My parent’s TWENTY-FIFTH wedding anniversary is this November. There’s not too many people who can say they have been married for that long and I am so proud that they’re mine.
In honor of them, I’m planning on submitting their love story to the anniversary part of our local newspaper. Today, I made the effort on gathering pictures to choose to submit and answering the questions that they provide. They were all pretty basic ones and, admittedly I should have prepared myself before reading. There was the question, ‘how many grandchildren?’ My heart skipped a beat. I was staring at my mom and didn’t know what to put.
Yes, he deserved to be on there, but did she want him included. Should there be a little asterisk by his name? I just asked her because I needed to hear her say she wanted him on there, apart of their life story. ‘Of course,’ she proclaimed, like it was even a part to question.
I was happy to hear her say that and knew deep down she would, but what made me question what to put? His name deserves to be said and known, just as my mother deserves to be known as his grandmother. Why do I question why I deserve being his mother to the outside world?
A few days ago I read about a ‘30 Day Writing Challenge for Stillbirth Mothers.‘ I skimmed each prompt to think about if I wanted to join along, but didn’t know if I wanted to commit. When I got to the last one, it felt like the world stopped: 5 Reasons Why I Deserve To Be Your Mother. It’s been in my mind since and today’s newspaper/anniversary dilemma really made me consider why.
He is mine.
Half of every cell in his body was made of me. I read him a bedtime story every night and watched his personality grow, stubborn like me. When I look at myself in the mirror or down at my feet, I see him.
Carried his whole life.
For thirty-eight weeks and two days, he was surrounded by love and warmth. That’s his whole entire life.
Each day, I felt him get bigger and his kicks become stronger. As he grew, so did my belly. I have the stretch marks to show for him and I deserve to have them. No, I don’t have Jensen to show off, but I’ll forever have the time he was with me marked on myself for as long as I live.
I’ll always cherish his life and being pregnant with him, it’s his gift to me.
Love never dies and everyone deserves to be loved.
As much as I loved him, he loved me too. I’ll never forget hearing his heart beat for the first time as mine skipped. It was magical. Although, I’ll never hear him say ‘I love you’ or know what he loved about me most, I imagine he felt the same way about hearing the rhythmic drumming of my heart as he fell asleep.
This love has never ceased, his death didn’t stop the way I felt. It’s the one thing that has kept me afloat when all I could feel is grief taking me under.
On ‘good’ days, I feel like a warrior. I’m this all-powerful mother, that has faced her darkest days and still can find the light in life. Then there are the other days where I feel the only thing I can do is breathe.
I don’t deserve losing Jensen. No one deserves living life without their child. Yet, surviving life after loss makes me realize how much I thrived during my time with Jensen. I deserve to survive, just as I deserve him and being apart of his life.
I am deserving.
Loss can make a person feel like they’re a failure. It makes you question everything about yourself and what you did. In the early days, I would think he was taken away because I didn’t deserve him. That somehow getting pregnant with him was this huge, cosmic mistake and him dying and the pain I felt is what I really deserved.
This isn’t true.
It isn’t true for anyone of us who have experienced loss. We deserve our little ones, just as they deserved us. Each and every one of us are parents and death cannot take away that title. We have lived through the absolute worst tragedy anyone can and, although we don’t deserve living without them, we earned the right to love and honor our children.
That’s why he’ll always be included in our family, hopefully in my parent’s fiftieth wedding anniversary write-up.
I deserve to be Jensen’s mom, now and forever.