I have been asked, on more than one occasion, how/why did I choose “His Mom Strong” when I titled my blog. While I had a different post scheduled for today, my Facebook memory & maybe God, steered me in a different direction, in the direction of answering this question. Today’s “On This Day” memory is why, and how I chose the name “His Mom Strong”. No, I am not a bodybuilder. This isn’t a look at me juggle my life, a successful startup career, my workouts, my meal prep and DIY projects type of blog. Sorry if I mislead you, I really don’t have it “that” together, nor do I have the energy. Kudos to you, though.
Back-story: This was my first Facebook post after losing Luke, outside of the thank you for your condolences type of posts. I found comfort in reading poetry, blogs and quotes and when I stumbled upon this one, it was a bit of a wake up call for me. Did I have a right to be sad? Of course! But J still needed me, a happy me.
I am the only person who can give my son a happy mom who loves life, he deserves that regardless of our circumstances. He gets one childhood, I get one shot at being his mom, the kind of mom I want him to remember, a happy mom who took time to do fun things. I can’t and won’t waste that opportunity, not for anything.
I can’t give him a perfect life, I’d be doing him a disservice if I tried, but I can show him how to keep moving forward. We are going to fall, I have fallen and slipped, but he has seen me stand back up every single time. I get up for him. I don’t think it’s a bad thing for our kids to see that we’re human. Showing our emotions also give us an opportunity to show them how to cope with theirs. I know seeing me so sad was probably one of the hardest parts of his grief journey, but that’s just a part of it. We (parents) are human. We are preparing them for life, not a safety bubble. Find a balance between real and keeping them kids for as long as humanly possible. J still has this innocence about him, I love that.
Below is a picture I took the same night I posted this to Facebook. I remember sending it to my family to let them know I was “okay”. I hate this picture of myself. I look swollen, puffy and clearly my light was dim but we were still at his soccer game. We were silly, I cheered my heart out, we celebrated their win and then we got ice cream (way past his bedtime). Could I have done this, feeling the way I did on the inside, for just anyone? No. Thus, “His Mom Strong”. I look at this picture now and I don’t see myself. I see a shell of who I used to be. I had a smile on my face in this picture, I was going through the motions, doing the best I could, but there were still days he knew I was sad, even though I was doing my best. What’s important to note here though is that he knows I was doing my best. Mommy will always do her best. What better gift can we give our kids? What’s a better lesson for them to learn?
Yes, my son has seen me at my worst. I wish that statement weren’t true but I can’t. The flip side, the silver lining? What he’s learned from it! It is okay to be sad when something sad happens, you just can’t stay there, always get back up. Yes, it is sad, it will always be sad but that doesn’t mean we can’t be happy, too. We have to be happy, we only get one shot. I think he’s learned the value of life and he loves harder than anyone I know. He is his mother’s child and there is no measurement for how proud I am of him.
We are going to fall, every single one of us. At some point, life is going to hand you a basket full of lemons and you’re going to have to figure out what to do with them. I think J’s well equipped to handle some lemons, whatever they may be. He’s a strong kid with a soft spirit. I have done something right.
I’m J’s Mom, there is no greater title, no role I respect more and no bond I treasure more.
J, I can’t wait to see how you change the world, because I know you will. You’re special, you’re different and that is a gift! I hope you remember the good & funny memories over the lemons. I love you seems like such an incredible understatement but Mommy loves you so much, kiddo. Being your Mom is my greatest gift. You are my world, my strength.