I didn’t expect it to pull me up so short, to catch suddenly in my throat like a barbed wire made of words when the knowing washed over in a salty wave.

It really is over.

I won’t ever again feel my body working through the birthing of new life, never draw a tiny body in close to nurse, never nestle a newborn next to me in our big brown canopy bed. Those days are gone.

I knew all this, but for some reason today it became real.

For nearly fifteen years I’ve prayed for peace with leaving maternity behind, and for the most part I’ve felt that peace soul-deep. But there’s something deep down that wonders what-if, that part of me that was born to mother, wired to nurture wide-eyed wonder many times. And I did, many times. But sometimes in the stillness at night it keeps me awake, the wondering who might have been sleeping in one of our spare bedrooms had our yes not turned to no more.

Because this house is very quiet most days.

My friend wrote hope to mamas who sigh with sadness in these days of feeling deep purpose fading into the past. And I know she is right–we can’t tie a philosophy of how many children to have on a deeply spiritual code that everyone must follow. God allows us far too much breathing space for that.

But in some of these moments I just have to whisper it soft, if only for God to hear. I wanted more children.

And I’m not quite sure what to do with that, except to pour all that wistfulness into being the best Mimi in the world to my beautiful grandchildren. And I do, and always will.

So I gather myself up again, mama that I am and mommy I will always be if only in my own heart, and rest in deepest gratitude for those babies who aren’t so little any more, who don’t need me very often, who will always be my greatest accomplishments in this life.


3 thoughts on “She was a mommy once

  1. You write my heart so well, Sis, far better than I ever could.

    How do we let go of something that we were always meant to be, open ourselves up to the unknown, the quiet, the just-the-two-of-us-again-ness? In some ways, this stage of our lives is much like our high school graduations. So much is behind us, but we have no idea what to expect ahead of us. We’re thrust headlong into this future that we aren’t quite ready for and didn’t really believe would ever come.

    It is scary.

    1. I keep telling myself that just like I entered life after high school completely in the dark and God showed up in ways I couldn’t have imagined, I have no reason to believe He won’t do the same in this new season. I’m counting on Him to do just that. I love you, dear Sis.

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