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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Here in Australia, we celebrated Mother's Day today. I organised with my brothers to take our mother out to breakfast, at the end of which they brought out the mints. Two little cards with a chocolate heart on each. I reached for one and my brother said to me, "that's not for you. You aren't a mother."

Right up until that moment, we'd done okay; I'd put aside my anger, put aside all the things that hurt about the day and pretended we were like other families out celebrating mothers day, but my brother saying that pulled everything apart at the seams. I'm not a mother...

My brother is wrong. I have two children. I never had the chance to hold them, either of them, in my arms, but I will forever hold them in my heart. My family may not want to acknowledge them, for whatever reason, but their lack of acknowledgement doesn't change the facts. I am a mother.

So, call me crazy if you like, but instead of heading home after my day, I walked to the park. Maybe it was a nutty idea, but I thought if I could just pretend for a moment that I still had the family I fought for, if I could just fake it, I'd find solace there.

So I took myself to the park and I played their song (thank you, Gerrit Hofsink, for the most beautiful song I've ever heard). I knew she wasn't there, but I pretended I was watching her climb up on the swing and fumble with the seatbelt. I reached forward and I hooked the seatbelt up, and then I pushed the swing. Gently at first, and then higher. It wasn't long before my imagination took over. Soon, I had gone from pretending I could see her to actually 'seeing' and 'hearing' her. And yet... I knew it wasn't real.

Call me crazy, but I stood pushing that swing with tears pouring down my face for at least half an hour. I sang to the music, I imagined my daughter laughing and begging for me to push her higher, and I imagined my son on the swing beside us. I saw him as I imagine he would be today; 14 and all adolescent awkwardness and "mum, can we go home yet"s. I saw her as I have always imagined she'd be by now; almost four years old, blue eyes and blonde hair, all innocence and bossiness and "mummy, I want to touch the sky"s.

I wish I could say that doing it had brought me peace. I wish I could say that I took solace in this imagining, this pretence... but the truth is, it still hurts just as much as it did before. My son and daughter still aren't here with me, and I'm not sure anything will ever take that pain away.

Elyssami Faith and Mykelti Noah, this one's for you. Wherever you are, I miss you. I love you. I think of you every day.

Being a mother is more than having a child you can hold in your arms. Being a mother is one heart, two arms and all the love in the world, all for that little person in your life. So, to all of the mothers out there, whether or not you had the chance to hold your child in your arms, happy Mother's Day.


  1. I'm sorry for your lose. I think that was really great that you were able to get together with your Mom and family for Mother's day. And I'm so sorry to hear about your brothers insensitivity. Obviously he's not be through what you, and so many of us women have been though with loosing a pregnancy or child. I'm glad you were able to take some time to honor your experience of being a mother.

  2. Thanks, Stacy.

    Getting together with my mum isn't too hard, we live together! ;) But it was still nice to be able to go out to breakfast as a family.