Thursday, April 7, 2011

Antoinette Hatch Brown

February 24, 2001 marks the 10-year anniversary of my Mother's death. I was dreading this day, but it seemed to go by without any special notice. Cash and I did what we do every day. Nothing out of the ordinary. I was sad, but not as sad as I have been on previous anniversaries. Maybe it's the proximity of mourning my Father's death last August. Maybe it's the realization that in another nine years, I will have lived more time without my Mom than with her. Or it simply could be that life goes on.

I am pregnant with my second child and busy caring for a toddler. It's much easier for me to get lost in the mundane tasks of my day as a mom. I think about my parents every day. I still miss them every day. But I look at their lives as a celebration. A guiding force to pattern my life after. I didn't always feel this way. Before I was a mother myself, I mourned her death as a loss. A loss of life. A loss of experiencing my life with her in it. I felt sorry for myself that I didn't have a Mom to turn to for guidance, support, and love. My Mom faced life full on, enjoyed herself to the fullest, excelled at every sport she attempted, raised her children with effortless grace, always followed her instincts, exhibited immense faith, and never let an opportunity pass her by. She was one of the greats. And she lived her life for her family. How could I not feel cheated out of time with her?

At the same time, I was immensely grateful that I still had a loving Dad. When my Dad was diagnosed with cancer again in August 2008, I mourned his eventual death and my Mom's death all over again. What would life be like without parents? I had already lost my Mom. Now I have to deal with losing the one parent I have left? All of my mourning centered on loss once again. I was very focused on how my life would be without these two giants in it. Then I gave birth to my son Cash. Slowly my feelings on my life shifted. So slowly that I think I'm just now realizing it.

I am so grateful for every second that I spend with Casey and Cash. Grateful for the love they share with me each day. The hugs, the cuddling, the kisses, the quiet times, and the comforting. When I said goodbye to my Dad last August, I held my boys close and breathed them in. They saved me from the suffering that I always knew I would feel at losing my last remaining parent. They showed me how much I have to look forward to. No longer will I look at my parent's deaths as losses in my life. I will instead be grateful for the precious time that I had with them. I had 18 wonderful years with my Mom. The last two years were especially important because I had her all to myself. I needed that time. Time to really soak up every ounce of love and counsel that she had to offer. Fast forward 10 years and I have a life of my own with a loving husband, an adorable son, and another baby boy on the way. I have so much to be grateful for and look forward to. No more wallowing. Life goes on. My parents would say the same thing to me. I appreciate the example that my Mother set for me in faith, love and family. And I'll forever shed a tear for the times I miss her the most, but now I need to focus on what's right in front of me. My own family.

I love you always and forever Mom.


the shields riot said...

very well written lexi!! thanks for sharing!

Scotty and Chels said...

Lex, your mom and dad were amazing people. Just like you! I love that picture of your mom. Is that you with her? So cute.

Laura Earl said...

You are always so good at putting your thoughts into words. Thanks for sharing. You have an amazing family! Sure love you!

Anonymous said...

This made me tear. Very touching. You are such a strong and smart person, and I've always loved how fun loving and outgoing you are. What a wonderful outlook you're embracing about the life your parents lived and your life now. I'm sure they are so proud and will be when you see them again. Love you Lex!

mj said...

I know my mom always really loved and looked up to your mother. And I love seeing a little glimpse into your life with your boys. Being a mom looks good on you.

Beverly J. said...

Beautifully stated!

Love, Uncle Jack & Beverly

Teodora Filipovic said...

well written lexi !
lots of love to you and your family :)
Teodora F

Lindsey said...

Beautiful - you and your mom! Love you.