Thursday, June 7, 2012

Love Letters to Betty...

Photo c/o Caity Sharp
I've been thinking a lot lately about my own mortality. It seemed when I was younger that I had so much time and I would always have time to do what I wanted. Now Betty's two and things seem to be going by so fast. When Kylie and I were on the train from Montreal to Chicago we met a mother with a little boy the same age as Betty who was struggling with ovarian cancer. They found the cancer during her c-section. That meant for her that the first months and years of her baby's life were spent wondering if she'd be able to see him grow up or grow at all. She wasn't able to nurse because of chemo and she had two older children as well. My heart aches for this woman and I wish I had gotten her contact information because I wonder constantly how she's doing and if she's okay. We talked for a long time about our fears and our fears for our children. I started off by talking about my fear of flying and she offered up how afraid she was that she wouldn't be there for her children... Maybe I'm selfish but I'd never really thought of it like that before. I was always afraid that I would somehow fail to keep Betty safe and cost her a chance at a full and happy life of her own... not that I'd not be there for her. But what if I can't be there for her? I have no idea what God has planned for me and I need to be prepared to accept whatever he has planned even if it's the worst thing I can imagine.

Photo c/o Caity Sharp
 I went to high school with a girl who had lost her mother at a young age. Her mother knew she was dying and wrote letters to her to be given to her at every significant moment in her life; sixteenth birthday, graduation, prom, wedding day. When my friend told me about this I bawled. She actually asked me if I was going to be okay. I think the sentiment behind this would be so precious... a family member or close friend showing up on a special day with words of encouragement from your Mother. I'm crying right now thinking of it. What an amazing act of love and support for your child. I'm not dying, at least not that I know of... Please Lord, let me not be dying. But the fact is that we never know when the Lord will call us to him and the scariest thing I can imagine for my life is that I'll leave Betty feeling lost and abandoned. I love her so much and I'm so proud of her I can't wait to see the woman she becomes. I've thought of keeping a diary of her as a little girl with all of my encouragements for her future but I like the idea of having something to give to her at significant moments in her life. I'm of course, planning on giving them to her myself but even if I can't, I want them to be there for her to read and cherish. Her first day of school, her elementary school graduation, her middle school graduation, her prom, her high school graduation and then college or whatever she plans to do, her wedding day, the birth of her first child. I've thought about blogging them but I think i might just blog excerpts because I want these thoughts to be just between her and her mother... It's more special that way.
Photo c/o Caity Sharp

Photo c/o Caity Sharp

These letters to Betty have another value as well. When I give them to her at various points throughout her life she'll be able to read back and experience my mindset at the beginning. Whatever mistakes I make as a parent throughout the course of her life will be there but she'll be able to know my intentions. She'll know that I'm human and I've always loved her and been consumed by the desire to do what is best for her... always. At my core I'm a list-maker and this would be just a list of things I want to make sure she knows and feels from me at each significant point in her development. whether I can't find the words to say them in time or I'm somehow unable to say them at all, there are things a little girl needs to hear and she can only hear them from her mother. What a sweet way to make sure she knows how special she is? I could even make a scrapbook for her with the first letter and have her keep adding to it as she grows. What do you think?

Photo c/o my mom

If you were to visit your child or future child on her wedding day what would you tell her? What wisdom do you possess that you wish to impart to your progeny? What do you feel you see more clearly now than you may ever see again? or am I the only one who thinks like this? let me know.  Betty just wiped something sticky on me so now I'm off to clean it up and then I'm going to get the prettiest stationery I can find and get started. Have a pleasant night.

P.S. Here are some really inspirational quotes for my fellow mommies.

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.
-- Washington Irving

And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see -- or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.
-- Alice Walker

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love.
-- Mildred B. Vermont

Education commences at the mother's knee, and every word spoken within the hearing of little children tends towards the formation of character.
-- Hosea Ballou

I thought my mom's whole purpose was to be my mom. That's how she made me feel.
-- Natasha Gregson Wagner

I'd rather be a mother than anyone on earth
Bringing up a child or two of unpretentious birth...
I'd rather tuck a little child all safe and sound in bed
than twine a chain of diamonds about my [carefree] head.
I'd rather wash a smudgy face with round, bright, baby eyes
Than paint the pageantry of fame or walk among the wise.
-- Meredith Gray

It was when I had my first child that I understood how much my mother loved me.
-- From "For Mother - A Bouquet of Sentiments"

Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends - but only one mother in the whole world.
-- Kate Douglas Wiggin

The greatest thing she'd learned over the years is that there's no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one.
-- Author Unknown

1 comment:

  1. Aww Such a lovely post!!
    I have a tear,I am afraid, as soo true..
    Enjoy your beautiful little Betty as time flies by so quickly and before you know it they have grown and flown....(as my dear Mum used to say)
    Love Maria x


Thank you for your happy thoughts