As the day approached this year I was extremely nervous of how I would feel, if those same feelings would overwhelm me again. I didn't even mention my birthday to the kids until that morning; which I realized after that that was not the best choice. They were so sweet, upset really that they didn't get me a present or were ready to celebrate. And in that moment I realized I had taken something from them. However, we didn't dwell and I let them spoil me with breakfast and cuddles and by the last moments of the evening I was humbled by how incredibly happy I was. I realized that my mother was still giving me presents on my birthday. How grateful I am for the lessons her journey has taught me but also who I have become because of her. I have never been more at peace, more in love, more grateful for my incredible family, more sure of who I am and where I want to go, and so happy my heart was filled completely with joy for the first time since she passed. No guilt for the happiness I felt, and if she's somewhere watching over I know how happy that would have made her.
A few months ago I wrote a post about being motherless on Mother's Day and although I truly felt her loss intensely that week, I realized how false that statement really was. As I sat by the fire last night, my four angels sleeping soundly, enjoying the quietness with my best friend and soulmate; all the women who are mother figures in my life started coming to mind. From the best mother in law a girl could dream for, to the women who are my sisters, to my aunts and cousins and nieces, my neighbors who pop in, to my friends who are mothers and aunts, to a Facebook community wrought with incredible mamas, and to the mommy blogs that continue to teach and make me laugh. How lucky I am to be surrounded by so many incredible women and I have never felt more loved, more supported, than I do now. So thank you for the love, support, friendship and being patient while I found my happiness again. I am so grateful.