Posted on August 2, 2012


dear mom –

i awoke the same this morning as most other mornings of the past few months… with a mad dash to the bathroom.  baby bladder.  after gathering myself and my thoughts, i headed down to silly monkey’s room to get him up to enjoy a little sunshine before i had to scurry to work.  i sat on the edge of monkey’s bed, rubbing his back and singing loudly & obnoxiously (the only way to get him up on the right side of the bed).  and as he stirred, i looked down at my expanding belly and started to cry.  he asked me if i was crying and when i affirmed, he told me it was “ok” b/c he misses you, too. 

i feel like every one of these august 2nds is the same.  i wake.  i cry.  i spend the day dwelling on the fact that brain cancer stole the most important woman from my life.  i cry some more.  i write.  i cry again.  and i go to bed at night wishing somehow my mommy were here to sit on the edge of my bed, rub my back and sing loudly & obnoxiously until i get out of bed, on the right side.   only this august 2nd feels a bit more difficult than years past.  b/c this august 2nd, i mourn not just for two, but for three.

i remember finding out i was pregnant with silly monkey just days after a BIG sushi dinner with you and mich.  the BIG sushi dinner that brought the fortune that remains laminated and affixed to the front of my fridge.  the fortune that reads, “you will have an exciting addition to your life…” – oh how exciting it was.  and is!  for nine months you sat by me and supported me and endured my endless complaints of back pain and nausea.  and you placed your hand on my belly, daily, to feel your very first grandbaby kick up a storm. 

the day monkey was born, you looked at me and said, “i have become the grandma i didn’t want to be”, as you filled up the memory on your camera.  when you returned the next day, you did the same.  the days and weeks and months after monkey arrived, you were the picture perfect grandma – you loved that boy with every piece of your heart.  you spoiled him rotten.  and not just with “things”, but with love and affection and attention.  he was just as much your baby as he was mine.  and my heart had never been so full and happy.  i have these memories.  the ones that don’t fade.  the ones that are never forgotten.  the ones i can share with monkey over & over & over.  pictures of you two adorn walls and dressers.  you are here.  even if you are not here. 

so perhaps why today is so much more difficult than ones past is b/c i know that no matter how many photos are displayed, no matter how many birthdays we celebrate, no matter how many betty boop ornaments we place on the christmas tree, i will have none of these memories – ones shared between grandma and grandbaby – to share with babyA.  these are the happy moments i have dreaded for years.  and to dread happy moments… it hurts.  it’s beyond the most painful of feelings i have ever felt.  b/c scratches and bruises and cuts can be seen.  there is a physical answer for the hurt.  but this kind of pain is invisible.  and no amount of time will ever heal them. 

going through this pregnancy without you has been like a knife to my heart.  and every movement, every ultrasound, every heartbeat is like a twist of that knife to only further the pain.  i find myself reserved in happiness b/c it is you i wish i had to share every step with.  just like i did with monkey.  and when i spent the first three months on a sort of bed rest, it was you i wanted to cry to b/c this baby… this baby girl is meant to be.  and sometimes, i think you are the reason she is meant to be.

i spent HOURS in the hospital tonight.  it started with some achiness, followed by some pain and then a rush of ohsoNOTgood blood.  my heart fell… today is the last day i could imagine dealing with anything of this nature.  but after HOURS in the hospital, dopplers to hear her beating heart and a scan to verify her health, we learned one thing – SHE’S PERFECTLY FINE (**knock on wood**)!!!  in fact, she is using the placenta as a pillow, as she lounges with her legs crossed (just like her mama was sitting on the hospital bed!) – moving her arms, moving her mouth.  all she seemed to need was a drink with an umbrella. 

as i reflect on the day’s events, i suddenly feel that all the fear i felt in those hours was simply meant to make me feel… better.  perhaps you and she had conspired to spook me into distraction b/c you knew and she knew that seeing her and hearing her would put me at ease.  and maybe be distracted enough to shelve my august 2nd emotional breakdown.  and tonight, as i lay my head on my six pillows (that regularly force B off the side of the bed), i feel… at ease. 

five years.  five years without my biggest cheerleader.  five years without my favorite woman. 

i still miss you more than words could say.  i still envy women who share daily moments with their mommies.  i still ponder how i’ll get through my life without you here to hold my hand. and i still fear silly monkey won’t remember how much you loved him and how i will ever be able to show him, and babyA, how amazing you were.  b/c you were.  oh so absolutely amazing.

so on this fifth anniversary, i say this… thank you.  thank you for giving me so much love that i can’t bear the days without you.  thank you for showing me what it truly means to love and be loved.  thank you for being my mom.  my beautiful, wonderful, unforgettable mommy. 

i miss you.  i love you.  every day and for always.

love, your ever thankful daughter, danyelle


** post title = henry wadsworth longfellow, from my arm-chair, stanza 12

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