My heart is heavy tonight thinking of the tough moms around me experiencing heartache.
I know of a mom who has a son in a wheelchair and she's trying to raise money so he can just do little things like sit and stand on his own. My son was Tigger for Halloween, bouncing like a typical preschooler does. I took that for granted. It didn't cross my mind that not all boys his age can jump.
I know of a mom who just beat cancer. That's the awesome part, of course. But the sad part to me is that she experienced chemotherapy while feeding her infant and still kept a smile on her face. She couldn't just enjoy mommyhood for the first time. She had a weight she carried on her back in the form of the C-word. When I had an infant I complained about lack of sleep and teething signs and not knowing for sure when to start solid foods. That sounds so easy compared to what this woman has gone through.
I know of another mom who just lost her husband to cancer. She has a 2 year old and 4 month old to carry on for. She has to be strong, no matter if she's crushed or falling apart on the inside. We keep going, can't quit as moms. We have to continue, despite how sick we feel or tired or grief-stricken we may be. We have to because babies rely on us to be the strong ones. My heart breaks for this young mom who I know is still making bottles and snacks, doing laundry, changing diapers. She can't give up, it's not an option, nor would she probably even imagine it to be. She has to smile when she picks up her babies in the morning when they wake. She has to stumble in the dark to their room in the night if they cry out for her. Strong...
I am left tonight realizing it can always be worse, that we don't know how lucky we really are some days.
I was frustrated today with my kids who seemed to have turned off their ears for the afternoon. That doesn't matter now, looking back. What mattered was sitting on the floor after warm baths, snuggled in pajamas, reading stories before bed. Being together.
We moms can get through anything, survive anything. Anything.
I'm left tonight thinking of how grateful I am for so many things in my life right now... my daughter's sassy smile and how she asks to "eat!" at all times of the day. I'm thankful my son is healthy and has so much energy sometimes it exhausts me. I'm happy he's full of life and not sick.
Life isn't what we think it will be all the time.
Things change. Things are unfair.
We get thrown curve balls we least expected.
We can't predict when our babies are going to be born or walk for the first time. We don't control when they actually get their first tooth or if they will fall and break some bone when they start playing sports. We have zero control over these things. We can't predict falling in love with someone, starting a young family, only to have him leave too soon due to some sickness or if our baby will be healthy or if someday we'll get terrible news. We have no idea what life has in store for us. That's part of the fun part, and of course some of the fear is in that not knowing.
Yet we moms, we stand strong and carry on.
It's what we do. Because we have no choice, yes, but more importantly because we know we must pave the way for our babies. We must be their light, the voice calling them forward toward their dreams, toward a bright future. We may not know all of the ups and downs on the street ahead, but we know there are so many good things to be grateful for that it's worth the trip.
To these mothers, the ones who are suffering, who are kneeling down even secretly begging for grace, hope, courage... I send you love and strength. I am sincerely thinking of you tonight. I know many more moms out there are doing the same. We are wishing you happiness. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow. But I know this to be true - being a mom means you will always find something to laugh about.
Be patient with yourselves, moms.
It's a hard life out there and some days are rougher than others. Stand strong.
"Said goodbye, turned around and you were gone, gone, gone,
faded into the setting sun, slipped away,
but I won't cry, 'cause I know I'll never be lonely,
for you are the stars to me,
you are the light I follow.
I will see you again, ohhh
this is not where it ends,
I will carry you with me, ohhh
Till I see you again."