My mom died.
It’s almost been 12 years, yet in so many ways it seems like it was just yesterday. 12 years ago a call came that I wasn’t expecting. My dad had called at 4 a.m. to say the squad was coming to their house. That my mom was not doing well and shortly after came another call. Mom had coded as soon as they loaded her into the ambulance. My mommy, my best friend, and the one I relied on for everything was gone. She was only 59 and I was 23. At this point in my life motherhood wasn’t on the radar. Having children was in the life plans for my husband and me, but we had only been married a year. I never expected that I would have to leap into motherhood without having my mom there to help.
When I got pregnant with Ella there was a sudden panic. I was facing a high-risk pregnancy and my best supporter (besides my husband) was gone. I felt lost with each scary step in my pregnancy and didn’t know how I would even get through the next 18 years of this child’s life without having my mom there to guide me. Who would I call at 3 a.m. when colic set in and I was about to lose my mind? Would I know how to soothe her, without my mom there to guide the way? Worst of all, how could I ever survive the teenage years without my mom to complain to?
In 2009 Ella arrived and reality set in. I had to be a mommy, without having my mom. It was the hardest thing I have had to do yet at the same time the easiest. I shouldn’t have worried about how I would parent without my mom being by my side. She had already taught me. My sweet momma taught me how to soothe a little one, by soothing me. How to do all the basic infant care, how to take care of boo-boos, and most of all that no mommy is perfect.
Motherhood without my momma is not easy. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t miss her, but I have found ways to keep her alive. A memory book that I read to my babies so they can know her. Baking cookies with my kids that we made together. I can’t bring her back, but by keeping her memory alive it’s as though she is still here with me, guiding me along the way.
*Shortly after my mother died I became aware of a camp for children who had lost loved ones through Hospice of Dayton. I have volunteered since 2006 with this camp. It’s an amazing support not only for the children attending but for the adults who are there to help.*