All the nostalgia of Iowa (my momma was born in a farmhouse near Ricketts, Iowa) and the date on the calendar have me thinking about a few things.
It’s now December and my birthday is approaching quickly. Since my momma passed at the end of March 2022, I have been pretty sad over my upcoming birthday.
The day itself has some big meanings.
She and dad were high school sweethearts. After dad graduated, he and his twin brother went to Texas on football scholarships. After she graduated the next year, her and her best friend hopped a bus to Colorado, got apartments, jobs, and stayed.
True love won out. A year later and my parents reunited in Iowa. One time she told me that at that time, they really wanted a baby. They got married and the baby came.
Guess who that was…
In December, the year they were wed, I made my appearance in an Iowa hospital. Mom used to tell the story about my name. They didn’t have a name picked out quite yet. Then, they chose Jessica and a nurse named Jessica thought it was after her.
Is that sweet or what?
Fast forward to my husband and I. Finally, after 5 years of infertility and baby loss, I was able to get and stay pregnant. My miracle baby was born a month early.
You’ll never believe what day it was!
I had been on bedrest for weeks and guess who came to take care of me so my husband could work?
Her and dad were at the hospital when I was almost lost to high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. They sat in the waiting room with my husband, thinking I wasn’t going to make it, while I had an emergency c-section. And, they welcomed our beautiful baby an hour later.
And, do you know what my momma did? She showed up with a gorgeous chocolate birthday cake that the bakery made out to me and baby!
After a week in the hospital because of complications for me, we were finally released. I have never been so happy to go home. When we got there, she had the front porch all decorated up with ‘Welcome Home’ signs and a big teddy bear in the outside rocking chair.
She stayed and took care of us for two weeks. She did the meals, laundry, walked the dogs, and loved on the baby.
She rocked him in the recliner, danced with him to James Taylor in the living room, and even gave him his first bath. They were instantly bonded.
She spoiled us and we saw her during a bunch during the year/ years, but she showed up especially strong on our birthdays.We’d always get a birthday box in the mail from her and dad.
Last year she asked me what was something I needed for the kitchen that he and I could use together. I suggested mixing bowls and measuring cups. A set of beautiful Pioneer Woman mixing bowls and some measuring cups showed up at our door.
So…………….. I’ve been crying and sad for months over a birthday that hasn’t even happened yet because a big part of it is gone: she’s gone.
Her asking is gone. Her sending is gone. Her celebrating is gone. Ouch, that’s a bit hard to handle.
But, you know what?
A few nights I had this huge revelation:
Yes, the days of her sending us gifts are done, but, what if I got us gifts in honor of her? Like what if I picked out something to add to things she’s gotten us?
Because, here’s the thing. Trying to get through mom/ parent loss has a learning curve that you wouldn’t believe. (Unless you’ve been through it.) Mostly, it’s the ‘how’ in figuring out how to go on without them.
First holidays, regular days, birthdays, and just days in general can feel like huge mountains. And, quite honestly, they can feel a bit impossible. Back in March, I never thought I could do my birthday without my momma, but here I am putting one foot in front of the other.
Would my momma want us sad on our upcoming birthday, a day that meant so much to her and us?
She’d want us celebrating.
So, I ordered myself some Pioneer Woman measuring cups and bowls I think she’d like. and we’re also going out of town for the night for something fun to do.
In five days, probably through tears, I am going to celebrate two babies who were wanted so much, me and my son. She may not be here, but she’s definitely going to be in my heart this birthday.
Appreciate you reading.
(I was named Lynn, after my dad’s twin brother. But, they changed my Lyn to one n.)
©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS-PHOTO BY ME-ALL RIGHTS RESERVED