Saturday, September 17, 2016

If I Know Then What I Know Now...

I am sure most of you have heard the infamous quote; "If I knew then what I know now." We have all probably thought it, said it, and most likely analyzed it. Using those words to figure out what we would have done differently. What situations and mistakes we could have avoided. There's no going back, and there are no magical erasers that can change our experiences. There are lessons that each situation presented us. Lessons to help us realize the person we are and the person we can be. The situations and mistakes we experienced may not be able to be changed, but how we are changed by it, how we come away from it is what is the real lesson.  

I wish that someone had told me that quote wasn't true. Instead of looking back and wishing things had been done or said or played out differently, I am focusing on what did happen and the impact it had. I instead what to write a letter to myself, reminding me that I have survived every difficulty so far and I will continue to do so. I can use every hard moment, every tear shed, to remember THEN what I already know NOW

Dear Me,
 I thought this letter may come at a good time as your birthday is this week. What better time than the day you entered this world then a chance to remember what you have accomplished since then? You are tough, you are strong, you are a survivor. You have a big heart and a genuine desire to help others. You have the ability to see the good in all, and to find a silver lining in every moment. 

This past year gave you opportunities to learn from. I hope that in the future, if you are struggling, you are able to remember. Remember these situations that happened this year, and how you changed from it.  You had hard moments, your marriage felt the stress of life's events and almost came close to the end. But instead you both worked together and made it even better. Remember that, even when something may be "broken", try to fix it first. Put every ounce of energy you have into fixing it, and if it is worth saving, it can be repaired to something even better than it originally was. 

You made the decision to leave your job, one you were comfortable in, but no longer made you happy. Remember that change is scary, but necessary. Change is better than regret. Letting go of things we know, things we think we need is hard, but holding on to something that no longer makes you happy is far worse.

 Remember that, remember that you can and should let go of anything and anyone who no longer makes you happy. As our lives change, so do our relationships, our friendships. Not all of these friendships and relationships will survive, but you will. Remember that each person played a part in helping you become who you are today. Understand and accept that not everyone will be there for you. Not everything will go as you planned. 

This year you enrolled in school and began working towards your Master's. Remember that you made the decision to make a change. You knew what you wanted, and are working towards it. You are the only person that can make that happen, and you will.

You are the only one in charge of how you feel. And I want you to continue to choose happiness. Choose to smile even when you want to cry. Choose to love and be loved. Choose to listen as much as you speak. Choose to be a good friend, and to keep those true ones close. Choose to let go of those who don't. Walk away from anything that hinders your happiness. Choose to put yourself first. It sounds selfish, but you need to be truly happy with yourself to be happy with others. Choose to work hard for everything you want, and you will continue to get everything you deserve. Continue to make those big changes, they have all played out well for you thus far. Continue to be you. 

Remember, right now, at this moment, you know what you need to. So, in the future, if you are faced with something difficult ,if I know then what I know now, you will be just fine :)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

To All The Childless Mothers

Dearest you,
       I had to write this to you, today of all days, because today you need to read this. You need to hear what I am about to tell you and more importantly believe it. Today is one of "those" days, the days where you wish laying in bed all day and pushing pause on life was an option. Even better, maybe fast forward to tomorrow, past another one of "those" days. These days we all dread and cringe thinking about...not that everyday isn't hard but there is something almost punishing and downright cruel about having to celebrate a day that you absolutely long to be a part of. I personally have avoided thinking about this day for years, and in these most recent years since being married and ready to start a family, since we do not have a child. Since my surgery, taking away my ability to have a baby, Mothers Day has been a cruel reminder of that painful fact. The surgery took away illness, but also my chance of becoming a mom the way I desired.

In addition to the empty hole in my heart on this day for the child I do not yet have, the remainder of my heart aches for my mom. Since her death, Mothers Day has always been a hard day. A day that I attempted to forget. For me it was too hard, too upsetting to think about not having her here, to be reminded yet again that I was a motherless daughter. It took many years, until I met my mother in law, to be reminded of what the true meaning of mothers day is. To be thankful for each and every moment that we have and had with our mothers. To be appreciative of all the wonderful attributes and lessons our mothers passed onto us. All the sacrifices, tears, smiles, and laughs that she shed turning us into the women we are today. Our mothers are part of the reason we long to become mothers ourselves. Because we have seen what true love looks and feels like. Because these brave women taught us to be thoughtful, caring, and strong. Even in my mothers last moments, as she lay dying, she never stopped worrying about us. In our final conversation, she was worried about us. She wasn't scared to die, or lose her battle with cancer, she was scared to leave us. To leave behind her children, before any of us were ready.

Every child needs their mother, and it has been hard growing up without one. Even in her absence, I have learned so many lessons from my mom, I am lucky enough to have so much of her in me, I can see her in my reflection, in my smile, and hear her sarcastic humor that always had everyone around her laughing. The thoughtful nature, of giving every ounce of myself to anyone I love, is all her. To aim to make everyone feel loved and at ease, is my Mom. The ability to see the positive in every situation, is completely owed to my mom. She taught me that there is always something good, even in the bad. The best way to remember her is to continue living, continue smiling, and continue loving.

With that being said, I always attempt to find the good, so here it is. It is hard. It is painful and it hurts. When you walk by the babies with their mothers and blink back the tears that instantly form. When you cringe at the invites to baby showers, and feel an embarrassing twinge of jealousy as you view pregnancy announcements and dreaded ultrasounds. I know the pain of wishing for a mothers day to come addressed to you, to hope for the day that you will a mother. When you ache to be a mother, and to hold a beautiful reflection of yourself and your spouse in your arms. The day you will be able to fill that empty spot in your arms, and in your heart. I know what it is like to feel broken, and unable to be fixed. Here comes the good, the "cure" to all this pain. The light at the end of this cold dark tunnel.

You are not broken. You are amazing. You are kind, and thoughtful, and loving. You are so incredibly strong, you have been fighting, wishing, and hoping to become a mother. But let me tell you already are. Have you ever loved someone, so much, that your heart feels like it may explode? Have you ever wiped away the tears of another, and comforted them until the pain disappeared? Have you ever listened to a friend, sibling, lover, and helped them to fight a battle they needed help with?

There you have it, the definition in black and white. No where does it say anything about giving birth to, or conceiving. Because being a mother is much more. Being a mother takes sacrifice, and love. A mother is a role that one earns, it is not given. You have already earned the title, and in time you will be given the rest. I know this to be true, because you have already fought and would  give your entire being for a little human that you have not even been promised yet. You may not yet have a baby in your arms, but they are in your heart, your full, loving heart. You, my beautiful you, you are a mother. So, Happy Mothers Day!!!

                                                                                    A fellow Childless Mother