Mother’s Day – Twitter Chats Blog Tour

Welcome to the Twitter Chats Blog Tour, organized by Mari Juniper at Mari’s Randomities and Anne Tyler Lord at Don’t Fence Me In. Today’s theme is Mother’s Day.

You’ll be traveling with us through the blogs of some of the fantastic authors and writers who participate in our weekly — funny, entertaining and educating — Twitter chats. This tour will feature writers from #writechat, #litchat, and #fridayflash.

You will be directed to your next stop at the end of this post. Please feel welcome here, and have a happy Mother’s Day!

I am so happy that you decided to join the tour with us. We had a great time organizing this event. You can find a complete list of participants if you scroll to the bottom of this post.

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This is a memoir describing the events that occurred during my first three Mother’s Day celebrations as a new mother. Sometimes life throws us a mixed bag of events that awaken us to new perspectives on life.

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The Precious Gift

My sweet little twins when they were younger

I walked into the hospital with my husband and three-year old twins. We located the cancer ward and pushed open the huge double doors. A wave of nervousness washed over me. It was the Thursday before Mother’s Day. I didn’t want another sad Mother’s Day weekend. But it was inevitable.

My husband asked for directions while I held the hands of my sweet little twins. My mind flooded with memories from my first Mother’s Day with my children. Three years ago I was full of deep gratitude and wonder that I had given birth to twins, only three months before. My husband and I had been married for fifteen years and had resigned ourselves to being childless.

What a way to travel, but I managed to have one hand free to open doors.

From the first moment I knew I was pregnant, I was convinced it was twins, a boy and a girl. It was true. At each ultrasound (and there were many) I always knew that blob A was the girl and blob B was the boy. When I was far enough along to tell the sexes, I found out I was right. I remembered the video my husband made for my first Mother’s Day. He took the footage from the delivery, hospital stay and the first three months of our children’s lives and set it to music. I couldn’t stop crying.

I had to stop the flooding of memories and wait to fall apart later. We were led to a room on the cancer ward. I couldn’t hear what the nurse was saying to me. I looked out the window at the trees and the flowers, hoping to stop my nervous shaking. I tried to consciously breathe after the nurse left. I hate the smell of hospitals.

“When is she coming back?” I asked my husband, not listening to the answer.

The memories continued to wash over me. My wonderful first Mother’s Day was over and now I was replaying the next day. It was nighttime and we were mobilized for feedings every two hours. The phone rang and startled us out of our light sleep around three o’clock in the morning. I bolted out of bed, feeling as though the adrenaline rush would give me a heart attack.

I answered with dread, “Hello?”

“Is this Anne?”

“Yes.”

“This is the funeral home. What would you like us to do with her body?”

I recoiled in confusion. Prank call? But they knew who I was and seemed sincere. “What?!”

“Didn’t the nursing home call you? Your mother died tonight and they wanted us to pick up her body.” The voice sounded quite nervous. But my head was splitting open.

My god! My mother died and no one called us? The extreme negligence of the staff at the nursing home and the reality of losing my mother were jumbled up in a mass of confusing emotions.

If they didn’t even bother to call me when she died, how were they taking care of her when she was alive? We tried our best to find nursing homes that were caring and conscientious. But, I still had ugly situations to resolve over the past several years.

Back on the cancer ward, I could still feel fragments of this anger wedged in my forehead. Today the anger was useful to keeps my tears at bay. The nurse returned with the wicked syringe. Why does everything bad involve needles? It was so small and this action seemed so insignificant. But, it was saving my life. The shot was a chemotherapy drug given to kill fast growing cells, including an embryo. I had an ectopic pregnancy. I pushed away thoughts of what would be happening to my children and husband this Mother’s Day if I wouldn’t have been aware that I was pregnant so early.

My Mother

As I got dressed, I remembered my second Mother’s Day. This time, my mother was not there, and my father was dying and was living in a hospice. We printed several pictures of my mother and talked about our memories. It was clear that he didn’t want to live any longer without her. He died a few weeks later. During the year between my mother and father’s death, we lost another family member, a pet, and a friend lost her baby, the same age as our twins. I hoped the cursed time had ended, but not quite yet.

After the shot, the nurse handed me a folder. Why do they always give so many boring, lifeless papers? Then she handed me something I did want. It was a hand-knitted baby cap like the ones given to parents taking home live babies. I have four of these now; two used, two unused.

On the long drive home I could feel the chemotherapy drug circulate through my entire body. It was creepy how I could trace it’s path by sensations of heat and sudden sharp pains. It seemed to know the location of every weakness in my body. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this day was a gift I received for Mother’s Day.

Gifts are usually wrapped in pretty paper tied with bows. Mother’s Day is often celebrated by going out to brunch or to family gatherings. But for me, now celebrating my ninth Mother’s Day, it has morphed into a celebration of life in a more reverent way. It is a time of memorial for my mother, grandmothers and my unborn children.  Although they are no longer here, they continue to give me a precious gift; a deep respect for the impermanence of life. And, that makes my celebration of life with my family more special.

Since my first three Mother’s Day celebrations, I have an ever-growing need to live each day more fully and to deeply appreciate the time with my children, family and friends.

Without my Mother’s Day experiences, I don’t think I would have taken this awareness into my daily life as intensely. It has given me a little more ability to let go and to treasure life, a balance I really needed, and still do each year.

Every moment we are alive to enjoy our family and friends is an amazing gift of love. Realizing this with all our heart is a precious gift, and that gift can come from surprising places.

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Thanks for stopping by! Your next stop for the Mother’s Day Twitter Chats Blog Tour is Mari Juniper of Mari’s Randomities @marirandomitites

The complete list of participants can be found at the host’s blogs: Mari Juniper and Anne Tyler Lord - See Below.

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Complete List of Mother’s Day Blog Tour Participants (This is the order they are linked)

Anne Tyler Lord of Don’t Fence Me In – @annetylerlord (co-host of Twitter Chats Blog Tour) (You’re already here)

Mari Juniper of Mari’s Randomities – @marirandomities (co-host of Twitter Chats Blog Tour)

Jon Strother of Mad Utopia – @jmstro (creator of #FridayFlash)

Carolyn Burns Bass of Ovations, and also at the Red Room writing community – @carolyburnsbass (creator of #LitChat)

Marisa Birns of Out Of Order Alice – @marisabirns

Jemi Fraser of Just Jemi – @jemifraser

Deanna Schrayer of The Other Side of Deanna – @deannaschrayer

Laura Eno of A Shift In Dimensions – @lauraeno

Susan Gottfried of West Of Mars – @westofmars

Tony Noland of Landless – @TonyNoland

Kristi Thompson of How Did You Get There –@howdidyougetthere

Angie Capozello of Techtiggers’ Soapbox – @techtigger

Donna Carrick of Donna Carrick – Writer’s Craft – @donna_carrick

P.J. Kaiser of Inspired By Real Life – @doublelattemama