Why I Don’t Get Flowers on Mother’s Day

“Undo it, take it back, make every day the previous one until I am returned to the day before the one that made you gone. Or set me on an airplane traveling west, crossing the date line again and again, losing this day, then that, until the day of loss still lies ahead, and you are here instead of sorrow.”

― Nessa Rapoport

Moon blossoms

Last Sunday was one of those days. One of those days when your soul flattens and your heart folds into the smallness of itself. One of those days when vanilla wafers are chased by Jolly Ranchers and Dubble Bubble. One of those days when no matter how much you try, you just can’t find your joy.

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day.

 

My children, unlike those of my friends and family, reside in Heaven. I never held them, diapered them or saw their faces. I simply imagined them.

Babies born in the womb

I still do.

 

But I’m not bitter. Just sad.
And longing.
For full arms and an even fuller heart.
For my chance.
To hear a child’s heartbeat and footfall in more than just my dreams.

And so this is what wraps my heart in hurt every Mother’s Day. When I see and hear mothers being celebrated and realize I am not among them.

I thought of this last Sunday as I sat among a small group of women. In celebration. Of them.

The conversation turned insensitive. To stillbirth and future pregnancies. For others.

And my heart screamed out:
Consider your audience!

As I squeezed back tears.

 

Whether by accident or design, being left out hurts.

It hurts when your place is on the sidelines.
It hurts when it’s easier to cry than to smile.
And it hurts when what’s been gained trumps what’s been lost.

It hurts.  In the most sacred of places. It hurts.

But then there are angels who remind you of your worth.

Friends in the shadows

They remember your scars.
And call you Beloved.
They bless you and your tiny citizens of Heaven with their love.
And their promise not to forget…

Never to forget…

That. You.

Are.

A. Mother.

a mother

 

 

**Post-write and pre-publish, I watched Lifetime’s global release of RETURN TO ZERO**

Image courtesy of returntozerothemovie.com

Image courtesy of returntozerothemovie.com

This is part of their mission statement found at http://returntozerothemovie.com/blog/

“While this film is intended for a wide-release to audiences regardless of their life experience, RETURN TO ZERO fills a particular niche for a market that has gone unserved — those who have or know someone who has experienced the devastating loss of stillbirth, miscarriage, or neonatal death.”

If you or someone you love has experienced such a loss, I highly recommend watching this film.

RETURN TO ZERO is raw, real and beautifully done.  An absolute gem of a film and a ray of hope.

For us all.

 

  One thought on “Why I Don’t Get Flowers on Mother’s Day

  1. Danielle de Luca
    May 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    It’s so deep, so true, i love it!!!

    • May 18, 2014 at 11:58 pm

      Thank you, Dani. I’m so glad you’re reading ❤

      Beijos

  2. May 18, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    omgomg…dani i am sobbing with you, for you…for us. you captured soo perfectly what it feels like to be, and yet not be. in my own way and in my own struggle i go thru that every moment of everyday as long as i can recall…there are growing periods of blessed forgetfulness, and i look forward to the hope that one day there will be a “presence” within…ya know what i mean i am sure.

    until then i snuggle into Lady Grace and press my nose into Her love, I hold onto Jesus hand and try to not stumble as He walks across the rocky challenges, and i fiercely grit my teeth and doggedly fix my eyes on THAT DAY!

    just know that everyday i think of you in this regard…cus everyday i live it, feel it, and my compassion wells up for you…and i keep you on my lips before Their eyes and ears.

    Love,
    Charissa…your sis in them and your fellow endurer of the marathon.

    • May 19, 2014 at 12:02 am

      This is beautiful, Charissa. I’m so glad you carry my heart in yours.

      It’s a safe place.
      A very safe place.
      To fall.
      And be held.
      Lovingly.
      By your kindness.
      And by our Sisterhood.

  3. StephanieJane
    May 18, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I can’t begin to understand your heartache, but I do acknowledge it and hope that, in some small way, that helps just a little. Mother’s Day is always a little odd for me, as I am only a stepmom (haven’t become a full-fledged member of “the club” yet), and every year I feel uncomfortable, like I don’t really count and am being semi-included in the celebration out of obligation. But, reading your post reminds me that awkwardness and discomfort are a far cry from heartache and loss and I should keep my perspective in check. I need those reminders! Thank you for sharing your heart so honestly, it’s pure beauty. I pray that someday Mother’s Day will hold great joy for you as well. ❤

    • May 19, 2014 at 12:30 am

      Thank you for taking the time to read, StephanieJane. One of my main reasons for writing, is to raise awareness and encourage empathy.

      Before I experienced my first miscarriage, I had no idea what others suffered. There was so much silence, sadness and shame surrounding stillbirth, miscarriage and neonatal death. And, sadly, in some circles, there still is.

      I never thought in terms of IF:

      IF I get pregnant or IF I carry a baby to term.

      I just thought in terms of WHEN (it was lovely to be so naive).

      Mother’s Day is challenging for so many women, for many different reasons. I understand yours and feel blessed that you understand mine, as well.

      Blessings…

  4. myhopejar
    May 18, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Thank you for this post hon. I can never get through that opening sequence of Up without losing it. I love that you posted that image. It says it all.

    I have Return To Zero recorded, but can’t watch it just yet. It’s just too hard. Another blogger, Amber Under Construction, posted about it yesterday and said it brought back too many painful memories. I think I need to save the recording for a day when I feel strong enough to have all those feelings and memories brought back to the surface. And even if I eventually feel strong enough to watch it, I know I’m going to need an endless supply of kleenex to make it through it.

    Sending you an huge hug girl. You are already such an amazing mother to your angels. We hold our babies in our hearts not our arms, but they are still our children. Praying our arms will be full in the very near future. XO

    • May 19, 2014 at 12:47 am

      Thank you for your sweet comment, Johanne. I have thought about you, Arun and your Jelly Bean more than you know.

      Regarding RETURN TO ZERO, I get your hesitance. I was nervous too, but thought it might be cathartic. Which it was. But that doesn’t mean it was easy to get through. Because it wasn’t. It was hard.

      Really. Hard.

      Hubby and I watched it together and were both red-eyed and puffy-faced at various points. But the ribbons of love and truth woven through every scene, made it worth it. And honestly, I felt better than I thought I would when the closing scene appeared.

      That being said, it might be a good idea for you and your tender soul to hold off. No need to shake up the Bean. And no need to revisit something that already resides so close to your heart.

      Blessings,
      Dani

      • myhopejar
        May 19, 2014 at 3:34 pm

        Thank you so much Dani ❤

        I'm glad watching it was cathartic for you and you felt better after the closing scene. I'm also very impressed that your hubby watched it with you and you were able to support each other while watching it. I think it will help if I can convince my hubby to watch it with me too. Though I'm not sure he will be able to. It's very hard for him. We'll see. I'm going to save my recording and save it for a later date when I feel stronger 🙂

        Sending you so many blessings and prayers back.
        Hugs!

  5. May 18, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    You ARE a mother. ..
    my heart goes out to you! I know how painful mother’s day is!

    • May 19, 2014 at 12:49 am

      Thank you.

      I’m so sorry that you do.

      Truly. Sorry.

  6. Jenáe Goede
    May 18, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Wow….not that I am a bit surprised at your ability to express the hearts deepest pain through carefully placed words on the page. You are blessed as a mother because you have known the deep rooted love that real mothers have for the life within. And although you may not have had them long …your love is far reaching and greater than many who go on life’s journey with their little creation, yet never really see them. Never really know them….. Appreciate them or realize the gift they have been given. You are blessed and so are your babes for having been so greatly loved….even into eternity.

    I am a different breed. I know your pain. My son never was because my body rejected him. I was given my daughters….and I am beyond thankful…. But my heart longs to see him someday. That tiny little guy that I never met, never kissed, never squeezed or tickled. Someday my family will be complete as we reunite with our most cherished one while bowing head and bending knee before the King of the universe.

    We are sisters, you and I. You are loved, adored, needed, and most of all precious in your creator’s sight. Many hugs to you sweet friend of mine!

    • May 19, 2014 at 12:57 am

      This is so lovely, J. Thank you so much for such beautiful sentiments and for sharing about your little one, who you WILL see again and who will then be kissed, squeezed and tickled into the eternities.

      I appreciate you more than you know, my Sister.

      Thank you for being a part of my journey.
      I feel blessed to be part of yours.

      ❤ Dani

  7. May 18, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Such acute pain so exquisitely expressed, Dani. Last week I thought of putting “for mothers” in the tile of my post “Stranger
    Blessings”, then thought of you and others I know for whom those words bring pain, so I withheld them. The blessings offered us have no qualifiers such as we apply here on earth. Precious sister, I pray comfort and rich blessings on your tender heart.

    • May 19, 2014 at 1:01 am

      Thank you for your beautiful comment, Jane. And further gratitude for your empathetic heart.

      Blessings to you and yours ❤

      • May 19, 2014 at 1:08 am

        You are most welcome, Dani. I guess you know your blog, Bloomingspiders, with your keen, vulnerable portrayal of loss and pain on Mother’s Day touched a chord.

  8. May 18, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Beautifully written. It rings so true x

    • May 19, 2014 at 1:05 am

      Thank you for reading. And for taking the time to comment.

      Both are much appreciated. As you are.

      Heart,
      Dani

  9. May 18, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Oh dani- I wish I could hug you! x

    • May 19, 2014 at 1:06 am

      Oh, sweetie…thank you.
      I wish you could too!! ❤

  10. Renato
    May 19, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Bravo Kiddo! Well done… Love, Re

    • May 19, 2014 at 3:37 am

      Thank you, Chu.

      Te ❤

  11. Renato
    May 19, 2014 at 3:36 am

    Miss you and hope my dreams will bring me closer to your heart and soul 🙂

    • May 19, 2014 at 3:38 am

      Eu tambem, meu lindo.

      Eu. tambem.

  12. May 19, 2014 at 4:33 am

    Dani…Your post touched my heart. I have a Daughter that will understand these feelings and I know that reading this will help her realize that she is not alone. I am going to link her to this. Thank you for sharing your heart and never forget how special you are … ❤

    • May 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      Thank you for this, Lynda. I hope it will help her feel a part of this Sisterhood. A sisterhood of loss, unfortunately. But a sisterhood, nonetheless.

      Blessings to you both.

  13. May 19, 2014 at 5:32 am

    “It hurts when it’s easier to cry than to smile.”

    I’m living this. Your words accurately describe what I have not been able to put words too. Thank you.

    • May 19, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      I’m so sorry you’re living this, Christina. And am here if you ever need someone to listen.

      I’m. here.

  14. May 19, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Thank you for this. So deep, and so true. I (I realize now) was lucky enough to become pregnant at a young age, was a single mother (with a ton of help from family and friends) for six years, before I married my husband. We tried and tried to conceive, and finally tried IVF. I was driving home from the doctor’s appointment (blood test) when they called to tell me it had been unsuccessful. In my heart, I already knew. I told Hubby, really matter-of-fact, that there was no baby to come. He was devastated. I had to stop the car to console him. I had no idea it would affect him so deeply, when I had assumed it would fail. Every day, I long for the child who would now be 7, who I miscarried seven months later (on my mother’s birthday), as well as the twins I miscarried a year after that (thanks to an egg donor. I cannot describe what an important and special person gives their eggs to help another couple conceive). By that time, I had convinced Hubby that I was unable to carry a pregnancy past seven weeks, so he shouldn’t get his hopes up. Both times the miscarriage was when I was seven weeks (to the day) along. Is that my fault? Did I somehow cause that by believing my body couldn’t (despite past history) carry a baby past seven weeks? When I was single and pregnant, I had a friend at church who had been trying to conceive, and was at that time, working toward adoption. I know she was internally begging me to give up my child, and let her raise it. I was selfish, and raised the girl myself, and my friend was soon able to adopt two beautiful girls who’ve given her so much joy (and a grandchild!). My Hubby would not consider adoption, and after his brother’s failed attempt at fostering a 7-year-old, refused to foster. My perfect home is filled with children, yet, here I am, alone, while he snores upstairs, and our adult daughter entertains a friend and tries not to disturb me.

    I wrote this long book primarily to let you know that I read your “About me,” and felt such a bond with you. There are so many people in your (and my) shoes, though most weren’t lucky enough to deliver a healthy baby at such a young age, as I was. Something about what you wrote caused me to feel a kinship, and a bond, then I read this post, and knew we were sisters in our experience (again, realizing I have a living child, which in no way mirrors your experience). The love, the loss, disappointment, blame – so many people feel the same things I’ve felt, and you showed that to me. I hope they didn’t mortgage their house to pay for repeated failure like we did, but, there it is. I still mourn those losses every anniversary, and on my due dates. No one can take that from me.

    Thanks for the reminder that I am a mother to those imaginary children (but very real embryos). I will continue to act as mother to my nieces and nephews when they need intervention or advice, and I will continue to seek out volunteer opportunities where I am able to work with children and just possibly, better their lives.

    You are awesome!

    • May 19, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story with me. I’m terribly sorry for your losses, as well. Sadly, the pain never really goes away. With time it morphs into a duller ache, a tinny hollow, but it’s always there.

      A constant.

      I’m glad you were able to find parts of yourself in my blog (and sorry for that too). I’m glad you know that you’re not alone in your grief. And not alone in your thoughts of what could have been.

      Continue to give back to those you can and know your little ones look upon you. And call you mother.

      Heart,
      Dani

  15. May 19, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    You are a mother indeed! Hugs for you!

    • May 19, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Thank you, Caroline. That’s sweet of you.

      How have you and Colby been doing?

      Blessings ❤

  16. May 20, 2014 at 6:21 am

    You really have a lovely way with words. Thanks for this. xx

    • May 20, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      So kind of you to say, Alexis. I appreciate you taking the time.

      Thank you ❤

  17. liamiman
    May 20, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I have never taken for granted the ability to bear a child, although some seem to not see it for the miracle that it is. My thoughts are with you.

    • May 20, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      Thank you.
      I truly appreciate them.

  18. May 22, 2014 at 8:52 am

    I imagine my daughter playing with your kids in heaven

    What Makes a MotherI thought of you and closed my eyes
    And prayed to God today
    I asked “What makes a Mother?”
    And I know I heard Him say.
    “A Mother has a baby”
    This we know is true
    “But God can you be a Mother,
    When your baby’s not with you?”

    “Yes, you can,” He replied
    With confidence in His voice
    “I give many women babies,
    When they leave is not their choice.

    Some I send for a lifetime,
    And others for the day.
    And some I send to feel your womb,
    But there’s no need to stay.”

    “I just don’t understand this God
    I want my baby to be here.”
    He took a deep breath and cleared His throat,
    And then I saw the tear.

    “I wish I could show you,
    What your child is doing today.
    If you could see your child’s smile,
    With all the other children and say…

    ‘We go to Earth to learn our lessons,
    Of love and life and fear.
    My Mommy loved me oh so much,
    I got to come straight here.

    I feel so lucky to have a Mom,
    Who had so much love for me.
    I learned my lessons very quickly,
    My Mommy set me free.

    I miss my Mommy oh so much,
    But I visit her every day.
    When she goes to sleep,
    On her pillow’s where I lay

    I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek,
    And whisper in her ear.
    Mommy don’t be sad today,
    I’m your baby and I’m here.’

    “So you see my dear sweet ones,
    your children are okay.
    Your babies are born here in My home,
    And this is where they’ll stay.

    They’ll wait for you with Me,
    Until your lesson’s through.
    And on the day that you come home
    they’ll be at the gates for you.

    So now you see what makes a Mother,
    It’s the feeling in your heart
    it’s the love you had so much of
    Right from the very start

    Though some on earth may not realize,
    you are a Mother.
    Until their time is done.
    They’ll be up here with Me one day
    and know that you are the best one!”

    • May 28, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      Oh gosh, I love this!! I think I’d read it somewhere before, but it hit me especially hard this time.

      Thank you for passing it along, Maqui.
      Thank you ❤

  19. May 25, 2014 at 8:19 am

    So sorry for your loss. It’s a pain that one can only truly understand unless it happens to you. Thank you for sharing this

    • June 18, 2014 at 2:48 am

      Thank you for reading. And I’m so sorry that you understand this pain.
      Truly. sorry.

  20. June 17, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Beautifully spoken. This was the first year I felt the weight of how hard Mother’s Day can be for those who have experienced pregnancy loss. I didn’t go to church this year on Mother’s Day, which was also baby dedication day.

  21. August 11, 2014 at 3:14 am

    Thank you, Dani, for sharing this. You captured the feeling of the hurt and the heartbreak that one experiences when everyone around you is discussing the joy and inside you are feeling hurt.

    It is a blessing that there are beautiful, strong women like yourself out there writing about their experiences. Your words, and the words of others, are an inspiration for me during this time. I know I am not alone and I know others are out there brave enough to share their stories so others like myself are able to read them and grow.

    Thinking of you.

  22. August 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    You are surely not alone, Danielle; you are among this group of strong, beautiful women lifting up our voices in experience, heartache and healing.

    If there’s anything I can do, know that I’m here. If not, know that I am sending blessings of healing and truth from my heart to yours.

    With grace,
    Dani

  23. Melissa
    August 15, 2014 at 2:13 am

    This is beautiful. I wish I could have held your hand and cried with you that day. No one else understands what we go through.

    • August 15, 2014 at 2:33 am

      I promise you I would have welcomed it.
      I still would.

      With heart,
      Dani

      P.S. Is this Melissa from group??

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