On Your Mark, Get Set.........

     For me, every year the gun goes off in Walmart. Going down the card aisle you see all the pastel colors of Easter. Pictures of bunnies and candy soon start to turn into posters of flowers and the dreaded words "Mother's Day May 14th". 

     POW!! And it starts. Just like any runner, my heart begins to poundNot from adrenaline, but from anxiety. It was Mother's Day 2014 that I knew something was wrong, and so naive to think whatever it was it didn't warrant an emergency room visit. It could wait until Monday when the OB office opened. It's a weight of guilt I carry till this day, because two days later on May 13th my daughter was born and my daughter was gone. She is my third child, the one who will never get to say Happy Mother's Day.

     Mother's Day is no longer a day of appreciation. In my house it is now a mile marker. For me it is marked as the day I should have gone to the hospital. For my other two children it is marked as the day mom starts to be sad. For my husband it is marked as the day he starts to worry, because every year I sprint back & forth spending all energy & money into a garden that never would be had we not lost her. Her garden, where her name and images of butterflies take the place of baby and school pictures. Her garden, where yes, there are flowers for Mother's Day. They're just no longer for mommy.

    Three years later and I still find myself unprepared. Out of breath and dehydrated just trying to keep up with life. I have a grandmother, my own mom, mother-in law, aunts, friends, etc... Do I celebrate them, when I just want to crawl in my safe place and forget the day even exists? I admit it seems unfair not to show appreciation to my own mom, but ask anyone who has lost a child about what is fair, and you're sure to get an ugly look. I thank God for Heartstrings. A place where I can stretch, unload, refuel, and run with a team that knows just how I am feeling. With people who have shifted their grief as they climb each milestone hill. I have learned from them how to turn my grief into a marathon of love. Where I have learned from being with others, how to spend less time crying about what should have been her life and more time on making sure her memory lives.

   We don't celebrate mothers day in my house. We get prepared for the race. Where I get ready to run through the wave of emotions, preparing for her birthday, and loving on all three of my children a little bit more on this and every Sunday.