A little less than 2 months had past when I faced the first holiday that would challenge me to my core.
It seemed to be nothing more than a cruel reminder of how much my life had changed. It was also the first time I noticed that around Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day for that matter) advertising shifts to be heartfelt and family focused. Shopping becomes a bit harder because as you enter the store, any store, you are faced with Mother’s Day displays of balloons, flowers, cards, and gifts. And, while Hallmark claims to have a card for every occasion, they don’t; there are not cards for this one. It seems there is no way to escape it. So, I needed to figure out how to embrace it. It is the fight or flight response, I can either run away from life or try to fight my way through it. Of course, that is easier said than done. It comes with a great deal of emotions ranging from anxiety, to sadness, to anger, and even guilt.
By this time, I had joined a support group of other bereaved parents. Many of whom, like me, only had children in Heaven. It is a group that you hope and pray you will never be a part of, but it is a blessing to know that you are not alone. Rock Good bye Angle gave me an outlet to embrace my first Mother’s Day without Ansley. We all met at the lake where we were given balloons to write a message to send to our babies. It was a way to acknowledge them and at the same time reinforce our “status” as parents. On several occasions leading up to the big day at the lake, I thought about backing out. I wasn’t sure if I was strong enough to get through it, but I knew I needed to go. I needed to set a precedent for survival; not just for this holiday and all the others I was yet to face.