I can’t believe it has been one year Alexis has graced us with her beautiful presence! I find myself holding her ever so tightly not wanting this baby phase to end. To say that she was a good baby is an understatement! Each day I have been blessed to have her smile light up my day. Jared’s dad said she lights up like a 100-watt bulb whenever she sees me! And so she does. I look at her and she smiles…Ohhh, and I don’t want it to end. We are celebrating her today and the rest of this week, culminating with a birthday party on Sunday. I am so excited for her party and thrilled we actually have friends to celebrate with since we have only been in Miami 7 months. Even with that I see God’s blessings as we slowly build our new community.
There have been times I have felt so alone on this journey. Especially since I don’t have my mother to share these special moments with because of her mental illness. I remember sitting at a traffic light in Tallahassee a few days before Alexis was due and tears filled my eyes as I longed to have my mother…a mother… to share this journey with me…Its times like that I felt alone.
When I think back to my early childhood days I remember having birthday parties around age 5,6,7…Maybe older. It was before my mother got really sick. Once she got sick our relationship declined severely and the whole mother daughter relationship was gone. As I got older I forgot about those early years when she did love me with a genuine mother’s love. It wasn’t until a couple years ago when I took a grief class that it dawned on me that my mother loved me unconditionally before she got sick…I thought about Jayce and how much I loved him dearly but if something happened to me, he would not remember the depth of love I hold for him now. It was then I gained great perspective about the love my mother had for me…If she loved me one iota as much as I loved Jayce, then I was loved beyond measure! *tears*
Someone recently told me that the reason I am so loving is because my mother loved me dearly as a child…And for the most important stage of my development (0-7 years) life was relatively stable . It never occurred to me that maybe that’s where I got that aspect of my personality. Is she the reason I insisted on baking Jayce’s birthday cupcakes from scratch? Is she the reason I love giving hugs and kisses to my little ones? Did I light up her world the way my babies light up mine? I remember my godmother telling me I was her pride and joy…And she was so proud of me and that she would take me for walks everyday. I do remember the walks!
I think back now to the parties I had when I was a little girl. My mother baked my birthday cake from scratch…as in without a mixer! It wasn’t perfect…But there was a lot of love in there. She prepared each food item that sat on the table. She did it because she loved me. And it is why today I choose to celebrate my children lavishly. I choose to pour my love onto my kids knowing that they would not remember any of these details I am currently stressing myself about. I choose to celebrate their lives with food, friends and fellowship while giving thanks to God. I choose to give to them in this way because I want them to know that they were loved should something ever happen to me…I want them to remember whether through pictures or stories that their mother loved them dearly, beyond words can express. I want them to know they are special in every way. And most importantly I want to give them the gift of precious memories…like what my mother tried to give me.
Birthday parties are one of the few positive memories I have of my mother. She first got sick when I was 7 and by the time I was 12 our relationship went to hell in a hand basket! Today I am thankful I can look back and find the joy through the sorrow. Today I can claim the love of my mother even though she may not be able to demonstrate her love the way I would like to see it. And today I say Happy Birthday to my beautiful princess!
|My First Birthday|
|My Second Birthday|
|A birthday party I remember!|
|Always had cake for my birthday! And fresh picked orchids (my mother's favorite flower)|