To my mother:
Thank you for being the kind of mother who nurtured her children enough to have compassion for everyone but pushed them hard enough to be resilient in the face of life’s hardships. Thank you for being the kind of example who fought through hard relationships to make sure we were always taken care of and could have open conversations about them. And thank you for being the kind of person who is always willing to help people, even when it goes against your own personal feelings. Our relationship has evolved in so many ways over the years and I could never thank you enough for being patient with me as I found my way into adulthood – I know it hasn’t been easy. Out of everything though, there’s one thing I’ve never thanked you for that you have deserved for all this time:
Thank you for how you were with us after losing Nicholas.
I’ve been told by so many people that parenting a child at home after losing another is the hardest thing they’ve ever had to do. Having enough focus to give attention to your two year old daughter while grieving is something I can only imagine, and it still wouldn’t do it justice. You were forged by fire while holding up the walls. You worked through a daily life with only one of your children in your arms and thirty-two years later you’re right here working through it with me. The courage and faith it took to take that leap and decide to have another child is something that I’m only beginning to understand. You are stronger than you think, and you are more important than you know.
Because while you’ve been here with us and are working through this with Jonah, I’ve been watching. I know how much you hurt for Nicholas because I can hear the love in your voice. I can see the pain in your eyes while you work through it every day because this kind of grief never goes away thanks to the love we have for our children. But the point of the fight isn’t the grief. The message you’ve demonstrated every day isn’t about being hurt or about letting go. It’s that every day you get to choose to fight. It’s that every morning we wish they were here but are thankful to have had them. It’s that we have so many more blessings than we could have otherwise.
You have been my example after losing Jonah, and your strength inspires me. On your birthday, I hope you can feel Nicholas and Jonah watching down on you. I hope you can feel their love radiating around you, holding you up when you want to fall. I hope you know in your heart that Jonah only knew love from his Nana, just like Nicholas knew a love unlike any other: a mother’s love. This year you’ve given me a bigger gift than I could ever give you – hope.
Because I’m proud to be your rainbow baby.
I love you Momma. Happy Birthday
“He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves” – Psalm 107:29