I’m Not the Woman I Once Was

I’m Not the Woman I Once Was, I Know the Hurt, the Battle Within. 

I’m not the woman I once was… I’m not the mama I once was… but I’m me, please take me as I am, full of flaws… I know the hurt, the battle within. 

My own mother was devoid of feeling towards most of her children, and I was the perfect black sheep in her eyes. She wasn’t affectionate, didn’t hug, or show love as I grew up. If she did show to any my siblings, I never once saw it. I told myself that I would the opposite with my own children, if I were to be blessed by God and given the gift of children.

I was blessed with three boys and one daughter (from my second marriage). My first born died in utero (inside me), labor was induced, and Shane was stillborn. I was crushed, and in an abusive marriage. My second son, Gene, was born ‘blue’, but he rallied around and with the grace of God, he is now a machinist. Sam, my youngest, was born and I thought life would be good. I lavished love, hugs, and kisses on both boys, and eventually left their abusive father.

I rose above an extremely abusive childhood and later marriage, to learn faith, love, and motherhood from my son, Sam, courageous fight with cancer. Sam suffered horribly, and I loved him so much. “I want to go to heaven, Mom”. How would you respond? I told Sam, “We don’t always get what we want in life, and you might just have to come back to me.” Who was I to be selfish? Why didn’t I let Sam go to heaven? Sam ended up passing away at age five years old; after I begged his father to ‘let him go’ the third time after his heart was restarted. I was broken, and full of shattered shards and bits of life, as we know it.

I’m not the woman I once was… I’m not the mama I once was…

– Many on social media know that I’m not who I used to be, but you don’t need to shun me. Take me as I am, full of flaws… I know the hurt, the battle within. 

– I’m different now… a different ‘me’. It has been this way since October 1990. Please acknowledge me and not try to make feel like a leper. Each individual has their own path in life, people come and go, change happens, and life goes on. Each person is their self, yet change changes them to varying extents. Accept me as I am, and I will do the same back to you. I know the hurt, the battle within. 

– When I remarried, my new daughter never got the chance to know the ‘me’ before the new me. Rachel – you never got to know the first ‘me’ before ‘the new me’. I’m sorry you never got to meet the ‘first me’ – you may have liked that ‘me’. I did my best as you grew up and afterwards, yet I was never ‘there’ for you in the way I should have been, and for that I’m sorry. I know the hurt, the battle within. 

 – When Sam died, and after the tubes were removed, I rocked him in my arms for about 20 minutes. My body was torn apart and I could barely even breathe. I know the hurt, the battle within. 

– I kissed Sam’s corpse over and over, and messed up his lips (he had been intubated and required lip filler), and nothing was ever the same. I know the hurt, the battle within. 

– I’m sorry to both my kids on Earth, Gene and Rachel, and to my husband, for always being there in my physical form, but yet not ‘really there’. Imagine a zombie mother living in the house and baking cookies yet she isn’t really ‘there’. A mother going to Boy Scout events, field trips, musical events, sports games, and the like, but one part seems missing. I know the hurt, the battle within. 

– As each year passes by, I am more ‘there’ but know that moments do happen and always will happen. You see change is inevitable, and some parents change even more so. I know the hurt, the battle within. 

– For us baby boomers who have lost, we never had enough pictures, and never will. Thankfully the millennial generation, have tons of instant pictures thanks to electronics. Life has taught me that if you are a parent, just love your children, say it and show it every day. Spoil them from time to time, (as it doesn’t hurt to give a little sometimes), and those are moments to treasure. Don’t let Valentine’s Day be a day of showing your love; make every day that day – a day full of love. You only have the here and now so make the most of it, and you won’t be sorry. I know the hurt, the battle within. 

Words for Those Who Have Not Lost a Child or Children 

Does it get any easier after losing a child?  Somewhat…

Is it possible for a parent to be happy their child/children are perfect in Heaven above… and feel peace with that?  Sure… (It took me twenty-three years for Eli and somewhat less for Joshua.)

Can a parent ever “get over” losing a child?  No.  This is the KING of loss.  We can be happy that they are perfect in Heaven and sad at times when we miss them the most.

Bereaved parents are continually re-writing each day, as they try to cope with their new “normal.”  This won’t change.  We will think of our loss when other children reach milestones such as their first tooth, first steps, first words, kindergarten, holidays, best friend, graduation, prom, falling in love, first kiss, learning to drive, getting married… the list is endless. There will always be reminders of our loss.

The WORST things you can ever say to a parent who has suffered the KING of loss, even after one, ten, twenty, or more years?  “You should be over it by now,” or “Move on with life.”  You see, we are moving on with life. We just do it one hour… one day at a time… re-writing life as we go along.

 ~  Mary Schmidt, February 2017

 

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3 thoughts on “I’m Not the Woman I Once Was

  1. Thank you for sharing such deep personal feelings Mary. That must have taken amazing courage to do so. Forget about what’s ‘normal’ or ‘expected’. We all grieve in our own way and I don’t think anyone will ever be the same person after experiencing a loss. We can heal but like a broken vase glued back together, there will always be a crack running through us. X

    Liked by 1 person

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