"There is no longer walk than to walk the path a mother has to take to bury her child. And no path more frequently visited, whether on foot or in her heart or mind, the path always lies deep within her soul." LCW ~ "Facets of Life ~ What I Didn't Expect When I was Expecting" ~ page 61
May 14th, 2006, was my first Mother's Day without Matthew... a day when I tired to find a way to celebrate being a mother to two boys instead of one... a day when my sorrow was so overwhelming that I almost missed the beauty of the day... But as Ronnie and Nathan uttered the words below, my heart was touched, my mama heart was blessed... and six years later, it is still the sweetest story I have ever heard.
(taken from Facets of Life- page 52)
Isn't that beautiful?
Melts my heart... Matthew gave his life so I could live. I so wish it could have been the other way around, but I needed to be here for Nathan, and my husband and just months later for our little Will that would come into our hearts and home giving us so much joy and making me a very proud mama of 3 beautiful blessings!
Choosing to see the blessing in Matthew's life when I miss him so very much, and choosing to celebrate being a mother to 3 boys now comes very natural to me. It didn't back then, but eventually I was able to understand just because I couldn't mother Matthew like I could Will and Nate, surely didn't mean my love for him would be any less. I learned loving him is a gift... he is one of the three of my greatest accomplishments! I didn't fail at being his mother. Yes, I have felt much guilt and some days still do, that I wish I could have helped him and that he is not here with us, but I know that we are all pressing toward the goal that Matthew has already attained, heaven. And as a mother, with great faith, that is my prayer for all of my children, heaven. Watermark sings a beautiful song "Glory Baby" and one line says "you just have heaven before we do..." Matthew just has heaven before we do.
My great joys! Not one day goes by that I ever feel like I am not the mother of three boys. I AM! And proud of all of them, absolutely!
This Mother's Day, I will be sharing my journey of motherhood with some beautiful friends at Chapel Community Church in Sun, LA... I have never spoken about this journey quite like I will tomorrow, but as I prepare my words, I am grateful for every step along the way that has given me the grace and the mercy to have these three precious boys. I am in awe at the way God has entrusted us with such gifts. And how He has prepared our paths and steps for what was to come long before we knew what was going to happen.
I recommend you all to write your journey to motherhood... yes, there will be some very sad pieces, but sprinkled in that will be the flavors of God's grace, mercy and beautiful blessings of peace, comfort and love.
At one point tomorrow, we will visit the cemetery, yes, I will cry as the lump in my throat grows with each step it takes to get to his sweet little tombstone... and I will feel sick, and sad, and emotions many of you know I am talking about.... but I will also feel a GINORMOUS LOVE AND PEACE. A LOVE that only parents who have lost a child will understand... it is far bigger than us and is a beautiful gift from God.
I am sure the day will be so full of gratefulness, joy and some sadness for missing my sweet baby....There is really never a day without that. I miss Matthew, I would do anything for him to be here... but since he is not, I have to do my very best to be his mama.... and part of being his mama is being an author, a speaker and an advocate... so tomorrow on Mother's Day, I will do my very best to make him proud as I share his precious life and the journey of motherhood. I wouldn't be here with you today if Matthew were here with me. That I am certain of.
There would have been 500 less Random Acts of Kindness done, this blog would be non existent, Facets of Life would be 142 pages of blankness, Still Standing Magazine would have one less mama on their team and I would be a mom sitting on a pew tomorrow listening to someone else speak...
BUT as God has predestined all of this, Matthew is with Him, and I am with you... and I hope and pray that each one of you will understand that you are special, you are a beautiful mother no matter what the circumstances are, and that I am so very grateful to share the hope that I have within my heart with you.
Will and Nathan, the two I am honored to take care of here on earth, remind me every day how much they love Matthew, and I so cherish those moments! It is really beautiful!
I tell my boys "I love you to the moon and back" every day and every night... always have. Well, Nathan's reply is "Mom, I still can't find anything far enough!" (can you see my heart melting?) How awesome it is to have that love to give but also to have that love given right back to you?
I walked into Nate's room a couple of days ago, he left me a note on top of his laundry basket of clothes he was to put away and the note said "Mom, don't put up the laundry, I will! I <3 U! You're the best! P.S. Still can't find anything far enough!' Love Moose"
Now, as for my little Will, he might leave me a note saying he loves me, but I am pretty sure he would never say "don't out my laundry away!" LOL! It might would say "Mom ,thanks for putting my laundry away and while you are doing so, please organize my Sperry's!" ;)
Oh my boys! And oh the joy they bring to me, each one, so individual and each one so very special! All three of them! :)
This is my precious family- the presence of Matthew is physically lacking, but within our hearts, he remains... remains our love, our hope and our inspiration for everything we do!
Thank you God for Matthew! Thank you!!!
If you are a mother that cannot hold your children in your arms today, but you hold them in your heart, you are beautiful and loved... you are supported and encouraged by a great big community of mamas and daddy's that understand and that hurt too. We send our warmest hugs to you today and always.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you special friends!