My first Mother's Day was May, 1974. I don't have any recollection of it, but I bet my mom does. I was her first born and I would have been close to 4 months old.
Last year on Mother's Day, I did not know what to do. It was right around my due date, a few weeks after we lost Allie. I did not partake in any family celebrations, just went over my mom's late that afternoon to give her a hug and reassure her that I was ok.
This year, Gary told me I could do whatever I wanted to on this day. This week leading up to today was a rough one, so I took my time deciding what to do.
This past Friday was my due date. May 11th. Our niece was born on November 11th the year before and I loved thinking that if I delivered on time, they would be exactly 6 months apart. That is just one of the reasons the date has stuck with me.
Yesterday was the tree planting ceremony that is done through the hospital where we delivered Allie. It was a beautiful day for it and Gary and I got to see her tree thriving. We also got to see the nurse that was our Labor and Delivery coach and then our Labor and Delivery nurse. When she first walked up to us, my breath staggered and I got dizzy for a second. She brought me right back to that hospital room and right back to our pain. But after I got myself together (by weeping on Gary's shoulder), I was able to talk to her and thank her for all her help and she was able to tell us that she has never forgotten us or our darling daughter.
We also met 2 women there who lost children 17 years ago - one son and one daughter. Their pain was still there, but they have learned how to live with it. They shared some stories and were so warm and sincere.
We planted a new tree this year and as with last year, family members were invited to help dig and aid in getting the tree in the ground. Little kids took little shovels and helped with the dirt and the parents took big shovels and helped as much as they can. Turn, Turn, Turn played softly in the background from a little boom box. "A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted". It was beautiful.
We took pictures by Allie's tree from last year and plan to go back and visit it each year. Maybe sooner, if we want. The park is about a half hour from here and it was very peaceful and serene. It might be nice to go back early one morning at dawn or maybe late one night at dusk.
On the way home, we stopped by this little country store and Gary bought me a little plaque and a lovely hanging plant in honor of Mother's Day.
We decided to stay home today. We were invited to brunch at my brother's and as much as we wanted to be there, to see our niece, to celebrate with them, I also knew that I needed to be home where I could feel what I needed to feel and not worry about anyone but myself. I awoke to cards from Zoe and from Gary and Old Navy gift cards from each of them. We went back to sleep for a little bit and then lazily watched TV and did chores around the house. Gary told me the day was mine and what I wanted was just to spend it relaxing with him. We hung some pictures around the house, including this one that we got for Allie's birthday. It's from Gary's brother's family and it illustrates how Allie is all around their house and their lives. They spelled our her name with pieces of their home, yard and fence. It's perfect. They also called us today on Face Time and they all wished me a happy Mother's Day. I almost melted.
My mom stopped by on her way home from my brother's and brought me a beautiful candle. I got a thoughtful card from my cousin. A few texts from friends. All in all, my loved ones made it clear - I may have a hard time calling myself a mom, but they don't. Not one bit.