Posts Tagged ‘daughters’

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I’ve been thinking about writing this post and have gone back and forth about whether or not I should.  Loss is a difficult topic to write about, but especially hard when the loss is not your own.  As parents, we all hope that our children do not have to face hardships, but as living and breathing people, we know inevitably they will.  We cannot protect them.

I have experienced loss in my lifetime, but I’ve not experienced a miscarriage.  I am one of those lucky women who had three pregnancies and three children.  So when my oldest daughter, Maggie, announced her pregnancy last November, I had no reason to believe that it would be anything but normal.  We celebrated with her sisters.  She was feeling nauseous and tired and enjoying it.  Mid-December, I waited to hear about her doctor’s appointment.  I crumpled when she said there was no heartbeat.  The ultrasound showed the baby had not developed past 8 weeks.  Her body, however, still thought she was pregnant.

The next day, I went with her to the surgery center for her DNC.  Maggie cried quietly.  I sat near her and listened.  She talked about how she could now relate to her friends when it happened to them.  There is a scary statistic that many first pregnancies end in miscarriage.  She knew this.  She knew that the baby was not viable.  That something had gone wrong.  That it wasn’t meant to be.  But even so, a new child died that day.  There was no way to deny the loss.

My daughter realized that through her pain and grief she was learning a life lesson.  Little did she know how soon her counseling would be needed.  A few weeks ago, she got a call from my middle daughter, Katherine. On the previous Saturday, Maggie and I had talked about how she was being weird, unusually cheerful.  We thought something was up.  But once again, a new baby was not to be.  Katherine had taken a pregnancy test on Saturday and was waiting to tell us the following weekend when we’d all be together.  On Tuesday, bleeding started and her blood test came back negative.  A quick drop on the roller-coaster that took her breath away. She tried to see the positive side of things, but she was devastated.

There is so much joy and hope and love in watching your daughters get married and start their lives with someone they deeply love.  We expect the best.  We hope for new life.  I’ve even been a little pushy about wanting to be a grandmother.  I didn’t expect this heartache, this loss.  I have no explanation for it.

Grief over miscarriage is a private grief.  There are no ceremonies to offer condolences.  In fact, most people don’t talk about it.  The loss is buried deep into the woman’s soul.

As their mother, I grieve with them.  As their mother, I hold their hearts in mine.  I’m with them through it all, joy and pain, love and loss.  I am holding onto faith that there will be new children in our future, but for now, I grieve with my daughters.



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laughing with Martha

As I get older, I am learning to appreciate a good laugh, even if it’s at my own expense.  I am trying really hard to embrace this getting older thing.  My birthday is this week, and I will be 55.  There, I said it.

I enjoy listening to podcasts when I am driving, so this weekend on my drive to and from New Orleans, I listened.  I will probably forget which exact podcast it was (that happens with age), but I think it was the TED Radio Hour about Time.  Anyway, some researcher said that we get happier as we get older.  I believe this is true, except, of course, if you get grumpier.

I believe I am happier now than I was ten years ago.  My daughters are grown-ups and such delightful grown-ups they are.  I am grateful for all that I have in my life, my husband of 34 years, 3 healthy, happy, successful daughters, and a mother-in-law who likes to celebrate birthdays with me in Africa.

My girls think I am hilarious.  Mostly because I’m so stupid.  The above picture was taken by daughter number 1 after I had taken a failed selfie with daughter number 3.  I love how we laugh the same way.

I think it is time for me to embrace happiness.  To realize that happiness is precious like gold, like the rainbow, like love.

I wish for you a day (a year, a life) full of laughter.  There is no way to watch this scene from Mary Poppins and not laugh.  Enjoy!



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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

I will not be winning this year’s prize for the best Mother-of-the-Bride. I forgot to buy the book, and all of a sudden, I have a daughter getting married. I know that a mother with three daughters should be some sort of expert. I think I have a brain block or some other force at work keeping me from doing the right thing.

On Thursday, daughter number one, number two, and I rented a Ford Explorer in New Orleans and over two days drove to Chicago to pack up daughter number three and haul her back to South Louisiana. In early August, Katherine (daughter two) and Wayne became engaged. She pinned a designer dress and thought why not go try on wedding dresses while we are in Chicago. She made the appointment for 4:30 PM on Friday. So we had to leave Memphis in the early morning to make it.

What I didn’t know was we first had to check in at the hotel. We made it through crazy traffic (I was not driving, thank God.) The girls had to freshen up and change for the occasion. Maggie (daughter one) said, “Are you wearing THAT?” I was in my cropped jeans and a t-shirt. Proper traveling clothes, but apparently not proper shopping-for-a-wedding-dress clothes.

“What’s wrong? I didn’t know I was supposed to dress up.”

“Where have you been, Mom? They may serve us champagne!”

“Well, all I have are these hospital pants.” I call them my hospital pants because they are so comfortable that I wore them overnight in the hospital.

“That’s better than jeans.”

“How was I supposed to know this was a dress-up occasion?”

“Don’t you watch TV? Bridesmaids, duh!”

We head over in an Uber to the appointment and make it only 5 minutes late.

Another thing I forgot to read in The Idiot’s Guide to being the Mother of the Bride was how to properly respond to your daughter in a wedding gown. Apparently you are supposed to know which one is The One, and you are supposed to cry when you see it. I didn’t cry. In fact, I made a comment about lace. This first comment cannot be taken back. Over and over I have said, “If this is the one you want, you should get it.” But it doesn’t help. She cannot erase my first response.

For the record, I did tear up when she put on the veil. I properly held my hand over my mouth and exclaimed, “Oh my!”

In the end, we all had a good time. No champagne, but the other daughters got in on the fun and tried on dresses they loved. I texted a picture to my husband, and he responded, “Scary.” Scary, and crazy, and fun.

Martha and Maggie try on wedding gowns that they loved. (The actual bride to be is not pictured. That's a no no. I'm learning.)

Martha and Maggie try on wedding gowns that they loved. (The actual bride to be is not pictured. That’s a no no. I’m learning.)

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