I just saw a video this morning of your babies at the park!
You took it many years ago while you were watching them run around play with their dad.
You guys called that park, “the pirate park”.
You captured a perfect moment of them all.
They were engaged in a very dramatic, pretend sword battle, the way pirates do.
You were filming just far enough away that I couldn’t make out what they were saying, but I could hear their laughter as they played.
Not knowing the heavy impact it would eventually make, all these years later.
It looked like a perfect summer day.
A beautiful memory made, and saved.
You filmed it about a year before you began to change.
I can tell, because you weren’t in it.
You were sitting at the picnic table watching. I remember you feeling so sad and guilty that day while you sat and waited for them.
Embarrassed, knowing that it was just too uncomfortable for you to try and get up to play along.
I know the video, and all of those earlier memories are still so bitter sweet for you to see, despite all of your changes.
You’ve given yourself such a hard time, and have endlessly beaten yourself up about those things!
Honestly, it’s what all of us moms seem to do?
Realizing too late…all of the little things we’ve taken for granted, because at the time they seemed unimportant.
Mundane and ordinary.
And we were freaking tired, just trying to get through the days…making sure we weren’t screwing everything up too majorly.
And now, we look at the pictures and videos we’ve archived for our future selves to enjoy, not knowing the heartache that will pounce upon us out of nowhere, causing us to pause and catch our breath.
Surprised with sadness.
We don’t know that we will wince, and not want to look or SEE.
Because it’s grief.
Mourning all of the the missed chances we didn’t know we had for noticing, and appreciating all of the mundane magic of those fleeting moments…until they had already vanished to become memories.
Right now, Im laying on a yoga mat, in a dark, humid room thinking about all of this.
My mind is racing, so I am holding my breath, deep down inside of my lungs, just to focus on feeling them expand…
…and for a moment, I am truly alone with ALL of it.
Finally, safe and sound within the caverns of my guts, flesh and bones to sit with this.
My own private universe.
Heart beating in my face as I exhale.
I suddenly feel lightheaded and a little panicked.
As if releasing my breath back out into this shared world will also release these realizations I am clinging to.
Desperately trying to keep them from slipping from my grip, like all of these sweaty poses, and I can’t help the tears that start to fall.
I want to squeeze my eyes closed again to draw in the deepest breath I’ve ever breathed, and hold on for dear life!
Long enough to run back into that memory, and right up to you sitting on that bench.
I would collapse down next to you, and hug you with all my might.
I would grab your face and try to get you to understand all of the things that you will do!
Just to watch you burst into laughter from disbelief.
I would want to tell you that you will have bravery and courage (in spades!) that you have no idea you even have access to yet.
I would try to tell you how absolutely loved you are by your husband and babies in such a way that you would never doubt it ever again.
I would want to tell you how special all of it will be…even the terrible and painful parts.
How you will come to decide to truly meet yourself face to face.
In search of the strength you will need to start telling the hard truths about how you really feel about things…and begin the long journey to heal.
I would want to warn you of all of all the mistakes you will make…but then I would stop myself, because I know you’ll NEED them ALL to happen anyway, to get you where you’re going.
I would look you in the eyes, with my hands on my heart, and thank you with all of the gratitude and sincerity I could muster, for all you’ve done for me.
Your sacrifices, humility and willingness to persist gave me a chance to live my LIFE.
I will never be more grateful to anyone on earth for continuing to show up in all of the way the ways I know you are going to.
And then, I would hug you one last time and tell you goodbye.
I would tell you that I am rooting you on from our future.
As I’m laying on this mat, in a 120 degree room, no longer afraid of discomfort.
Living inside of my life instead of watching it happen from the sidelines.
I am so grateful.