Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mother's Day Mix

Every year, Mother's Day comes like clockwork. Last year, it was rough. It was hard for me to think about anyone else but myself because I was just that depressed. I was a mother without my child and hated everything about it. I wanted so badly to have my little girl with me and just wanted the day to go away. It hurt too bad - it was still so raw.

This year was better. I'm obviously still a mother without her child, but the wounds have started to heal. I'm also able to better appreciate how much my mother(s) have have been there for me and were happy to celebrate them too. On Sunday, Kyle was here with me (he had planned to go to Maine to be with his brother for his graduation but plans changed), and I woke up to him sneezing like crazy. Apparently, he went to pick a ton of daisies for me before I woke up and was allergic to whatever pollen is out there right now... The flowers looked beautiful though and made me smile!

We went to breakfast with some dear friends of ours - a wonderful couple who we love spending time with. We can connect on so many levels, one being that they lost their son at birth a few years ago. I obviously wouldn't want anyone to ever lose their child, but it was so nice to share the holiday with another mom who can relate. I totally indulged in three scrambled eggs and an extra helping of brown sugar-coated bacon plus fried green tomatoes & pimento cheese grits on the side. So as you can see, it was already a good start to the day. After that, I definitely took a nap and Kyle passed out from the benadryl too. I set an alarm to give myself enough time to get ready for a wedding I needed to photograph that evening.

I was the hired photographer for the wedding, which was a great distraction and helped me put others before myself. I love photographing weddings, especially since my clients are awesome and are typically surrounded by a great group of people. A few guests asked about my tattoo and I was able to share about Skylar. I recognized that I am still a mom even though I feel like it less and less as the days pass by. It's not that I am forgetting about Skylar at all - it's more that I am trying to find a new "normal" with Kyle - just the two of us here, now. I don't really get to do "mom" things anymore and I am focused on work instead. It's just different.

When I got home after the wedding, Kyle and I had a late night snack and he gave me a present that he picked up while in Guatamala (he was there for 2.5 weeks with his brother to celebrate Matt's graduation and brotherly bonding time). He told me that this present was looking forward. I opened it to find a hand-knit little hat and pink baby booties that look super warm. Tears welled up in my eyes. They were a Mother's Day mix - sad tears remembering Skylar and how cute she would've looked in those, and happy tears looking forward with hope that I'll be a mother again some day when we adopt. Plus, they were pink, which meant Kyle was thinking about another little girl :) It was the most thoughtful gift and made me feel really loved and full of hope.

The day after Mother's Day, Kyle and I flew up to Indiana for my grandmother's memorial. A month ago, I went with my mom to visit her and say our good-byes because we knew that she didn't have much left. It was so tough. I always cry in movies when there is a "good-bye" and in real life it's even worse.

My grandma helped raise me when I was a kid. She taught me how to tie my shoe, fixed me giant bowls of ice cream after school, told me stories (sometimes the same one over and over), did my laundry and helped my parents any way that she could. I have lots of fond memories with my grandma. She would call me "little shit" with a cold Miller Lite in hand. She would tell me the newest joke she learned and was a fiesty woman who always looked 20-30 years younger than she was. No one believed her when they found out her age and would even ask to see her driver's license. Even on her death bed, she looked a mere 70 even though she was 94. It was the first time that I ever really saw her look old. My heart sank a little as I took in her sunken face, her labored breathing, her weak voice, etc.

Her death wasn't a quick and painless one as we all wish for (or at least I do). I wish there was something more I could've done for her besides running my fingers through her hair and telling her I loved her. I wanted to take away her suffering. I believe she's in Heaven now and I hope that she's able to tell Skylar all of the stories and jokes that I heard over the years. I hope they are loving each other's company, and to be honest, I'm a little jealous.

I'm so tired of sorrow. I'm tired of tears. I'm tired or seeing other people suffer. I can't imagine the pain my mom, uncles and aunt felt as they had to go to their mom's memorial service just two days after Mother's Day. It's one thing to be a mom without a child, but I have to think that it's a completely different sadness experiencing the holiday as a child without a mom. All grandma would've wanted was for everyone to be together and happy, which is what happened. It was really good to see family and it was the prettiest day to be outside if you had to be in a graveyard. We were obviously sad, but I felt a peace throughout the day that was really comforting. I think just knowing that Grandma would be really happy if she could be there with "all us kids."

Aging is so intriguing to me. After seeing my grandma and others around me get older, I have realized that the mind doesn't really age at all. I think it actually physically stops growing around age 27, but people tell me they don't feel any older than in their 20s or 30s regardless of how old they actually are. It makes me wonder if it's because we were created for more... As I see new wrinkles starting to make their mark on my face with a certain permanence, I wonder how I will feel when I'm older. I wonder how long my body will make it. I hope I age as gracefully as my Grandma did. So far, it looks as if those genes are in fact running in the family as my mom is looking quite a bit younger than her age - don't worry mom, I won't tell anyone what milestone birthday you just had :)

As we're quickly moving into summer here in Georgia, I am reminded how fast time flies. I will be teaching my first photography class at the end of May, which will be here before you know it. Unfortunately, I don't have any new announcements as far as our house is concerned, but we have made some progress after a few changes to the layout that still need to be drawn up by an architect so we can get permits. Hopefully that will happen by June so we can get started!

Kyle and his brother had an awesome time in Guatemala and El Salvador. They climbed the tallest mountain of course, went surfing, relaxed on the coast, rode chicken buses, ate some crazy food and found some good brews to drink. You can ask him about his trip for the details... I don't want to steal his thunder. Kyle posted a few pictures on Instagram if you're interested. I'm also on Instagram under ShutterSweet if you'd like to follow us. As photographers, we post quite a bit of our lives through photos... There's a picture of my grandma from our last visit together, the hat and boots Kyle bought for Mother's Day, and more.

Anyway, I hope this post finds you well. We will hopefully have some exciting house updates for the next blog update :) Peace to you.