Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Mother's Joy & Pain

Some days we take everything for granted. On those days, the little rough patches of our daily routine (having to change the baby AGAIN before you can leave the house or staring your defiant child in the face and scolding him for the third time) take over. They turn our moods sour and bring out our not-so-good sides.

Some days we forget that it is a wonderful gift just to wake up breathing. We forget to rejoice in the fact that the fragile little lives that surround us are still surrounding us. 

And other days, it really hits home how lucky we are. We hear about the tragic suffering of others and we are grateful that we do not know such pain. We hope, above all else, that we never do.

On the way to work today, I was listening to the story of a mother who lost her nearly 4 year old son to cancer.  Taylor Swift reached out to this mother and together, the two of them wrote a song to commemorate the boy. His name was Ronan. That also happens to be the title of the song.

The radio station I was listening to provided the backdrop of Ronan's story and then played a short little clip of the song. I sat in my car in the offic parking lot as I listened to that clip. One line in and tears were dripping from my face. As I heard Ms. Swift sing this story, I sat alone in my empty car wishing that I could be holding my two babies. I was grateful. But I was also so very scared. What if I ever had to experience loss that great? I just couldn't do it. My stomach knotted up at the thought. I cried for Ronan, a boy I do now know. I cried for his mom. I cried for myself.

Having children is horrifying. Because when you love someone as much as you love your children, when a part of yourself leaves your own body and becomes another, you are so much more vulnerable to loss and grief. With love, the potential for loss multiplies in gut-wrenching fashion.

I wanted to post the lyrics to the song so very badly. But I'm afraid of violating copyright. So, I decided to just quote some of my favorite lines. I recommend you listen to the song yourself. Or rather, I recommend you do NOT listen to the song, unless you want to cry shamelessly. The lyrics aren't award winning. Rather, they are simple, and provide imagery that any mother will immediately understand.

I remember your bare feet down the hallway

I remember your little laugh

Race cars on the kitchen floor

I remember your blue eyes looking into mine
like we had our own secret club

I remember you dancing before bed time
then jumping on me waking me up

You were my best four years

Sob. Sob. I need another kleenex.
Go. Right now. Go and kiss your babies.

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