Monday, June 18, 2012

An incredible gift from my mother - and an apology to her

Over the weekend, in an attempt to start to get the soon-to-be baby's room, I started to try to clear out some clutter from the closet in that room. One of the boxes in the closet was marked "Photographs", in my mom's handwriting. I've never been able to make myself go through the box, mostly for fear of what I would discover in there or how emotional it would make me.

I have been missing my mom like crazy lately - I've really wanted to talk to her about her experience being pregnant and what it was like to be a new mom. She's been gone for 12 years as of next month - and these days, I miss her more than ever.

My mother was an incredible woman - and a fantastic mother. If I am half of the mother that she was, I will be happy. So, it shouldn't have been a surprise to find what I did in the box in the closet.

In a word, I found EVERYTHING. Every report card, note from a teacher, program from a play or musical, my acceptance letter to college, every Mother's Day card. She kept everything. I was sobbing while going through it, just amazed at the collection. One of the other things she kept was a series of apology notes that I had written her over the years for my bad behavior - this is my favorite:
It was a good little bit of comic relief during an emotional experience. I can just picture her laughing as she read it - either at my attempt at spelling "tantrum" or my assurance that I would never throw one again in "pubic".

While finding that little gem was fabulous, the absolute best item in the entire box was a spiral notebook that I didn't recognize. It wasn't something I had used in school, so I wasn't sure why it was in with all of the other papers...until I opened it. When I did, the tears started flowing again.

The first page read, "Dear Baby,", and what followed was a series of letters that my mom wrote to me while she was pregnant, and all through my first birthday. She described her experience of being pregnant, her labor, and what it was like to be a mom for the first time throughout my first year. Everything that I have been wanting to ask her - she answered.

All these years later, my mom found a way to reach out and comfort me and give me an incredible gift. I am forever grateful for the journal she put together, and I will be doing the same thing for my future child. Even if I am still around when he or she is ready to start having children, I know it's something that will be treasured.

11 comments:

  1. Oh JJ! You just gave me chills. I'm so glad your mom left you this incredible gift. Hugs!

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  2. Tears...tears...and more tears falling. Jeannine, what a wonderful Mother you have as a role model. I can tell you never doubted for a second how much she loved you. :O )

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    1. You are so sweet to say that! I never doubted it - she was the best mom ever!

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  3. This is incredible. I'm due to give birth any day now to my first child, a daughter. (My due date was this past Sunday.) I have thought so many times that I need to sit down and write out my experience for her, and this is exactly the push I need to get that done. Thanks and good luck with your pregnancy!

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    1. I am so glad that it inspired you to write it all down! I know that your daughter will cherish it! Congratulations - and I hope that things start moving along sooner than later... :)

      Thank YOU, and the best of luck! Keep me posted on how you are doing!

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  4. WOW! Thst is a wonderful treasure. You are very blessed and I know you are going to be the kind of MOM that you had. Good luck and bless you!

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  5. hey jeannine, i wanted to let u know i also did this with my daughter when i first had her, but i lost track of it when we moved back to alabama to help when my granpa died so do you think its too late to start again? also, are you doing a journal for your baby as well?

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    1. It's NEVER too late to start again! She will appreciate ANYTHING you can give her, in the way of a family legacy. I need to start my own journal for the baby - it's on my "to do" list for the next few weeks. :)

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