Every mother in Newtown was missing a child today. Every mother felt an absence at their dinner table. With each flower received and every hug given, we all knew that we were short a few. And that knowledge was painful.
My son is two. And it was the first year that he was capable of walking up to me, handing me a gift and uttering the words, "Happy Mother's Day Momma. I love you." I cried today at hearing those words come out of his mouth for the first time. And I cried because there are mother's across Newtown that didn't hear them from all of their children.
Father's and their babies are special and deeply connected. But mother's and their babies hold an entirely different connection. It's otherworldly and impossible to explain. There's this feeling deeply embedded in our chests and when we can't reach our children or be near them, the ache is physical.
On December 14th, my son was at daycare. Like all the school's in the area, his was locked down until police were certain that the area was safe and secure again. I wasn't able to go to him and wrap him in my arms for hours. I knew he was safe, but I needed him in my arms. I needed to feel him in my arms, to know that he was safe by seeing him with my own eyes. But I couldn't. Those were agonizing hours. And the pain was tangible. But, I got him back. I got to hold him again. A mother's arms should never be devoid of their child. It's cruel. That is the only way to describe it. It's the worst thing you could ever do to a woman. And my heart aches in sisterhood for those women who lost their babies.
So, tonight...I read my son an extra story at bedtime. I sang him all the songs that he wanted to hear. I rubbed his back for more time then I usually allow. I told him how happy he makes me, how much joy he brings to my life every day. How proud I am to be his mother. My child will never question how much he means to me. He will always know that my world revolves around him. The 26 people taken from the arms of those that loved them with all their heart have taught me to never take one second for granted. To never allow my arms to be empty with a hug from my son whenever possible. And while I can't give those mother's a gift to ease their pain, their loss has been a lesson to me. Not one second, not one, taken for granted. Be the best mother I can be at all times. Because nothing else matters. I can fail at anything else in this lifetime. But do not allow me to fail at this. Do not.
Happy Mothers Day to all you beautiful mother's out there. It is not always an easy job, but it is the most important job on the planet. And you are doing great.