

In: Grief
Sad woman

Each phase of life since my mom died has brought different struggles, triumphs, and varieties of emotion. I always knew that grief was lifelong and complicated, however, I definitely underestimated the ways in which it changes as time goes on. I remember the beginning years as survival mode. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through each day until that day had passed and I was on to the next one. It was figuring out who I was and what my life was going to become during this awful new normal. Some days were harder than others and...

Keep Reading