It’s been 278 weeks, 3 days and almost 24 hours since I last hugged Tasha.
278 weeks…..how does anyone go that long without hearing heir child’s voice? Seeing their smile? Hugging the breath out of them?
I wish I didn’t know. I wish no one knew. It is the most unnatural thing in the world to outlive your child.
But here’s what I do know:
I know I am still Tasha’s mother.
The night she died, I spoke the words aloud for the first time “I am no one’s mother now.” And, I often felt that way. But it’s not true – I am still her mother. I am called “mom” by a wonderful young man who fills my heart with pride. I have several young people who call me “Mama K,” as well. Nope, these are not the children I gave birth to – but, they are the ones who encouraged me to have hope when I felt none.
And, after five years, I know that I am still Tasha’s mom and that I always will be. No, she is not physically here any more. But, she is here…
…she is in my mind, my heart and my soul every day. When I sit on the floor in desperation, going through her things, she is there. She reminds me of all she went through…the years of suffering through medical procedures…she reminds me that she survived the hard stuff and that I will, too.
…she is in my dreams…sometimes beyond reach…other times, I can feel her hands in mine. There are often memories attached to these dreams – memories that carry me through the next day.
…she is right there…when I say her name. I say it in the quiet moments – just to hear it – to taste the sound on my lips. I have conversations with her when I shut out the world and no one can hear me. I know she is still here and listening.
….she is still here…just not physically. Some days, I think I hear a heartbeat where nothing should be. I hope and I believe that is her…standing close…breathing courage into my ear when I am at my weakest…when I need to feel her presence. That heartbeat comes along and it seems to keep pace with mine, giving me strength to take the next step, open the next box, get out of bed just one more day…
So, yes, Tasha is gone from this place. I can no longer hold her or hear her voice. But, she is still here. She will not beforgotten…she was born…she LIVED…she conquered so many impossible situations…she never gave up…and, I will forever be her mother.
On this Mother’s Day, if you happen to think of me and you think I “used to be” a mother, stop and remember this: I AM STILL TASHA’S MOM!!!