In Japan there is a term for lost babies - mizuko - is there a name for mothers of mizuko's? Is there a word to encompass the "almost", "loved fiercely", "eternally heartbroken" nature of being a women whose baby died?
What am I?
Mother's Day greeting cards fall into certain categories. There are the sweet ones from a child to a Mother thanking them for all of the love and hard work they have given. Similarly, there are the funny ones talking about the pampering that Mom deserves on Mother's Day because of the energy she expends to care for everyone every other day of the year. There are the husband to wife cards. There are the cards to someone whose actions have been very "mother like".
These do not describe my situation. I could certainly use some pampering, but not because I'm exhausted from taking care of a family.
In terms of daily physical nurturing and care given I am not a Mother. The object of my care has died. There is no need to breastfeed, launder tiny clothes, or stay up late rocking him. Think of all of the time saved by not needing baby sign language classes! And leaving the house is so simple, instead of a husband and wife packing the little boy, stroller, diaper bag into a sensible family car all I need to do is hop into the tiny two seater and go! Getting properly dressed is not even an issue since there's no one with me that I could embarrass by running errands in sneakers and an over-sized sweatshirt.
I'm not exhausted from a crying baby keeping me up at night, instead sleep is disturbed because things are too quiet. I'm exhausted from getting through each day with so little to do.
I could use a break from the difficult days of missing my child.
But, in terms of having experienced maternal love, I am a MOTHER. Maternal love is such a unique feeling. It is powerful and beautiful and unforgettable. In body and soul I am forever changed by my son. My heart has overflowed with love!
New, unique emotions felt or practical aspects of physically parenting a child? Which weighs more heavily? Which counts for Mother's Day? I can't explain the sudden concern over this but I want some clarification on where I fit in a world of mothers and children.
My answer to this comes in a round about way ... I know what Toren is ... Toren is my son. MINE! He is a precious soul and he spent his short life with ME. And when things turned impossibly bad I made a decision about how he would spend the rest of his life, trading in his cramped quarters for the inevitable.
If he's my son, I must be his Mother.
Still embracing the crazy side, I'll be sending Mother's Day cards from my home to my PO Box. I have cards for a couple of you too. Would any one else like a card? Send me an e-mail with your mailing address.