What should have been my first Mother’s Day with you here, is instead going to be my first without you … and we’re almost there.
I wish I could put in to words what’s running through my mind in the lead up to Sunday but I just can’t. How is that possible? How can I feel so empty? I have your sisters here to celebrate the day with, but I know I should have you here, too.
I should be opening my eyes early Sunday morning to your beautiful one-toothed smile gurgling away, and your big, bright blue eyes looking in to mine. I should be waking up and picking you up for a big cuddle as your big sisters come bouncing in to the bedroom. I should be bringing pancakes and yogurt and orange juice upstairs on a tray for Cora and Maisie to demolish, and for you to dribble all over while filling mummy’s quilt with pancake crumbs. You should be here to grab at and chew the card (made from paper) that the girls ever so lovingly created the night before. You should be here for Cora to tell you to stop that Otis, that’s mummy’s card!
And you aren’t.
The nearest I’m going to get to spending time with you on Mother’s Day this year, will be visiting you at your graveside. The nearest I’m going to get to holding you on Mother’s Day this year, will be by holding your headstone and rearranging your ornaments and toys.
In all honesty I didn’t expect the lead up to Mother’s Day to bother me as much as it is doing – when you died, it wasn’t one of the days that crossed my mind that I was scared of approaching. And here we are …
I questioned why. I wondered why I feel this way. It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out though, right? The sole purpose of Mother’s Day is to celebrate the fact I’m a mother; to celebrate all of my children. And I can’t. It’s supposed to be a day dedicated to honouring mums & the good job that they’re doing … how can I do that, when I failed to even get you here safely? How can I do that, when a piece of my heart is in Heaven? How can I say I’m your mummy, when I cannot mother you?
You’re so tiny, but your absence is huge. It’s everywhere.
And that is how I know I am your mum.
The magnitude of your absence is only so great due to the magnitude of my undying, eternal love for you… a love so powerful that it can only be one between a mother and her child; between a father and his child. A love so deep that it is guaranteed, and unconditional.
I so vividly remember the day of your funeral and walking out of Grandad’s house, approaching the funeral car to see your tiny blue coffin waiting on the back seat. I broke. It was so, so small. And all I could think to myself was that this little wooden box could not possibly contain you. It could not contain all that you were, all that you are, all that you would have been …
I knew in that moment that I had to do more. I had to ensure that a part of you stayed here, so I could be with you. I had to help you live. I had to do all I could to keep your name breathing. I had to live for you.
I had to make sure a part of you stayed here, so I could be with you, and so I could mother you.
Hold on, Otis. Stay with me.
And that is how I know I’m your mummy. That is how I will carry you with me on Sunday, and every other day. That is how your name will forever breathe, and your perfect little feet will forever walk – because I am doing it for you.
I will celebrate that I’m your mummy on Sunday. I cannot hold you. I cannot kiss you. I cannot tickle under your chunky arms. I cannot stroke your beautiful little button nose. I cannot get you dressed in to new PJs for a film day in bed with Cora, Maisie and mummy. I cannot tuck you in to bed Sunday night and thank you for a perfect day.
But I can love you. I can miss you. My heart can ache for you. I can have your presence near by simply thinking of you. Wherever I go, you go. I’ll carry you with me for as long as I live.
I am your mummy. Whether you’re here or not, I am your mummy.
And boy, am I proud to be so.
I love you, Otis.