There are moments in life where the world shifts and you can feel the change. The moment my daughter was born, the very instant I held her in my arms I felt the shift. I stopped being me and became so much more; I became a mother. I became her mother. My eyes would never view anything in this life the same way again.
When I found out I was pregnant with my son, my daughter was only 6 months old. The world shifted again but this time the change was uneasy, a bit terrifying. I was anxious with this shift, not sure my heart could love another child the way I loved my girl.
I was scared I wouldn’t know how to share my love with another baby, “What if I can’t love him the same? What kind of mother would I be then?”
My son, my beautiful boy was born and my heart shifted in a way that put all my fears to rest. I loved him. Oh, how I loved that little blue-eyed baby boy. Somehow the heart knows how to adjust, it finds a way to hold infinite amounts of love in a finite space. The heart is beautiful like that.
As my son grew, my heart—that same heart that surprised me with its capacity to love—was telling me that something wasn’t quite right. Something’s not right with my son. There’s something different, something’s not okay. I could hear my heart whispering to me, I could feel the gentle nudges. As time went on the nudges turned into a forceful shove. My world wasn’t shifting, it was turning, faster and faster with each unmet milestone that was passed by.
The day I took my son to the hospital to have a tube placed and found out he couldn’t swallow without aspirating, I remember thinking to myself that nothing would ever be the same. I very distinctly remember feeling the shift.
Before that moment I was just a worried mother. I was just a mother with a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right. I was just a mother who thought something could be wrong but held onto the hope that it was my heart that was mistaken, I was mistaken. As I stood there by my son’s hospital bed and absorbed the information the doctors were giving me, everything changed. I changed.
For a brief moment I felt my world completely stop and I somehow transformed. Something inside of me died and a new person emerged. I was no longer just a mother with a feeling. I was a mother with a purpose: I was going to fight for my son.
I fought like hell. Oh, I fought for my little blue-eyed boy with everything I had in me. My mother’s soul was invincible, I felt. There was nothing I wouldn’t give or anything I wouldn’t do to protect my son, my soul mate. But it was never enough. It never seemed like I could give enough or do enough. The harder I fought, the more I tried, it seemed like the world would just spin faster and faster out of control.
I couldn’t grab hold of anything, there was nothing within my reach that would stop this from happening. I was losing him, slowly. I felt that in my heart and in my gut. He was going to die and I knew it. I knew it and I couldn’t stop it.
Why couldn’t I just stop it?? A mother is supposed to be able to save her son!
Holding my son as he passed from this life to the next, the world shifted yet again. My baby boy took his last breath in my arms and I felt his soul release. Of course I could feel it, his soul was directly connected to mine and I could physically feel the separation, my soul had to let go. He died and I had to let go. I had no other choice, he left me and I couldn’t hold on no matter how hard I tried.
In that moment my world wasn’t just shifted, it was completely shattered. Air escaped my lungs and I haven’t quite found a way to get it back in yet. I’m walking around in a world I don’t recognize, trying to figure out how to pick up the shattered pieces. It’s still shifting, my world. But with each shift the broken pieces get more and more mixed up and I’m desperately trying to not to get myself lost in the wreckage.
Sometimes I find myself taking paths I shouldn’t or I even stop moving completely, frozen with fear while I try to remember how to breathe. If I close my eyes and focus on nothing else besides my soul, I can feel his somewhere out there too. There’s a giant scar where his has been ripped from mine but I can still feel it. The wounds are still raw but I am still here living, breathing.
There are moments in life that shape who you are, define you. The world shifts and you shift with it. You change because you have to, everything around you is changing and you change too. The trick is keeping track of your soul, because that’s the only way to keep from losing who you are.
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