Happy Mother’s Day
As an employee of a local children’s hospital, I regularly hear testimony from families who have been changed forever by an illness or accident that has happened to their child. This Mother’s Day, one mother of a long time patient wrote a blog post for the hospital that I would like to share with you. She reminds us to celebrate every moment with our children, even those that seem “ordinary”. Enjoy and have a Happy Mother’s Day!
“I celebrated Mother’s Day 2011 by begging my then three-year-old son to let me sleep-in as my Mother’s Day present. That was at 6:47 in the morning. By 7:06 AM I was awakened by a trumpet solo from my dear, dear, baby boy. Yes, a trumpet solo for my Mother’s Day present. A trumpet solo right in my face as I lay in bed. I actually felt the toy trumpet hit the tip of my nose several times during the performance. Okay, okay, I’m up. With a hint of sarcasm, I thought to myself, “happy Mother’s Day to me” as I shot up and out of bed at 7:07 AM. I could either send Noah away with a stern mommy-look and try to fall back to sleep or…I could…dance. By 7:08AM on Mother’s Day 2011, I was dancing in gleeful circles with my little trumpeter swinging from my arms. I felt so blessed to be celebrating another Mother’s Day, and especially this particular Mother’s Day. Here’s why…
Seven months prior to the Mother’s Day trumpet solo, I was a mother who held her second child, her four-day-old daughter, as she lay dying in my arms. I was a mother who was going to spend hours upon hours in a tiny chapel on the first floor of the Children’s Hospital of Illinois, begging God to let me keep one of his angels here on earth; while the doctors upstairs tried desperately to save Ella’s life through science and medicine. I was a mother who would be defined through living nine months of life with one child safe at home and the other fighting for each of her next breaths in a critical care unit, hours away from the safety of our home.
I would come to realize that the title “mother” is the greatest of all gifts to be given and received. It is the gift of song. It is the gift of dance. It is the gift of unimaginable strength. It is the gift of a love so pure, and yet, so powerful. It is the gift of setting priorities and defining what moments truly matter in life. It is the gift of belly-laughs. It is the gift of overcoming fears. It is the gift of finding yourself through loving someone else unconditionally. It is the gift of never-forgotten memories. It is the gift of understanding that the ordinary moments of life are all actually the extraordinary ones. It is the gift of a celebratory perspective of life.
Last year, not only did I celebrate an early morning trumpet solo by dancing to the tune, but I also celebrated many of the most common and ordinary moments of motherhood. I celebrated washing a batch of pink, girl laundry at home. I celebrated washing Ella’s hospital blankets because at one point in our journey, I was told my daughter probably would not survive the night. Here I was, months later, with my first batch of pink laundry. I was celebrating laundry! I celebrated every midnight moment where I was awake comforting my daughter through dealing with the pain of pervious surgeries to try and fix her broken heart. I celebrated even though those midnight moments were shared with critical-care nurses. I was celebrating lack of sleep! I celebrated being able to once again hold my daughter in my arms. It would be the first time in several months I was able to hold her after the moment I held her as she lay dying in my arms at four days old. I was celebrating the numbness in my arms because of holding a chubby baby! I even celebrated baby poop. There was time when no one knew if my daughter’s bowels would ever work normal. I was celebrating poop!
I realized that not only were we gifted the title “mother” from our little ones, but through that gift we were given ordinary moments to either take for granted or to celebrate as extraordinary ones. I call it CellaBRATING LIFE.
I wish you an ordinary Mother’s Day 2012 full of laundry, midnight shenanigans, numb arms, normal bowel movements and maybe, if you’re lucky, even an early morning trumpet solo!”