I had a lovely Mother’s Day.
Mike and Annie brought me presents, my family came over, we had a yummy meal, we went for a walk. I heard, “I love you, Mama” lots.
But I was sad. I was sad and I couldn’t shake it. Earlier I’d looked at Facebook and Instagram, and I’d seen dozens of pictures of gifts my friends had received from their children. Presents their kids had picked out themselves, or even better, crafted and created. And I was so jealous.
Annie is too young to do that stuff. But Maddie wouldn’t have been. She’d be four and a half, plenty old enough to string together a beaded bracelet, or to draw a picture of the two of us, or to paste something together with a glue stick and glitter.
Most days I have no problem looking at what other people have – it almost always makes me smile. But on the harder days, like Mother’s Day, it’s just salt in the wound. I should know better than to look. I shouldn’t ask. But then there’s the other part of me that can’t resist, so I can imagine what I could be experiencing, too. I can’t help myself.
I know next year Annie will start putting together special things for me. I honestly can’t wait. I can’t imagine a better present than something made just for me, by my daughter. Each crayon stroke and glitter speck will be a little window into the way her mind works.
I really did have a lovely Mother’s Day. I feel guilty for feeling so sad. My happiness with Annie is so completely separate from my sadness and longing for Madeline. One cannot touch the other. But still, I feel guilty. And I’m just…glad it’s over.
Katrina @ They All Call Me Mom says:
I know it’s not the same thing, but even 15 years after my daughter’s brain injury I still feel a bit jealous of my friends who have daughters her age who are graduating with honors and going off to college next fall, who are able to drive themselves around town, who play sports, have boy friends, etc….girls that once played with my daughter before her accident, back when she was able-bodied, too, have the kind of life that I envisioned her having. I sometimes wonder how her life would have turned out had she not been so hurt at the age of four. I guess this is a normal feeling to have, but it sure sucks sometimes.
Happy Mother’s Day, Heather. I think you are a wonderful mom
Katrina, I found your blog through a post you left here and I have so enjoyed reading it and learning about your family. You have such beautiful children and your stories are so interesting! Your daughter’s accident was truly horrific…you guys have sure come a long way!
Katrina @ They All Call Me Mom says:
Thank you! I really appreciate your kind words
OOhh Sweetie, please don’t feel guilty. It’s okay to feel sad. Maddie wasn’t with you yesterday….it hurts every day but I’m sure yesterday stung even more!! I’m sorry you’re hurting.
Missing and longing for your Maddie doesn’t take away 1 oz of love from Annie. Too be honest, I suspect it might even make your relationship with her even stronger and more precious b/c of your horrific loss. I thought a lot about you yesterday…hoping you were having a good day, knowing it would be difficult.
Dear, Sweet Heather, you are going through so much right now…I’m so sorry you are, it makes me sad. I hope you will be able to cut yourself a little slack and be forgiving of your emotions b/c afterall, they are your emotions…and that means they are NEVER wrong!!
Thinking of you and sending you a BIG, Warm Cyber Hug!! Hope You Feel Better Soon!! xoxo
Thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way. Let your parents and Mike know that when Miss Annie DOES make you a gift (my money’s on Christmas…why wait until next MAY?!) you want pictures of her making the gift . My mom does this for me and I treasure the pictures as much as the actual gift.
Hugs, sweetie. Don’t feel guilty. It is only natural for you to feel moments of happiness and sadness on days like yesterday. I’m glad you had a good Mother’s Day.
Love and hugs beautiful mama.
Sorry heather. It’s understandable. I don’t know you but you were on my mind yesterday.
Me too Heather, me too.
Sending you much love, and remembering dear Maddie always.
Leslie K says:
Of course, you feel sad! I can’t think of a single reason that you should feel guilty for that.
Obviously, you feel blessed to have Annie, but you live something every single day that most of us cannot even begin to fathom. Unfortunately, your life is always going to be missing Maddie… for you to add feeling guilty to that makes me incredibly sad.
Heather, I’m so sorry. Of all the mothers in the world, you surely deserve a happy Mother’s Day. You should feel no guilt for your sadness – you don’t need that on top of everything else. Sadness is MORE than understandable. I’m sad for you…I wish your Maddie was here with you too…more than anything I wish that for you.
As you and others have said, there are no rules for grief. For the rest of your life you have to carry this boulder on your back. I can’t imagine what that’s like. I have not lost a child (I have 3 kids, they’re 9, 7 and 5) but seeing what you and Mike have gone through reminds me constantly to be thankful for what I have, even as my 5 yr old (aka the Screecher) threatens to permanently deafen me. Life has been quite stressful for him lately, what with starting kindergarten and all. Hence the screeching. But, I’m thankful. Because he’s here.
I am glad Mother’s Day is over too. You cannot really hide – Mother’s Day is very well marketed & in your face.
It is such a bittersweet day – I am so thankful for my twins but I desperately miss my other 2 sons. Some days are just harder than others. Sending you peace and hugs. Take care.
Heather, I wish I had magic words to help you through rough times like these, but remember that you’re only human. Sending you much love.
Jodi D. says:
Ugh.. I thought I was the only one that felt that way. I lost our son at 27 weeks, 5 years ago. For some reason yesterday, it felt like I had just lost him all over again. I kept thinking about how cute they all would have been getting their pictures taken, getting ready for church, etc. Unfortunately, I think its one of those things that will always be creeping around the corner just waiting to jump out. Your Maddie is a cutie, and I think her and my Camden would be great friends..
Don’t feel guilty. You’re still mourning the “what could have beens” Its hard, I can’t even imagine.
Its not at all the same (no one’s experiences ever are) but I am always sad on Mother’s day too. I have two beautiful children that I love and love me to the moon. They gave me hand made cards and hugs and kisses and flowers and all sorts of love. But I’m still sad because I have never had a great relationship with my own mother. Its okay, civil, happy for the most part, but extremely void of anything emotional, any real mother/daughter love. Its hard for me to see my friends having lunch with their moms, posting sappy FB status about how wonderful their mothers are. Its such a catch 22 this Mother’s Day thing..
I say go ahead and be sad and be happy too. I hope it gets a little more happy with each year.
I thought of you guys yesterday, knew it would be a hard day for you. Just know that you have many others thoughts and well wishes on the hard days. And its okay to feel guilty. I feel guilty about lots of things, but I just try to push it out of my head (when I can.) You will always think of would’ve been, and that is okay. Many people do the “what if” game, on so many levels. Time will help your hearts heal.
Sleeping Should Be Easy says:
I’m glad Annie was able to give you a great Mother’s Day.
As others have said, please try not to feel guilty: it’s ok to miss one daughter while fully loving the other. As you said, the one does not touch or tarnish the other.
You were in my thoughts and prayers yesterday…such a hard day for so many moms. My beautiful sister-in-law, included. I know she watched her 2nd son play with great joy, but even I had that quiet whisper of “there should be 2 boys here.” It’s normal. Maddie will always be missed and loved because you will always be her mommy. That’s just the way it is: you don’t forget the ones you love!
Did you see this post yesterday/today? She expresses so beautifully and incredibly this hardest form of mothering…so that others may have an inkling and try to understand. ? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/claire-mccarthy-md/a-child-who-died_b_1511543.html
Sarah R says:
I’m sorry! I can’t imagine how hard it must be, still. Every day. I’m sure Maddie was blowing you kisses from heaven.
I thought of you a lot yesterday. I’m so, so sorry. I’m glad you had Annie with you.
“My happiness with Annie is so completely separate from my sadness and longing for Madeline. ”
This is so brilliantly written, Heather. Clearly there is often this double edged sword you face. Feeling sad for what you are missing is so beyond normal – even with all the love joy and laughter Annie brings you.
Kyle Cooper says:
Don’t feel envious of what other mothers have. You are so blessed to have your daughters with you. And hearing ‘I love you mommy’ from your kids would suffice all the material things that lack.
Tammy M. says:
You express things so beautifully. I totally get the “happy sad” feeling. I am so glad you have adorable Annie in your life, but I understand that completely loving Annie doesn’t make up for not having Maddie there. You should have them both.
Happy Mother’s Day friend. I hate that you feel guilty at all for feeling sad. If one of my kids was missing from Mother’s Day…or any day…I can’t help but thing that heavy sadness would always be lurking beneath the layer of happy. If it’s any consolation Kainoa is four and his gift to me was absolute crap this year. Hugs to you!