Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Monday, May 4, 2009

Am I a Mother?

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.


Wabi said...

Of course you are a mother. Please, don't let a bunch of greeting card co. executives make you doubt for one second your validity in claiming that.

Sara said...

I can speak only for how I feel, and I don't feel like anyone's mother. (That's not a pronouncement of anyone else's motherly status, btw.) It's one of the things that's still very hard for me to think about...

Sophie said...

You're a mother, Anna. A very special, very loving mama.

I would love a card and an opp to send you one. Sending my address to you.

caitsmom said...

UGH to the commercial Mother's Day. LOVE to remembering all mothers who parent their children's memory and struggle to find somewhere for their nurturing and unconditional love for their children to go. Where to go? Happy mother's day, not for me. Honored mother's day, perhaps. Honoring that my child gave me motherhood. Peace.

Ya Chun said...

I am exhausted from dbl too.

I wish you a peaceful weekend.

Reba said...

Last year I read online somewhere that mother's day was originally created to honor mothers whose sons had died during wartime. I kept that thought with me last year...that as a mother whose children had died, the day originally was meant more for me than for mothers whose children were still with them, who could tell them how loved they were every day and didn't need a special day to do it.

of course you are a mother. just because toren isn't living on this earth anymore doesn't mean he never existed.

Hope said...

You might be interested in the following post from my friend's blog-it's about the origin's of Mother's Day.

PS...can you send me your address??


Hope said...

Oops! Forgot to post the address:

Check it out...you might be interested in her blog as well.

Cara said...

Hi Momma - your status is undeniable, as are all of ours. Please email me your address...it will not be on time, but heck - you are a mother every day of the year, right?



Anonymous said...

Building Cathedrals
The Most Important Person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral--a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby's body...

The angels have not been blessed with such a grace. They cannot share in God's creative miracle to bring new saints to Heaven. Only a human mother can. Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature; God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation...

What on God's good earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother!

-Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty

Rebekah said...

I don't question my motherhood- as you said "If he's my son, then I must be his mother" but I wish I felt like a mom.

CLC said...

You are a mother no matter how strange it may feel. I am sorry you find yourself in this difficult place.

janis said...

Yes, of course you are a mother. A very wonderful mother.

kay said...

Dear AnnaMarie,
Happy Mothers Day,
Thinking of you in my heart,
With Lots of Love, Hugs & Kisses,
Warmest wishes,
Kay xxxx

debbie said...

I'm with Janis on this one. Of course you are a mother. A very special one indeed.
Thinking of you today,