Am I still a mother?

Scan 5 (2)There’s a Facebook thing doing the rounds at the moment asking Mums to post pictures that show they are happy/proud to be a mother and then that person has to nominate three of her friends to do the same.

This kind of thing stabs me in the gut, same as when I am with people who all get their phones out and start sharing pictures of their children and grandchildren. I don’t mind them doing this but as a Mum who has lost her child it is just another reminder of my pain and what I have lost. I would imagine that some women who cannot have children may feel similar emotions. I don’t know I’m just guessing.

So anyway this Facebook thing made me think. First I thought ‘I bet no one will nominate me’. Then I asked myself ‘am I still a mother’? I don’t have any other children and also can I still feel proud to be a mother and proud of Toby even though he killed himself.

The answer to all of these questions of course is ‘yes’, but it doesn’t come easily, I have to search for the ‘yes’.

‘Yes’, I am and always will be Toby’s Mum. (or Mom as he used to call me as he was born in the USA). And ‘yes’ I am proud of him, I am proud of him even though he failed and struggled, because he is my son and I now realise he was probably struggling with depression since his early teens. And ‘yes’ I am proud of myself for caring for him and supporting him as best I could and for rebuilding my life in his memory.

So I nominated myself and here are the three pictures I posted.

Scan 5 (2)Scan 6 (2)Scan 6

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4 Responses to Am I still a mother?

  1. Michele Harper says:

    Anne, you are a mother and always will be a mother. Our boys are no longer her for us to hold but we can still talk to then, we will always see them in our minds and we will always Cary them in our hearts.
    The pain of them not being near us will always hurt, there isn’t getting over it. And I don’t think it gets easier with time, we do , however find a way to live our lives. They are part of us, so they will always be with us. Take care my friend. Xxx

  2. Lori Robinson says:

    Dear Anne- I had to respond since I looked at my phone while my dog had to go outside in the middle of the nite! Of course you’ll always be Toby’s Mom, and I will always be Shane’s Mom! Even women who have stillborn babies- they are still Moms.
    I keep in touch with a former colleague I worked with decades ago. She lost her only child- a daughter age 14- to suicide in 2004. It was a shocking, unforeseen death since the young teen “seemed” so active in school ( super bright), active in her church ( even was part of a special band), active & gifted as a flutist. I struggled back then not knowing if I should recognize my friend on her daughter’s milestone anniversaries that she’s not alive for & also on Mother’s Day. Once I lost my 25 y/o also to suicide, I realized how much I want to remember all the milestones he did achieve & the ones he now will never achieve. In fact Shane’s Class of 2005- 10 year h.s. reunion fell over the Thanksgiving weekend. Shane was close friends with his “band of brothers” & bless those guys for coming by our home & picking up some photos of Shane to display at the “memory” table during the reunion. And these guys wore a picture button I had specially made of Shane on his wedding day ( 8-8-09) with the Class of 2005 colors & Shane’s life span 10-4-86 to 1-13-12. There’s no doubt I’m still & always will be Shane’s Mom just like every other mother who loses a child- no matter the circumstance.

    Fortunately, I ( by choice) do not engage with FB. I told my two sons in 2006 when FB made its entrance in this world it had the potential to do a lot of good, but it had the potential to do a lot of bad. The hurtful posts you refer to having moms compete against each other is just stupid & cruel as many mothers are now without a child. My life is quite active with a demanding job, aging parent issues ( especially with my 89 year old father), my core family including my 24 year old son, my husband, our two dogs ( one we inherited when Shane left this earth).

    I hope you hold onto all these precious memories with Toby. He sure was an adorable toddler! These photos are precious!! Anne- you will ALWAYS be Toby’s Mom/Mum!!!!

  3. Martina Brincat-Baines says:

    I too have seen this post and felt exactly the same I lost my beautiful daughter and only child kesia aged 17 in December 2013 and it hurts every day. Thank you for sharing xxx

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