I suspect that will be the case everywhere. Hopefully people are spending lots of time with their loved ones. It sucks that tragic events put things in perspective for many people, but whatever. It is what it is.
For me, I finally discovered what It is all about over three years ago and I blogged about it on BlogHer back in February:
Hearing her say "Mama" makes me smile so dang much.
Granted she’s only 2 and I’m her entire world and since she’s my world, it works out wonderfully, but nevertheless, I can’t grow tired of hearing it. Even when she says it over and over (and over) again and doesn’t say anything else after I ask her to; even then my day is complete. Because I’m a Mom...her mom. And I’ve never been so happy in all my 39 years of life.
This is what it’s all about…For me, at least.
I didn’t always want to be a mom, though. As a product of divorce, I always told myself I would never have kids to avoid doing to them what my folks did to me. Then I grew up and started watching my siblings have kids, and started to really see the beauty and wonderment that is a child.
The innocence, the joy, the ... life.
When I was in my mid-20s, I lived with my brother and his little boy. My brother just divorced and really needed some help taking care of his boy. Since I vowed at a young age to never let a child hurt the way I hurt when my parents split and nobody communicated with me, I took on the responsibility with open arms. Pretty instantly, I fell madly in love with my then 4 year old nephew. He became everything to me; I loved that little boy so hard.
But I wasn’t his mom.
He had a mom and she wasn’t me. So after four years of living with him and treating him like my own, I made the gut-wrenching decision to leave my nephew and move out on my own in the hopes that I could find my way in life.
Shortly after that, I met my (now) husband and after 6 months of marriage (after 7 years together), we agreed it was time to try procreating. I was 35 and the clock was ticking so loud, it’s all I heard. Seven months from the time we started, I got a positive pregnancy test and was over the moon happy. Four weeks later I was in the hospital having my baby surgically removed. S/he stopped growing. And after my doctor assured me it was over, I opted to have the d&c rather than try to wait for things to end on their own.
To move on faster.
But none of that happened.
I didn’t get closure; I got insomnia and an awful haircut because I needed a change. I got fatter from trying to eat away all the sadness that enveloped me. And when the sadness started to diminish, bitterness ruled. Every single place I turned stood a big pregnant belly or a snotty nosed cherubic face. The tears that streamed from my eyes and heart and soul during those darkest days of my life flowed so freely. It was hard to hide, hard to continue on; but I did just that because while those were the darkest days of my life, they were also some of the most enlightening for me: It’s when I realized that it wasn’t a baby I wanted, it was that I wanted to parent; I wanted to be a Mom.
I had to be a Mom.
A year and a half after that surgery, I was in the operating room having another surgery: a C-section (I was induced at 39.5 weeks because of gestational diabetes and while labor progressed and I pushed for two hours, I was told that my baby’s heart rate dropped with every push and a C-section was imminent after all.)
The absolute light of my life was born end of December 2009 and the moment I heard her cry and the laughter in the room erupt, my dreams finally came true.
I was a mom.
I AM a mom.
Sure I’m a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a great aunt, a cousin, a friend; sure I work a full time job. But more than anything else in this world, I’m a Mom. A “Mama” to be precise. And it’s the most amazing thing in the world.