After we got through security this morning, Kevin & I found a restaurant to grab a bite to eat before boarding our plane. My eyes were already red from the many tears. Toni, the server introduced herself with a fantastic energy and asked, “Are you a Mom?!” Tears instantly filled my eyes. Kevin threw his arm around me and said, without skipping a beat, “Yes she is,” before I could even process the magnitude of that question. Toni immediately followed with a huge, “Happy Mother’s Day!!”
Yeah, it took the entire 3.5 hour flight to recover from that.
It should be a happy Mother’s Day. My arms should be filled with the physical joy of Hallie. My heart should be filled with so many shared memories already. Yet reality is that our arms are glaringly empty, my first Mother’s Day is spent in “what ifs,” a desperate ache over so many missed moments. This milestone has hit me harder than anything else has to date.
I opened my email today to find a letter from my best friend, Hallie’s Aunt. She wrote it to Hallie on this Mother’s Day, without ever telling me she was doing it. It’s so beautiful. She will kill me for sharing this, she hates attention like that but the thing I love more than anything about her is how she keeps Hallie’s name alive everyday for me. This letter is exactly what I needed today. Here’s the letter:
It’s your mom’s FIRST Mother’s Day! Wow – the things I feel for your sweet mama when I say that out loud. The contrasting emotions I feel when I think about what today is like for her…
I cannot begin to understand how surreal days like today must feel for your mama. You are her pride and joy. The dream she and your dad dreamt of for so long. You’re the dream us family and friends had no clue how badly we needed so we could keep your sweet mom here on earth with us. You’re the dream that will allow the beautiful souls who belong so perfectly with your mom and dad and need their love so greatly, find their way into your mom and dad’s heart and life.
My letter to you today Hallie, is to thank you. Thank you for being the blessing that turned my best friend into a mom. Thank you for being her first daughter, her guardian angel, her guide, her inspiration. Thank you for most importantly being her greatest gift of life.
In my eyes Hallie, Mother’s Day is a celebration of life. Celebrating a Mother’s life and how unconditionally loving, strong, supportive, and gentle a mother is. Your mom is every single one of those things and so much more. Our lives would not be the same without her or without you and today is certainly a celebration of you giving her the gift of a long purposeful life. The gift of becoming a mother, the gift of a growing family, the gift of being here to fulfill her dreams.
I know you already know this but she is your doting mother. She talks about you and dreams about you just as all mothers do their children. She celebrates you. She honors you. She works to make you proud and know you are loved.
I think of you every day so I can only imagine how often your mom thinks of you. Every minute. Every second. I’m sure. I see you in all the beauty of life. I know you are with us. You’re the rainbow, the butterfly, the cardinal, the rosary I find in a drawer I know I didn’t last leave it, you are the sunshine and the soft wind that comes out of no where when every thing seems so still. You are the sparkle in your mom’s eye. I never got to meet you here on earth but I feel you. And because you are your mom’s daughter, I’m lucky to know you.
Thank you for knowing that your mom’s greatest moments are ahead of her and for coming into her life so she may have the opportunity to fulfill her dreams and live a long, healthy, full life. You, her daughter, are her greatest gift and we all cannot thank you enough for what that means to each of us.
Today while I know part of her is hurting, I pray you help her find a way to smile and be proud of the exceptional mom she is. I pray you two take a moment to celebrate your amazingly intertwined life together. I pray you help her celebrate how greatly each of you fulfills each other. I pray you and your mom celebrate the beautiful bond you two will always have. I pray that you two celebrate that she welcomed you into all of our lives and you kept her in all of our lives.
Know that every single day we have your mom is a celebration of you. Today, as much as we anticipated you would physically be here helping to celebrate your mom, know that I’m smiling thinking of what she means to you and what she does for you. Mother’s Day is a little extra special this year knowing your mom is healthy and here to celebrate. I know you’re watching over her extra today. On her first Mother’s Day, I celebrate what she means to you. I celebrate her mission to spread your legacy. I celebrate knowing her daughter is watching over her and guiding her on the beautiful journey that’s ahead of her.
Thank you for being your mom’s greatest gift. Hope you and your mom have an extra special day, Hallie.
Don’t worry, I cried like crazy too. 💔💜
Thank you all for holding us so closely today. Thank you for all the sweet messages and the flowers. These missed milestones are the worst. While there are too many names to list, Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there who have played huge roles in our lives, including our very own Moms. We wouldn’t be here without you. We are so lucky have the village that we do. And to all of our good friends who are Mamas and have gone out of their way to keep me included, I am so grateful for each of you. And to my Mama, nothing I write could come close to capturig your sacrifice, how you’ve walked alongside us through this nightmare. Being on both sides of the coin now as a daughter and a mom, I’m starting to truly appreciate your magnitude of sacrifice, the way you love us so fiercely. The whole reason I ever wanted to be a Mom was because I had a Mom like you.
And to you, sweet Hallie girl, thanks for making me a Mom. I will never forget the day I found out about you and the amount of joy we had. Someday I hope to be able to appreciate that genuinely again. You will always be the beautiful girl that made me a Mom. I would give anything to hold you today.