I have just returned from a wonderful week in beautiful Wales.
I have loved every minute of it, from the beautiful sunsets to the endless beaches.
Its been a truly wonderful week.
It was a week I so needed, time to recharge and refresh my mind.
Time to allow the words to form and the passages to write.
I am feeling stronger that ever.
My heart and mind are on the same path.
This holiday was the first time I have gone back to this area of Wales without Livvy.
I honestly believed that it was going to have to be another first without her.
Yet it wasn’t because as I have enjoyed the views, cherished the sunsets and loved the ocean I have felt Livvy everywhere.
Memories cherished as memories made.
I keep promising myself that this year will be different.
That I will find myself genuinely excited for this day .
But here we are on Mothering Sunday and I am finding it hard .
Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the joy of being a mother.
I find this hard when I am missing a child.
I know I was blessed to be Olivia’s mom and I know I have four amazing children here to celebrate this day with but my goodness my heart aches for my girl. It cries out in the missing.
I also know that I have the gift of my job. I get to care and love on children who through no fault of their own find themselves in the care system. In need of a home, in need of love and support.
So while Mother’s Day is hard for me and I may have a little cry or ten I am so fulfilled in my heart.
My faith gives me the promise of forever which is something I hold dear. Something that lifts the darkness.
But the true light, the true fulfilment is found in my children those I gave birth too and those that birthed in my heart.
Happy Mother’s Day to you all.
May you cherish your biggest gift today.
My daughter returns from university today and yes I am so excited to see her.
So why did a friendly comment feel like I had been punched in the stomach?
My friend said “ I bet you are excited to have all the family back together’.
How simple and true is this comment.
Yes i am excited.
But my family will not all be back together.
You see there will always be a missing piece,
An empty place at the table.
A pile of presents that have not been bought.
On Christmas day only three of my girls will be celebrating it here with me.
Heaven holds the celebration for the other.
I want to say that i’m ok about it all, that i can be happy and enjoy the season but I can’t.
The ache in my heart is getting stronger and stronger as we head towards the 25th.
I hate that on Christmas day I have to visit the crematorium, that the only gift I can give to my daughter is flowers on her stone.
I want the air to echo with her laughter, the harmony of my four beautiful girls to play.
Yet all i can hear is the silence of the missing note.
Christmas is a special time of year, I love the wonder of it all.
The excitement that builds in peoples hearts.
The joy of giving , the love that is shared.
Christmas is a time for celebration and I promise I will try.
Still I hope that it will be ok, that sometimes through this season i disappear.
Disappear to a place where i can allow the tears to fall.
Where I can allow the missing to show upon my face.
Because I cannot pretend all the time.
I just don’t have the strength.
I need to give my heart freedom.
Freedom to grieve my beautiful missing daughter.
Sometimes I feel less like a mother and more like a referee.
Always negotiating, enforcing rules.
Everyone warned me that it could be like this but I never expected a war zone to be found in my living room.
I love my girls and while I accept that growing up and finding their freedom is part of life’s journey. I’m not happy that they have decided each day is an opportunity for a battle.
How can they go from being best friends to worst enemies?
Seriously it’s driving me mad.
I am proud I have raised such independent spirited young woman but hey please let them take on the world and leave their poor mama alone.
I am tired and emotionally shattered with this parenting stage.
Reminiscing and yearning for the days of night feeds and dirty nappies. I may have been exhausted back then but at least they didn’t answer back so much.
I know its a stage that all go through and one day my beautiful kind caring girls will return and the dragon headed all knowing beautiful monsters will disappear but its so not easy.
I recognise this year is going to one of big changes, university, college it certainly is going to bring a new dynamic to the relationships of the girls.
A new dimension in their sisterhood.
I’m praying a little space will make hearts grow fonder.
I guess until then I will resign myself to the role of mediator for a little longer.
So does anyone have a whistle?
Oh I had this image of the mama I wanted to be.
The clean house, cake making, hug giving kind of mama.
My children were going to grow up safe, secure ready to take on the world.
I didn’t prepare for disability
I didn’t prepare for loss.
I didn’t prepare for life.
How can I expect them to be ok?
Who is actually ever ok?
Does ok really exist?
We are a world full of rising mental health issues.
Where are we going wrong?
This is what the media wants us all to believe.
You have to be perfect.
From the perfect new born mother with linen wipes and organic baby food.
To the teenager starving to fit in the new fashions,
We cannot be perfect
No one can
But that does not stop the world trying make us believe otherwise.
I am a messy mother.
I mess up.
I shout, I scream, I forget to wash sports kit or sign permission slips.
I lose my patience when I’m tired and crave some peace and quiet.
My husband is a messy father
He forgets to listen properly and is surprised when they kick off.
He laughs at boy troubles not in mirth but in ignorance.
Scared that they are growing up.
Then my girls
They are the most perfect imperfect children alive and i love them for it.
From the stroppy tantrums to the banging of the doors.
From the constant arguing to the solitary against the parents.
The demanding of attention to the leave me alone moods.
They are messy
and thats perfectly ok.
Life is a constant lesson
Each day brings with it a new piece of knowledge and new understanding.
Yet how can you learn if you know everything?
How can you form if you are already perfect?
It’s time we ignored who others wish us to be.
Turn off the televisions and leave the magazines on the shelves.
Lets grow into who we wish to be not what is expected by others.
Let us all be beautifully imperfect
Lets all be messy
I am a mom that had to bury a child.
Yes I am that mom.
But I’m also a mom who was so very blessed.
I thank God every day that I got to be Olivia’s mom.
That I got to walk her journey with her.
Caring for this beautiful girl changed my life.
I learned so much.
I learned about true love.
It’s not easy losing a child.
Wow what an understatement.
It’s so not easy
I always will have a part of me missing.
Yet I would do it all again.
It a heartbeat.
Walk those hospital corridors
Wait those endless hours for appointments
Fill those never ending prescriptions.
When you become a mother you take on many roles.
When you have a special needs child these roles extend
At times it feels like each day holds a new battle.
And yes we do get battle weary
But our children are always worth the fight.