Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Mom


Today, I'd like to share with you a story of resilience and strength.

A story of a woman who has 6 children, but only 2 are living.

A story of a woman who carried and delivered 5 babies, but only 1 survived.

A story of how one very special woman never gave up.

***


A young woman, newly married and excited for her hopes and dreams to begin, delivered her first baby, Jeanette, at 32 weeks. The little baby girl weighed little over 4 pounds and was born with a hole in her diaphragm that required a necessary surgery. Because Jeanette was so small, however, she didn't survive the surgery and lived less than one day.

A funeral and burial followed.

Devastated and broken hearted, but yearning to be a mother so desperately, the young woman found the strength and courage to try again.

During her second pregnancy, at 21 weeks along, the contractions started and she delivered a sleeping little boy. Stillborn. They didn't give him a name.

Completely devastated and broken hearted, again, she decided to give it another try.

Getting pregnant was never the hard part. 


Her third pregnancy made it a little bit further…. and a little boy, Jared, was born at 29 weeks and weighed a little over 2 pounds and was 12" long. He did very well for the first 3 days of his life but one evening, the hospital called and said that they didn’t think the baby would make it through the night. The parents rushed to the NICU but by the time they arrived, Jared had already passed away. He was 6 days old. The doctors told them he had suffered an aneurysm and nothing could have prevented it from happening.

A funeral and burial followed.

Yet again, devastated and broken hearted, she wanted to try again but this time, she and her husband decided to go a different direction. 

Adoption.

A lovely new daughter, Jennifer, was placed in the loving couples arms when she was just 3 weeks old. What a blessing she was! 




Because spirits were so high after this beautiful baby girl came into their lives, and after enjoying a few years together as a family, the couple decided to try for another baby in hopes of giving Jenny a sibling.

During the fourth pregnancy, at 22 weeks, history repeated itself and another sleeping baby boy was delivered. Stillborn. They didn't give him a name.

Devastated and broken hearted, the difference this time was that she had a beautiful daughter waiting for her at home. After grieving her fourth loss, but still reveling in her role as a mom, somehow this young woman found the unbelievable courage and strength it took to try one last time.

During her fifth pregnancy, at 29 weeks along labor started and shortly after a little girl was born. She weighed barely over 2 pounds and spent the first 6 weeks of her life in the hospital.  After life flights and scary emergencies, the little baby had a tracheotomy put in from the time she was 6 months old, until she was 3 years old. It was a treacherous, scary, and very uncertain journey.



That little girl, the fifth baby, was me.

And it is with great privilege and honor to be able to tell you that this story is about my Mom. 

I've told this story over and over in my life… I've said it so many times, it just sort of comes easily… but when I really think about it…. About what my mom endured as a young woman, and how horrific and lonely and scary and unbelievably HARD that must have been, I simple cannot begin to imagine the reality of what that must have been like.

I cannot imagine losing one baby. It's truly unfathomable.

My Mom carried, delivered and lost 4 babies.

4 babies.

But the most amazing part of this story is this:

All those who know (or have ever known) my Mom would tell you that she is one of the (if not the) most positive and loving and happy person they've ever known.

This is not an embellishment. 

This is fact.

My mom is a ray of sunshine.

My mom has been to hell and back, she has grieved the loss of 4 children, she has felt the sort of pain that you just can't describe, she has dealt with difficult and serious medical issues (between my sister and I) and yet, after all the hard my Mom is happy.

My Mom is the epitome of optimism.

My Mom is an example and courage, faith and resiliency.


She loves magnificently.

She gives and gives and gives, until there is nothing left for her to give. And then she keeps on giving.



She glows unlike anyone else I've ever known; she's a bright star.

She believes in the good and that she will be with her children again someday.

She rises above things that would debilitate most.

She is always always always rooting for the underdog.

She lives a beautiful, happy life; one that is an example of kindness and compassion to all those around her.

I've never known someone to just be loved by every single person she meets-- from her family members, to her close friends, to her neighbors, to the A.C. maintencance guy, to the baggers at the grocery store. Where ever she goes, who ever she crosses paths with, she can always bring a smile to the face of others.

And this is why I believe my Mom to be the greatest woman to ever live.


I know everyone says this…. but she is truly the world's very best.

***

Mom,

Thank you for giving me life, for raising me with so much love, and for showing me how to live happily, even when the most indescribable things happen.

More than anyone else, you have been my rock through it all.

You have been my strength.

Every single day, I strive to be more like you….. and honestly, it's not an easy task because you sometimes do what seems to be the impossible. I don't know how you're happy and giving and loving and so thoughtful all of the time? I don't know how you do it? But you do do it, you have always done it, and everyone gravitates to you because of it. 

You make everyone feel special.

You make everyone feel loved and important.

Because you believe in them.

Because you care.

The world is better because of you, Mom.

I am better because of you.

Thank you for never giving up…. and for showing me that I can do hard things, just like you did, and that I can be happy. Even when the unthinkable happens, I can smile, I can love, I can give, I can glow, I can believe, I can rise above, and I can live beautifully and happily… just like you are.

Happy Mother's Day.

I love you always and forever.  Jenny and I are truly the luckiest and most blessed daughters to be able to call you "Mom". 

xoxoxo

10 comments:

  1. So glad I have had the privilege of knowing your mom and I agree with everything you have said. Love your mom so much! Such a wonderful example of being resilient! Such a wonderful example to us all!

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  2. At school and church things I always remember your mom having a great big smile on her face. She is such a sweet lady.

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  3. Wow. This is an incredible story, Jacy. I am so grateful to have been privileged to read this story today. Your mother sounds like an amazing person but what else would be expected, knowing how amazing you are? I hope you have a wonderful mother's day today. My life has been greatly blessed because of you and I'm so grateful for the woman that you are.

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  4. Wow I never knew. This is beautiful! You're mom really is a rock. Thank you for sharing! I love that final picture of your family!

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  5. Love that mom of yours! I agree with everything you said about her - she makes everyone feel special. Happy Mother's Day to her and to you! Love you lots!

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  6. Thanks for sharing her story! I knew she'd lost babies but I've never heard the details. She really is just a ray of sunshine and you are right up there with her. Happy Mother's Day.

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  7. Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL tribute to your mom. What an amazing woman she is. I loved meeting her at TTP and I hope to spend more time with her in the future. She sounds like the absolute epitome of strength and positivity. What an amazing role model to all mothers and how lucky you are to be able to call her "mom". Thank you for sharing. Happy Mother's Day to her and you! Love you!

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  8. Beautiful & awesome! I'm also glad she kept trying, you have made all the difference to so many women.

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  9. Your Mom is incredible! What a sad and beautiful tribute.

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