The Angel Mother…

She knew, from the very first moment she held him.  The small, helpless bundle she cradled so lovingly in her arms, the tiny little boy was so much more than a gift from above.  She’d waited, so long, and with such heartbreak for this moment, and it was even better than she’d ever imagined.

And now they were finally  together, she made the promise never to leave him. Not ever.

The sleepless nights spent nursing him were a joy, because she had lived the alternative – a full night’s sleep on an empty heart; a heart waiting to give so much love to the tiny person to whom she now belonged.

His first smile brought tears to her eyes- happy tears for a moment in time shared between just the two of them.  A moment in time that would forever be locked away in her mummy box of treasured memories and later recalled with such clarity, that each time it was retrieved, it felt like the first time, again and again.

His first step, his first word, the first time he said, ‘I love you mummy’. The bond that had formed between them was one that could never be broken.  All precious beyond words.  Sacred moments.

She kissed away every little tear that rolled down his rounded cheeks, soothed away every scrape and bump with a special mummy kiss and a bandaid that restored a smile to his sweet little face and huge brown eyes.

She came running when he called out for her in the middle of the night, frightened by a bad dream. She held him in the safety of her arms until his breath slowed and he returned to slumber.  Then she sat and watched over him as he slept; because she had promised never to leave him. Not ever.

His first day at school was a jumble of emotions. The pride at seeing him take his place in the world, and the fear of having to let him go.

At the end of the first day she wrapped her arms around him tightly, as if she could retrieve every moment of his day and store it in her heart for the next day, when they would again be apart.

She attended every school athletics carnival, swimming day, and award presentation. She spent hours sewing costumes for dress up days; every thread laced with love and gratitude for the gift she had been given.

She spent hours in the wind and the cold, cheering from the side-lines during football season, until her voice croaked, her pride swelling each time he got close to the ball.

During the relentless Australian summer, she would bake in the heat to watch him play cricket and give him a cool drink and piece of fruit at each break.

His first part time job – delivering news papers and milk before school. Her beautiful mummy heart bursting with pride at how responsible her son had grown up to be and at all the promise the future held for him. The excitement at what magical times lay ahead.

The first girlfriend, the first broken heart. A feeling of helplessness as her words and love gave no relief. His pain endured. It had to. She knew this, for him to learn, to grow, to mature.  Her heart was heavy with the burden of this knowledge,  but she knew  that she too must endure this pain so that she could learn, and grow and mature into a mother of a teenage boy.

Then, the unthinkable happens. Her body is ravaged by an incurable disease. But she doesn’t think about herself. Her only thought is for her son.

She fights with all her strength to stay because there is still so much to do. So many memories to build.  So many milestones yet to reach– graduating from school, the start of a career, falling in and out of love, a wedding day, and the most magical day of all, the birth of his own child – the grandchild  that she would give anything to hold in her arms.

Within only a few short months, her body is broken. No matter how determined she is to stay, no matter the love between mother and son, it is not enough.  The disease takes her life, and the boy’s life is changed – forever.

The years pass and the boy grows into a man.  He achieves his professional dreams. He falls in and out of love.  His wedding day  is just as beautiful as his mother could ever have imagined.

He experiences the miracle of new life as he welcomes his own little boy into the world. The heavenly mother watches over the baby each night,  as his chest rises and falls in time with each little breath.

She has not missed a single moment of her son’s life.  Not one. She has been there for every milestone, every day of happiness, every day of sadness.  She has watched, beaming with pride, as her son grew into the man she always knew he would be, because even death itself could not break the bond between a mother and her child.

She will continue to watch over him, and his family, because she is his mother and she promised him that she would never leave.  Not ever.  And one day, when it is his time to leave this life, she will once again wrap her arms around him and welcome him home.

Please, ladies, remember to get a pap smear and breast examination every two years. If your instinct tells you that something is wrong – please seek a second opinion.

In loving memory of all the Angel Mummies.

xxxx

mum and bub

A letter to my body…

Dear Body,

Today I have decided to tell you that I love you. It’s taken me a great many years to figure this out and express it. Sorry. Better late than never, I guess? It’s not about what size jeans I fit in to, or what I look like in a mini dress. It’s about loving you for everything you have done for me, and most of all, it’s about respecting you and your needs.

Thank you for carrying me from adventure to adventure when I was a little girl. So many falls, scrapes, knocks and trips, but you stayed strong. You allowed me to crawl, walk and run. To climb trees, to skip, to play chasey with my friends, to dance and squeal with delight at being able to stay up past dark and play spotlight in the trees. Because of you, I got to play and play until I was breathless and exhausted every day, then crawl into bed and recharge to do it all again the next day.

The teen years – urgh! Horrid puberty, the onset of periods, growing of breasts, explosion of pimples and regular broken hearts. But you stayed strong, despite my stupid idea to take up smoking because it would help me to control my weight and make me look cool – it didn’t of course, but I was too ignorant to understand the damage I was doing to my Bronchitis-plagued and Asthmatic lungs. Consumption of too much diet cola drinks instead of water – my poor, poor kidneys.

My twenties – God bless my kidneys and liver because lord knows they did more than their fair share of work during my twenties. Too much partying, not enough sleep, working too hard and not eating the right foods, drinking enough water or thinking long term about my health, because I was invincible. Although I did give up cigarettes when I was twenty-two ; one of the best things I have ever done. Suddenly, at the age of twenty nine, I realised my body had to last me a life time. A LIFE TIME. Time to wise up. Time to change.

My thirties – despite years of abuse and neglect, and only a few of kindness, you managed to create, grow, deliver and nurture four big, healthy babies in seven years. Four fat little bubbas, each with a huge head (Karma?) and a strong appetite. During this time I was pregnant for a total of three years, I breast fed for a total of four years and lost approximately two years of sleep with their around the clock feeding. But still, not only was my body strong enough to survive extreme sleep deprivation, exhaustion, pregnancy and births, it was strong enough for me to continue all of my other activities, like working, relaxing, being a wife, friend and co-worker as well as a strong return to fitness.

My forties – they’ve only just begun. But it’s now that I realise what an incredible gift I have in my beautiful healthy body. It has stretchmarks from pregnancy, but I like to think of those as tiger stripes. It has separated abdominal muscles from four large bubbas, meaning that tight tops or bikinis are out, but I prefer to think of it as a ‘renovation’ to the home my babies grew in. My thighs have cellulite, but I prefer to think of it as hail damage from weathering all the storms of my past. My hair is greying (prematurely) and my skin is developing lines, but that’s ok because a lot of worry and hard times have gone into those greys, and millions of smiles and laughs have creased my once smooth skin. I don’t look like a supermodel, but then again, I never did, so why beat myself up about it now?

I do Yoga to heal my body from my teens and twenties, from my breeding thirties and to calm the constant chatter in my mind from being a super busy mum, wife, friend and employee. My body needs to last me for, maybe, another forty years, so if it’s falling apart now, what hope does that give me for the state it will be in when I’m fifty, sixty or seventy? No, I love my body. I listen to my body. I am going to do everything in order to ensure my body is in the best possible health for the rest of my life, because, hopefully, that’s going to be a long time. It’s the least I can do for it – considering how much it’s done for me.
Lots of love and gratitude,
Sarah xxx

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, LOVE YOUR BODY.