For the past few years on Mother's Day, I've taken the time to reflect on newfound understandings on what being a mother really means. When Marleigh was growing inside my womb, I thought I finally "got it." The stretchmarks were physical signs of my body growing, but nothing could help me portray the love that was growing inside of me. I was becoming a mother and thus, I felt like I was starting to figure out the gravity of it all.
I was wrong.
Then Marleigh was here with us and I had a year under my belt as being a mommy to my firstborn beautiful baby girl. And I thought for sure I understood then what it meant to be a mother. The sleepless nights. The snuggles and struggles that came with having an infant. I appreciated my mom that much more by knowing that she once sat in her rocking chair shushing me and calming me at all hours of the night. I appreciated her for running on little to no sleep when I was a baby. For finding ways to help my sister and I thrive even and for putting herself last and our happiness first. I thought I truly understood the way a mother could love. What a mother's love really means.
I was wrong.
A mother's love is something that cannot be put into words. No matter how hard I try, I could never accurately explain how much the word "motherhood" means to me. To be able to be a mother to two wonderful little lives. And this year, to be even more grateful that I have my own mother still here to confide in, laugh with, and lean on along the way.
Eight months ago, I wasn't sure I would be so fortunate. All signs and odds pointed to my mom not being here on this side of Heaven with us for much longer. I can't help but let my mind wander from time to time to how different life would be if that were the case.
Visiting my mom in the hospital bed in the neurological ICU and not knowing if she would get the chance to meet the little boy who was growing inside of me. Not knowing if Marleigh would be able to make more memories with her Mimi. Not knowing if my mom would make it through the day, the week, the month. All of the ups and downs, and do you know what she was most concerned about? Us. That I was getting enough sleep and eating good to sustain Huck. That my sister was still staying on top of her job and her relationship. That Marleigh was happy and healthy, that my dad was doing okay behind his seemingly strong exterior. She wasn't worried about her health or her future. She was worried about her family.
That is what a mother's love is.
Selfless. Strong. Unfailing.
Today, my heart goes out for those whose moms aren't just a drive, flight, or phone call away. For those who have lost their moms far too soon – my dad and my mom being two people who know all too well the heartache and sadness that this day can bring.
I think about those who may be visiting their mothers in nursing homes or hospital rooms, who yearn for better health or to relive memories of better times.
For those who are praying for the miracles that my family was so blessed to witness eight months ago.
I will never be able to express how thankful, grateful, and glad I am that Mother's Day is a happy one this year. It's hard for me to think back on September 3rd, 2014 and think of what could have been. It brings me to tears every single time, and I still can't really talk about it without getting choked up. Nothing has ever brought me to me knees in prayer – or thanks – more than what we experienced throughout my mom's 26 day ICU stay.
Today, I get it.
I get give my mom a hug around the neck and spend time thanking God for allowing me the opportunity to. If you are able... give your mom a call. Pay her a surprise visit. Treat her to brunch. Tell her you love her.
You never know when your last chance might be.
Happy Mother's Day!