Thursday, October 4, 2012

How Momma's Heart Has Changed

Peanut -

It's would be so easy to be angry every day.  It would be so easy to never get out of bed.  It would be so easy to shake my fist fiercely at all the happy families I encounter on a daily basis.  It would be so easy.  Right?  Or, would it?

Maybe in a time before my heart knew you, before I became a Momma, it would have been easy.  But after becoming Peanut's Momma none of those actions were even an option.  Not even close.

In a time before Momma Love I had very sharp edges.  Expectations of myself and others were impossibly high.  Praise was not given easily.  Relationships were sometimes sacrificed for the sake of results.  Let's just say "empathy" was not a strength for your Momma.

The unconditional, boundless love you offered so freely humbled me.  Quite frankly, it took my breath away.  It began in the moments right after you were born.  Your trusting nestle into my chest.  Your desire to sleep next to my beating heart.  And through your 500 days on earth you continued to dole out that trust and love through Peanut hugs, butterfly kisses and air kisses tossed across the room.  Sighs into Momma's neck.  Towards the end of your 500 days, the whisper just before bedtime, "Momma..."

And then...the worst day imaginable happened.  The sorrow, emptiness, grief and confusion consumed Momma.  But always present was Momma Love.  Peanut Love.  I always felt you.  I still do.

And now...your brother.  A bright light in the darkness pointing us towards the future...a future full of hope and promise.  And, sadness because you are always absent.  Everything feels a little unfinished.  Off.  Imperfect.  Yet, I know you are here in your own special Peanut way.

And maybe that explains how Momma's heart has changed.  And how it manifests itself on a daily basis.  Back in May of 2010 I went through a 360 feedback process at work.  The results were (I'm sure now) spot on but not pretty.  Momma was viewed by others as a "get it done" kind of leader.  Not terribly collaborative.  Or interested in building teams.  A good communicator, but sometimes at the expense of others.

Last month Momma went through a "retest" of that same 360 tool.  The feedback in places was similar, but not.  This time a more people-focused Momma emerged.  Results still showed up as important, but behind caring for others.  For people.  Rather than the raters taking this as an opportunity to say anonymously what they were afraid to say directly, Momma found no nasty surprises.  It was...humbling.

I believe this is YOUR impact, Peanut.  I think/hope/know I am kinder, more gentle.  And working hard to make you proud so you can say to your angel friends, "That's MY Momma!"

People said from the moment you passed away that a loss this profound would change me forever.  But no one explained it was up to me what that change might look like.  It took several months to realize that was up to me.  And you.

Peanut, I love you more every day.  I miss you in new ways every day.  What doesn't change?  I love you to the moooon - and back!

- Momma

The day we brought you home from the hospital.


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