A mother’s grief

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Like much of internet  yesterday, I spent a good deal of time refreshing my news feeds to see if there were updates on the “Disney Gator Attack”. I’d held out hope they would find him alive, knowing it was unlikely but still, hoping. Miracles happen they say. Matt and Melissa Graves did not receive that miracle we’d all been hoping and praying for. Their boy lost his life in a lagoon, to a wild animal on a vacation that should have been some of the happiest memories of their lives. Instead, they’ll have to get on a plane without their son in their arms.

I keep playing it out in my head. I can almost hear that mother’s screaming. That primal scream watching your son lost to the murky lagoon. Knowing that her last memory is that. I cannot imagine her grief, nor do I want to.

We’re were so fortunately gifted a trip to Disney this last Christmas. One we’d never been able to take had it not been for my parents. My tiny boy is missing from the photos because I wore him close to my body most of the trip. I will forever have the memory of holding my son as we met Mickey for the first time. Yesterday, I held him in my arms and thought of that mother. She’ll never hold her baby again, never feel the sweat on his neck or see the joy on his as he meets Mickey Mouse or which ever character was his favorite for the first time. Their lives forever changed by one wonderful adventure gone terribly wrong.

When the story first broke and there wasn’t much information, I admit I immediately thought to myself, “why is a baby wading in the water at 9:20 at night?”, forgetting that there is just so much to do at Walt Disney World. Learning he was basically snatched inches from his father just added to the horror. I could picture this man, trying with all his being, to save his boy. As parents, you will do anything for your children, even give your life. I can’t imagine what he must have thought realizing he’d lost the fight.

I cannot imagine.

Nor do I want to.

The moments are fleeting. Soon your two-year old is ten or twenty. I’m guilty of wishing the moments away. Dragging my dramatic 4-year-old back to the car, I’m wishing for the day to be over but I need to, I have to stop because in one swoop, he could be gone and our family forever changed. I think, what if that mother wished her day away and that day, the day they relaxed at the lagoon, was their last as a family of four. What if she spent her last day wishing it would go away? I feel confident she didn’t, vacation and all but what if? I never want to have my last day be one I wished away.

My news feed is awful now. As an empathetic personality it’s hard for me to detach. I think about it and think about it, often unable to shut it off. So much life lost, so much hate and judgement and sadness. The village is still failing, I pray for it to get better, for my children and for their children. We need a better village.

Rest in peace, little Lane. My thoughts and prayers with your family and everyone close to you. No mother should ever have to bury their child, big or small. Sick or well. I’m so sorry.

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Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Remember When #behindtheblogger

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I keep sitting here thinking about what I should write. Originally I had searched my photo archives for a photo of my old self. One before I struggled so much with my weight, with how my beauty measures me. Then, in the wake of this week’s tragedy in Orlando, I thought I should go that route. Remembering a time when we didn’t have to talk to our children damn near weekly about how horrible our planet has become. Neither seems to fit. I don’t know if it’s the sadness or the mess of thoughts and questions in my brain preventing me to write about either coherently.

We are living in a broken world. Broken. And it seems to shatter more and more with each day.

Remember when, when it was easier? Or it seemed easier. I remember summers at my Grandma’s house walking down the street to the “candy man”. He’d open the door with joy and a small wicker duck full of hard candy and each visit, we’d take one. Sucking on the treasure while stuffing leaves in mailboxes. We’d be gone hours, safely riding our bikes all around. It was different then. There wasn’t a  tremendous fear of everything, all the time. At least how I remember it. Because we remember things with nostalgia and often without all the truth.

I think though it’s unfair to judge history as if there were no flaws. I watch Call the Midwife each week and weep at the Thalidomide family’s stories. My husband lost a friend to an accident on a bike when the child didn’t have a helmet. I saw teen pregnancy and drug addiction. I watched in horror as Columbine happened in my backyard. We’ve made mistakes in all the generations. There was no perfect time. I think we just remember it with fondness because we are so wrapped up in the worry of the present that we forget that rape, murder and mass death are not new things.

I think what I take from all this is that we have to make the best of the good moments. Remembering to hug our children and forgive our enemies. To let go, something I struggle with. I want my children to have the memories of new adventures and beautiful things and not just the uncomfortable talks in the kitchen or car about rape or why we either agree or don’t agree with the semi automatic weapon thing. They deserve some joy to remember. They deserve to remember their childhoods as happy and not in a bubble or surrounded with fear. They also deserve to know that our world is dangerous and scary so they’re not shocked when they grow up and out of their bubbles.

I want them to say someday, “remember when mom tried to make it all okay.” Even if okay was just for a moment, it’s better than nothing.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the Pulse tragedy. No mother should have to bury their child like that. No friend or family member or anyone should have to mourn a loss so tremendous. My feeds are riddled with hate and horror and I can hardly take the emotion of it all. So much sadness, so much hate.

#prayfororlando #morelovelesshate

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Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Thanking my sons

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My 8-year-old made a travel team. He’s the first of the kids to make one and although Davis has played with travel teams, this is a whole new experience. So far, one I really like. However we spend a great deal of time taking Drew to practice. I’m not complaining, I am happy for him and happy to drive him there. And I am also grateful for the time it’s given me with my oldest son. Davis is still waiting for his travel ball email so, he tags along and offers to help Drew’s coaches. He’d like to help more but he’s still learning bravery and how to offer his treasures. He loves baseball, probably more than I do. He loves to help and he loves being parts of bigger things. He’s smart and kind.

There has been a lot of hoopla, no that’s not the right word… there has been a lot of outrage about Brock Turner. Outrage that I feel and agree with and I found myself needing to talk to my kids about something awful and terrible and that we shouldn’t even have questions about. Telling Devlynn that being raped is NEVER the woman’s fault but to not put herself in situations where it could happen. I say things like, “Please don’t drink so much you black out, never let your drink cup out of  your sight, always go in groups.. you’re safer in groups.” The talk with my female child seemed more fluid and easy. It’s feels more normal to tell my daughter about the villains of the world than to teach my son about it. Horrible as it may sound, the talk with my son was much harder.

Davis wanted to make cupcakes last night. I’m always happy to do these things with him. Soon he’ll be as busy as his sister and won’t want to or have time to make cupcakes with me. So I taught him how to properly level flour and explained why in baking you have to be “perfect” or the cake won’t work. We tried an egg free recipe, just to see how it would work after I realized that I didn’t have instant coffee for the originally selected recipe. It was nice.

I asked him if he’d heard anything about the swimmer in trouble. He shook his head no. And I asked him if he knew what rape was. And he said yes. And I told him, in brief what happened to this young woman and how no always means no and passed out always means no. We talked about how sex is something that should only happen between agreeing and mature partners and that sometimes you say yes and mean no and it’s hard and complicated and best to wait until you’re really truly old enough and mature enough to know you mean yes and aren’t just saying no because of pressure or insecurity. Fun topics over cupcakes.

He nodded mostly and squirmed a lot and finally said, “anyone who does that to a girl or a boy is gross. It’s just gross”. He then wiped the smudged chocolate off his beautiful face. I smiled, hoping he never changes from the kind, caring and knowing boy he is. And he pretty much summed it up right there. Rape is gross. It’s gross.

I feel for that girl and pray for him and his family. They’ve obviously got deep and disturbing issues and need all the praying they can get. But mostly I think about our kids and all the crap they have to learn about these days. Never in a million years did I think that I would have to education my child on why it’s wrong to rape unconscious people or send nude photos through GroupMe or any other social media outlet. It’s disgusting what the world has come to… full of entitled and heartless brats. Who take precious things like that without so much as an afterthought. We’re doing something wrong. Our village is failing. When a father labels a rape as “20 minutes of action”, our village is utterly failing.

Today he’ll probably have “forgotten” what I said yesterday. He’ll hopefully have tucked it into the back of his head and will remember that no means no and never ever do that to someone. I hope he will be the boy who will pull the girl (or boy) to safety. In these situations, in bullying situations. I hope he is brave. Always brave. I hope he will always be a hero and never a villain. We have too many villains now a days. Please son, please be a hero. Thank you for always being a hero.

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.