We Are All Okay

Dear Mom,

Happy Mother’s Day!  I miss celebrating you on Mother’s Day.  While you were alive there were many Mother’s Days where I struggled buying you a gift, and dare I say, didn’t even want to because it was just another gift I had to think of something to get you.  But now how I wish I could get you something to celebrate the mother you were, the mother you taught me to be, the mother you are still teaching me to be.

I am still learning from you.  With a 4 and 1 year old now, I am learning daily how to be a good mom.  Many times when I don’t know what to do, how to discipline, or what to say to Jasper specifically, I think back to my childhood.  I think back to how you made me feel, how loved I felt even when I did something bad, and with that feeling you direct my mothering and I know exactly what to do or say.

You were an AMAZING mom, the absolute best mom, a mom that we could go to with anything, a mom that we knew would always listen and understand, a mom who could make everything better for a moment with a tight hug.  I want to be that type of mom to Jasper and Ellis, so I am constantly struggling with the question of how you did it, how you made us feel like we could come to you with anything, tell you everything, and always feel understood and not judged.  I wish you had left that little secret with me.  It is one of the many questions I wish I would have asked you, but the answer I keep coming back to is that you were just always there for us.  Always there waiting for us, ready to listen, and asking questions showing us how fully you cared about our lives.  No matter what, we were always your number one priority.  It never even crossed our minds that there would be anything else on your list.

To celebrate you and all that you were and still are to us, I want to give you a gift, Mom.  The best gift I know to get you this year is to tell you this…We are all okay.  I cannot say this without tears, but it is true.  We are okay.  We are not okay that we are without you and everything good in our lives is met also with sadness.  No moment is as happy as it should be if you were here, but we are still happy.  Nothing in our lives is laying out as we had planned it, everything seems a bit off course sometimes, but we are still happy.  I know you would want nothing more than for your kids to be happy, and somehow we are.

Randi and Adam have a beautiful boy, Jonas, that you would adore.  It would make you so happy to see Randi be a mom.  Trevor is working hard and still has just as big of dreams as he always has had.  It would make you so happy to meet his girlfriend, and it would calm your heart to know that she listens to all of Trevor’s lengthy stories and crazy dreams.  Matt is graduating in less than a month, and with all of the struggles in his early years of school, I know this would make you so proud.  Isaac went to his first prom last night, and he looked so handsome.  He never does anything that he doesn’t want to do just because someone would like him to, which I know stems from your advice.  Sam and Gabe turn 16 tomorrow.  I know this would make you nervous; it makes me nervous.  The babies are going to drive!  They are both the life of the party, and have some of the greatest friends.  They still take care of each other the same as when they were kids, a twin thing I guess.  And Jasper, he loves to make up stories about you, acting like he remembers you.  I don’t know how he possibly couldn’t simply because of the crazy amount of love you had for him.  He must just feel it.  He has to.  You would have loved Ellis too, she is so much like you already.  She is strong and determined and so loving.

And, Mom, I am doing good.  I am loving being a mom to Jasper and Ellis, and I know you would have enjoyed seeing this family life of mine.  One of the many fears I had when I knew you were dying was that I was losing my best friend, and honestly one of my only girl friends.  I know that was one of your fears for me as well.  It was so hard for me more than a year afterwards not having you to talk with, shop with, or just hang out.  It still is hard, but I want to tell you I have had the most amazing women come into my life in the past year.  Women that help me, teach me, and care for me in ways that I never thought I would experience without you.  So no more worrying about me.

A couple days ago I was disciplining Jasper, and afterwards I explained to him that God gave me the job, as him mommy, to teach him how to be good and teach him right from wrong.  He looked me straight in the eye and said, “That’s a pretty cool job.”  It is, and I know that you thought it was the absolute best job.  It was a job that you always dreamt of, that you always knew was exactly what you were supposed to be doing.  I know while you were sick, you wondered why God had given you seven children if you were not going to be alive to finish raising them all, and I still do not know why, but I do know that even if the time we had you as a mother was cut short, you were the best mom we could have ever had.  You were the heartbeat of our family, the center of it all.  We would all say you were our best friend.  Not many can say that about their mom, and so we are all thankful that we had that with you, even if for only a short time.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!  We love you so much!

Until I get to hug you again,

Leah

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