Thursday, May 10, 2018

How a city girl, gone country grieves (and raises cows): A Mother's Cry

 How a city girl, gone country grieves 
(and raises cows)

I met Kimberly through farming. She, like me, has been dropped into this life and is learning to love it just like me. She is a Christian, however, our pasts are nothing alike. I've asked her to share her story on my Blog over the next weeks or months or however long it takes. It is filled with much grief and loss but will hopefully make you laugh and smile and grow and grieve along with her.

Sometimes I dream I’m in Hawai’i. This is not your typical dream; the exotic vacation away in the tropics. In my dream, I’m on a mission. I’m looking for my son. In my dream, I say to myself "oh, I didn’t think to look at this place." Then the sharp reality wakens me in tears and pain. My son is dead. He is not there. He is nowhere. I cannot find him in this world, either awake or asleep. And the clutching on my heart tightens as I once again realize how deeply I miss him.
Mother’s Day is bittersweet. I’m very blessed to share yet another year with my own mother, now 89. And she is very blessed to share this day with ALL of her children, who are still alive even if not all quite well. I’m jealous of her. She touts how she’s heard from all of her seven children on Mother’s Day, while I am painfully aware of the ones from whom I’ll never hear again.
I think it’s nice that there is now a bereaved Mother’s Day a week before the actual event. An unofficial vigil intended to bring awareness that not all of us will enjoy calls, cards or visits from all of the fruits of our wombs. I read a few of the posts from other grieving mothers and I’m starkly reminded how desperately I cling to Jesus during these difficult days. Without my faith, I cannot imagine the agony. It’s already a difficult hurdle I’m faced with each year; without faith I shudder to imagine how much worse that must be.
I think one of the reasons it’s most difficult for me is that my first child died. He was THE defining moment of my becoming a mother for the very first time. He was my first labor, delivery and breast-feeding experience. He was my first everything in child-rearing and we were very close. I remember just before my second child was born, crying when I laid down with him one night. That I loved him SO much, I was worried I might cheat this second child of love. One of my closest friends at that time said, don’t worry, your love will multiply. She was right. My second child, my oldest daughter, was born and my heart exploded with a new kind of love, more deeply and richly did I now love those two. Then there were three, then there were four. My fifth child was stillborn at full-term, and it crushed me. Somehow I was convinced by my doctor to not end my child-bearing years on a death and my youngest son, now 16, was born. I closed up shop after him!
The mother’s love does indeed multiply. Learning to be a parent to five distinctive personalities is an incredible challenge! Despite my exceptionally hectic schedules, I loved it all; learning their likes, dislikes, challenging them in their weak areas and helping develop their strengths. They all learned at completely different paces too, some were educationally gifted and others I had to really struggle with to get through school. I look back and wonder how I got through it all and still have any hair!
My oldest son, the one who took his own life 10 years ago, he was my first of all these experiences. He was very easy-going if not a little unmotivated. He needed special kinds of challenges, and grew to be a likeable kid with a decent work ethic. I was proud of the things he’d overcome, or at least what I believe he’d overcome. In the end though, I loved him as much as I did when I first laid eyes on him. He was my mother-making child and he will always hold a tender spot in my heart for that alone. 
Happy Mother’s Day; share the love with all the mothers by birth or by choice, by blood or by book. Being a mother is the hardest most thankless job any one of us would sign up to be. The rewards are few and the sleep is even less, but it’s a life choice for which I am always blessed. I also pray a special blessing on those mothers who are grieving; may the Hand of God fall over you in a wave of comfort. 
Until next time,

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