The Circle of Life... thoughts on the last year
My husband and I just celebrated our youngest son's first birthday. Joe turned one November 12. I think any parent would agree, surviving that first year is a big deal. The sleepless nights, the lack of showers, the puck, the snot, the blowouts... oh, and the smiles, the cuddles, and the laughs.
In the midst of this incredible first year, it's been a year of loss and life for me.
Three days before Joey was born, I lost a dear high school friend to cancer. She left behind a husband and three little boys. Four weeks after Joey was born, my oldest brother died unexpectedly. Then 12 weeks after Joey's arrival, my mom died... just days before she was set to meet him.
I don't write all of that for you to feel sorry for me, but to help you understand my perspective over this last year. I felt such joy at having this second child, yet I felt such profound grief and loss. Not to mention all the crazy hormonal changes a woman deals with after having a baby!
Since I did have a newborn who took so much of my time and energy (all you parents know what I'm talking about!) the time to grieve would many times get shoved aside in order to take care of my baby, my three year old, and all the household stuff that comes along with little kids.
Now that I've reached the one year milestone with Joey I feel I finally have a chance to breathe and to take some time to take care of myself and to remember those loved ones who passed on, especially my mom. She would have been so tickled by Joe. She adored Ben (my oldest) and whenever we talked she really only wanted to know how Ben was doing... and that was fine with me, because what proud mom doesn't enjoy telling people how smart, cute, articulate, etc... your offspring is? She was so excited to meet Joey. In fact, during our last converstaion she said, "I can't wait to hold that baby!" Even though she is gone, she is not forgotten. I talk with my boys all the time about Grandma Diane and Grandpa Darrel in heaven (My dad died 11 years ago). Whenever I want to see a picture of my mom, all I need to do is look at Joe... he is the spitting image of my mom.
As we close out on this first year of Joey's life, I look back with joy and sadness.. but mostly joy, for this little boy who brings a smile to my face and makes me laugh everyday, and for my mama, who makes me smile everyday, because my boy has his grandma's smile.
It really is the circle of life.