I am a mother. A mum with a ‘u’. A gift from my son that I will always carry with me. Without him, I would not be. A titled reminder of a special, sacred, permanent bond. A forever transcending the realm of understanding. Together, we form a strong branch of our family tree.
I am a mother. I became one long before October 30th 2014, the day Owen Benjamin was born. I mothered my little boy for 9 months, caring for every need, preparing for every possibility, celebrating every milestone, smiling at every connection made with a kick, wiggle or hiccup. Loving with every part of my being. His 5 days in my arms was an extension of this time. I carry him now in my heart. Forever.
I am a mother. I place the needs of my child before myself. I have taken on the suffering so my son does not have to. I held my little boy as he took his last breaths. A strength I did not know was within me, but surfaced to allow for the necessary peace and comfort. Stood under a big oak tree as a family, I gave my son permission to die. Soothed by the heartbeat of his mother, a sound he grew to love from the moment he was conceived, Owen’s spirit was freed from the confines of a beautiful body too sick to house it any longer. My son’s death was beautiful. A phrase I never thought I would have to utter. A moment that will never be forgotten.
I am a mother. I have embarked on the never-ending learning experience of a new parent. My son is teaching me so much. I am a student to unexpected lessons, ones that I did not want to learn at such a cost, but have to embrace in his honour. I have to allow him to be my teacher. To see the world through him, with him, under the guidance of renewed perspective.
I am a mother. I am nurturing and taking care of my son as well as I can. Fighting to keep his memory alive with any energy I am able to muster. Forcing recognition that our son means the world to our family. That he is the reason I want to carry on. That we are sad, but we are living our lives for him, with him. That grief is love and that love never dies. That the heart sees clearly, and that is what matters most.
I am a mother. I am exhausted, yet I am still standing.
I am a mother. I love like a mother. I yearn for my son. He is a part of me, and I am a part of him. We are connected. I need my little boy. I long to feel the weight of him in my arms again. To hold him and watch him sleep. The rhythm of my heart in time with his tiny breaths. I see his toes and I want to kiss them. I think of the way he would furrow his brow and I want to soothe it. I want to whisper into his ear once more that mummy is here and everything will be okay. I tell him I love him and smile that he knows. He knows.
I am a mother. I am grateful, honoured, to be the mother of my child. Nobody else can claim such an important title. He isn’t just a baby. He is my son, my little Owen Benjamin, the one who owns my heart (he shares it with his daddy). He will always be present to me. He will always be loved. He will always be cherished. He will always be.
I am a mother and he is my son.
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I love you baby. Thank you for giving me a reason to be proud every day, a reason to carry on. You have made me a better person. I wouldn’t be a mum without a you.