So. It’s actually hard to come back here to write – evidenced by the long stretch since my last post…it feels like I’m visiting a place of the past now, and I do my best to live in the present. The present is quite wonderful most days, with the usual ups and downs of life, but Mother’s Day brings me into the past, and the presence of grief. It brings me into memories of past Mother’s Days spent with Elizabeth, and moments of wishing that were still possible today.
Recently, being present has included things like adopting a 10 month old puppy named Gracie, spending hours of my day watching her, teaching her, laughing at her and getting irritated when she seems to forget all she’s learned…She’s bringing much joy and energy into our lives – a great gift of Grace.
A few weeks before that excitement, we had to choose a day to say goodbye to our 17 year old shih tzu, Tilly, which broke my heart all over again. Tilly was not a dog in the usual sense. She never did any dog things – all she wanted was to be quietly close to me, wherever I was. We had her for 10 years, and she was with me every day of Elizabeth’s journey with cancer treatment, its reoccurrence, the 2 months when she was home in hospice, for her death, and my grief in the years following. Tilly could hold all my emotions and I never felt like she was tired of hearing my story. She and I connected at the heart in a way I never have with a dog, and I miss her deeply.
Tilly ~ age 16
Tilly ~ age 10
I am thinking of and sending prayers today to all the mothers who have lost a child, or children. This includes those who, like my partner, gave birth to a child who died within minutes of birth, or those whose child never lived long enough to even meet him or her… It can be a challenging day, especially for those whose motherhood is not visible to most.
And then we all have mothers – some of us, like me, are blessed to have a mother who is still alive, vibrant, loving and supportive. Some are not so lucky, and this can be a sad day for them as well.
So I head out to spend the day with my partner and our dog, grateful beyond words for my 25 year old daughter Julianna, and that she face-timed with me first thing this morning…feeling tender, feeling sad, feeling grateful, feeling honored to be a mother to 2 amazing beings, and still wishing they were both close enough to touch.