May 10, 2009

Last Mother’s Day, my parents sent me flowers. We were happy and expectant; the specialist had told us that he really didn’t think there was a problem, and we were reading chapter by chapter through Baby Bargains, talking about cribs, strollers, and car seats.

I live with almost constant disbelief that Teddy isn’t here, that Teddy isn’t here and this is my life, but marker days, days like Mother’s Day, are especially full of this feeling. Is this really me, really who I am now?

Marker days are also especially full of remembering, and, in my case (because I obsess over this, I really do) with worrying about Teddy being forgotten, about losing even more of him.

In the mail a few days ago came a package from my parents. And I know my mom; I know she hunted down the most beautiful blank card she could find and that she cried a little when she wrote in it, and when she tucked it into the package containing a candle for Teddy. The candle has his name on it, and under his name:

Precious one
Loved forever

Thanks, Mom and Dad.  It means so much, that you remember him and keep remembering him, so much.

And then, yesterday I woke to hear our doorbell ringing.  I pulled the blanket up over my eyes and hoped that the polite but persistent Jehova’s Witnesses would take their copies of The Watchtower and move on.

But when I couldn’t reclaim sleep and stumbled out of bed, I found a small and beautiful flower arrangement sitting outside my door, with a note from three good friends from work, saying they were thinking of me and N, and of Teddy.  My heart still overflows with that bit of unexpected grace.

And you remember, too, you who know what this kind of loss can feel like.  I can’t thank you enough for that.  I am thinking of you, dear Mamas, and remembering with you, and sending you love, love, love.  I hope this day is gentle on you.

Today I’m going to buy some pansies to complete my potted garden, and N and I will see a movie with friends.  I think it will be not too bad, and I’m making peace with the fact that “not too bad” is the best I can hope for today.

It will never be okay, that last year marked the only Mother’s Day I had with Teddy, that I’ll spend the next few years longing for a sweaty little fist full of dandelions from my first born, and that I’ll spend years and years after that missing all of the things he should have been and should have had.

Yet, strangely enough, having other people remember Teddy has freed me from clinging to memories the way I know I would have, at least for right now.  I’ve relaxed my death grip a little – which means, perhaps paradoxically, that I can remember better, can honor him more with what I remember.  And that’s the best gift anyone could have given me for today


  1. Erica, you just spoke words I hadn’t quite found yet today…very few people have remembered, but for those few that have…it is that little gesture that makes all the difference. Warm wishes for a gentle Mother’s Day. xoxo

  2. Peace to you today. Thinking of you and Teddy today.

  3. I’ll always remember him Erica.

  4. it’s wonderful that you can feel realized through the kindness of others, and that you can revel in the memories.

    happy mother’s day

  5. Thinking of you, Erica. xo

  6. i find great peace in the act of shared remembrance, which is probably why writing ended up being so healing for me.

    but those few words spoken by my mother, now and then, and once even by my more-estranged father’s family…they did worlds for me, brought me back into a world shared by the people i know.

    your family sound amazing. and while i am glad yesterday was as okay as it could really be…still…i am sorry. to be a mother without a child on Mother’s Day is as cruel a thing as i have ever known.

  7. it’s my first time seeing your blog. my nephew is named teddy and i can’t bear to imagine losing him. i am sorry your teddy is not with you. peace to you.

  8. […] was not my first Mother’s Day.  I was a mother last year, too, when most (but not all) were afraid to even mention the day to me.  I’m glad that so many people are happy for me, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: