The House Call

Are you dying? 

No.

Are you lying? 

No. 

That’s not what the doctor says.

I know. 

The doctor said you’re dying.

I heard him.

Tell me the truth. Are you dying? 

No, love. I’m not.

Are you sure?

Yes, very.

Then why does the doctor say you are?

Because he’s a smart man, a man who knows what the human body can and cannot do. He understands the breathing of the lungs and the beating of the heart. He knows what books have told him and professors have taught him. 

So he’s right, then?

No. He’s wrong.

But you said he knows what the human body can and cannot do. 

He does.

He says you have days, at best. 

I know what he says and he’s right. I do have days.

Then, you are dying?

No, I’m not. Do me a favor. Close your eyes.

Can you still hear me? 

Yes.

Do you still know I’m beside you?

Yes. 

Am I alive or dead?

Alive. 

How do you know?

Because you’re talking to me. You’re sitting next to me. I can feel you there. 

Do you feel me only when I’m in the same room you are?

No.

When else can you feel me near you?

I can feel you when I wear your jacket. The one mom calls a letterman. It’s big and wraps around me the way you do when you hug me.

If my heart wasn’t beating, would you still feel me when you put that coat on?

I don’t know.

Let’s see then. Put it on.

This is silly.

Old men usually are. Put it on. 

Fine. 

Can you feel me? 

Yes. 

How about now?

Yes. Nothing’s changed.

Open your eyes. Has anything changed?

Yes. 

What? 

You’re not in the room with me anymore. 

Can you see me?

No. You’re behind the door standing in the hallway.
Can you hear me?

Yes. The walls are thin.

Can you feel me?

Yes, just like a hug.

Okay then. Let me ask you again. If my heart stopped beating at this very moment, would you still feel me? 

I don’t know. How could I know that?

Can you right now?

Yes, but your heart is beating. I can still hear you when you call me. You’re just behind the door.

Death is only a door, my dear, and the walls between you and me will always be thin. 

But you’re not dying. You said so yourself.

I know and I didn’t lie. I’m not dying. I’m just leaving the room. I am simply stepping into another hallway where you can’t see me, like the one I’m standing in right now. I am not dying, just leaving the room. 

The doctor is here.

Leave the door open for him, love.

You can go in if you want, Dr. Holmes. 

But he’s already left the room.

❤️ Like Baby Bear Soup

New Mom, I Mean It When I Say That’s Great

When I see you in the store with your new bundled blessing, I guarantee I’ll smile. I’ll look you right in your love filled eyes and tell you your little one is beautiful. I’ll comment on the baby’s hair or eyes or lips, whichever feature jumps out and grabs me, making my insides crave that newborn stage again. I’ll gladly hold your little one if you offer and talk to the babe the way I did mine when he was little.

I’ll nod in understanding while you tell me of the ease of the delivery or the difficulty you had. I’ll ask you how you’re doing and genuinely listen to your answer. It’s not been so long ago my son was new I don’t remember those first few weeks and everything they entail. I’ll laugh a little with complete understanding when you say you’re tired and remind you to sleep when you can. I’ll stress the importance of taking care of yourself, both for you and your little one. I’ll smile when you tell me your mom’s been there to help.

“That’s great,” I’ll say.

Then I’ll quickly change the subject to ask how the baby’s sleeping. I might ask you what brand of bottles you decided to go with. I might even excuse myself from our conversation, suddenly remembering I need to dishwashing liquid from the other end of the store. I promise I’m not being rude. I just don’t want you to see my smile start to fade and my eyes begin to water. I don’t want you to think it’s something you did or said to cause it.

It’s not you, it’s me.

I just can’t relate to your experience. I don’t know what that’s like. My mother was unable to be there for me. I lost her nearly a decade before I myself became a mother. So I have no stories to share with you or memories to reminisce about. I only wish that I did.

My child will never know my mother as the Nana she wanted to be. He won’t ever taste her banana pudding or divinity candy at Christmas time. He won’t hear her sing off key with the choir during Sunday morning service. He won’t ever beg to spend the night at her house because she doesn’t enforce bedtime like I do.

It’s not in the cards for me and mine. I’ve accepted this truth and am beyond grateful for all the wonderful people I was fortunate to have in my life to help me find my way. I can’t adequately express the gratitude I have for each and every person that called to check on me or dropped by the house to welcome my baby to the world. I will never forget the acts of kindness I was showered with.

There was a void no one could fill, though. There was an empty seat where I wanted my mother to be. There were hugs I longed for, pieces of advice I needed, and joys I desperately wanted her to share in. Those first few weeks of parenthood were the most loved filled days I’ve ever lived in my life, but they were also the loneliest.

I’m genuinely happy you have your mother to guide you through the twists and turns of the newborn weeks. I’m ecstatic you don’t have to go it alone. I know how hard it is to forge a path through the rows of motherhood and I’m beyond thrilled you have someone to share those first smiles, cries, laughs, and sleepless nights with. Truly, I am.

At the mention of the mother you love, I can’t help but remember the one I’ve lost. I can’t help but feel the loneliness all over again and I don’t want you to see. Forgive me while I excuse myself. Allow me to make my get away before the tears begin to flow. Pretend you have somewhere to be or smile back when I tell you I do.

Above all else, ignore the shadow of sadness that falls on my face when I tell you how great it is you have your mother to help you before I say my goodbye. This is the purest sentiment I can offer you. It’s all I know to say.

I really mean it, too, even if the expression on my face says I don’t.

Mother’s Day Is Coming

There are certain times every year I can’t help but be depressed. During the day, I do a decent job of hiding it. But in the wee hours of the morning, like now, I can’t pretend. I have no one to pretend for. This is one of those times.

Mother’s Day is a day I dread every year. I go through the entire grief cycle in the month that leads up to it. I feel everything anew. Anger, sorrow, regret. They take turns and come in waves, leaving my heart battered, bruised, exposed.

Tonight is sorrow. Tonight is loneliness. Tonight is really tomorrow morning and in a few hours, the sun will rise. I will most likely be getting ready for work when it does. I will be tired and worn. I will be cried out by that time.

Eventually, joy will come. I know this. It always does.

I just have to be patient.

❤ Like Baby Bear Soup

It Is Finished

  
With “It is finished” it all began,

Death took a stand as red blood ran.

The breath departed, a body hung,

Redemptions song could finally be sung.

Freedom rang and grace fell down,

As sweat drenched the thorn made crown.

Water flowed as the sword pierced his side,

With the sacrifice done, sin ran to hide.

Atonement made for one and for all, 

For every soul that’d heed the call.

Three days passed, the time was done, 

And with the morning arose the Son.

Victorious o’er death, Hell, and the grave.

Breath returned, resurrection to a life freely gave.

Glory to the Highest! Glory to the Son!

With “it is finished,” Salvation was won!
❤️Like Baby Bear Soup

If I Could Cry Like My Toddler

If I could cry like my toddler, I would. I’d just throw my hands in the air, scrunch up my face, and let it all go, snot slingin’ and all. But I’m too grown up for that. I can’t cry like my toddler. Instead, I wait until I’m alone and cry like a mom.

I cry hard and silently. I ugly cry sometimes. I cry more than anyone knows. I cry because I can, without fear of judgment or an answer as to why. I cry because it releases the pressure that fills me so full I might burst. 

I cry because I forgot my son’s shoes today and he had to wear his rubber yellow rain boots all afternoon. Even to a birthday party, at the bowling alley. I cry because the probability of a full night’s sleep is slim to none, no matter how much I think I need it.

I cry because my child is beautiful. My child is healthy. My child is smart and funny and deserves so much more than what I have to give.  

I cry because I made dinner, washed clothes, hung laundry, and picked up toys, just like the night before and the nights before that. And I know I’ll do the same tomorrow, even though I’m worn to a frazzle. Because it has to be done.

I cry because today was a Friday that felt like more like Monday, and I hate Mondays.

I cry because I’m a mom and mom’s have to adult every day, all day, against their own will. Because someone has to be in charge and being in charge is in the fine print of the mom job description with a sad face emoji beside of it.

I cry because the house is always a mess. I’m always a mess, and I’m OCD. That combination would make any woman cry. I cry because tomorrow is another weekday, so in turn another work day, meaning it’s another day someone other than me will ensure my child’s safety, prepare his meals, and love on him while I’m on the clock.

I cry because I doubt my ability to be the mother I want to be, and the mother my son needs me to be. I cry because even though I’m a mom, I’m still someone’s child and crying is every child’s response when they feel overwhelmed. I haven’t found anything more overwhelming than being a mom.

I cry because despite my flaws and the errors of the day, despite the reprimands and time outs, despite me being a first time mom who loses my patience more than I care to admit, I am greeted with a morning hug, a squeal of Mommy, and forgiveness. 

I cry because after the tears fall I feel better. I cry because my mommy guilt graciously melts and slides down my cheeks sometimes when it gets too much to bear.

I cry because being a mom is scary. Someone depends on me to lead them through life and keep them safe and kiss their boo boos and pick them up when they fall. What if I fall, too? No one picks up the picker upper, do they?

I cry because my son loves me so big with a pure and consuming love I don’t deserve. And he loves me with this love every single day, no matter what, relentlessly. I cry because this love pushes me to be better every single day, and I don’t know if I can be better. 

I cry because sometimes this love is heavy and tears me apart. I cry because no matter how many times it tears me apart this same loves stitches me back together time after time after time, even when I doubt it can. I cry because this big, pure, consuming, weigh me down, cut me to the core love is everything I’ve ever wanted and everything I will ever need.

And that’s something to cry about.

❤ Like Baby Bear Soup