Five years ago, I received the most incredible Mother’s Day gift ever. A chance to be a mother. A chance at life for my newborn daughter. A chance to get beautiful hand-crafted artwork like this…
…and this… (Those are not antennas coming out of Charlie’s head and my head. They are ponytails.)
….and to hear the words, “I love you so much Momma!” Apparently, the Princess has a big morning planned, including breakfast in bed!
I remember so many tiny details about that Mother’s Day weekend five years ago. On Saturday afternoon our surgeon called us in the ICU at BC Children’s Hospital to tell us he had a Mother’s Day gift for me. I thought it was completely inappropriate since Addison was fighting for her life. Hardly a reason to celebrate. Then he said, “I have a heart for you.” I thought he was joking.
Just before midnight, we kissed our baby goodbye as she was wheeled in to the OR for her heart transplant. Ten hours later, the morning of Mother’s Day, she came out of the OR.
Now here we are five years later. I am not a fan of rollercoasters but it’s been a pretty awesome ride and I am so privileged I get to be Addison’s mom. She has brought a rainbow of light, love, and laughter (plus a heck of a lot of frustration, exasperation, and craziness) into my life. I can’t imagine what life would be like without her, and I am so fortunate I don’t have to.
I never forget that my joy is the flip side of terrible sadness for another mom who had to say good-bye to her daughter just before what would have been her first Mother’s Day too. Felicia, and all those other moms who have lost a child, are the moms who deserve the most recognition today. They are the strong ones who keep on going, who keep loving, who keep giving, all in the face of extraordinary grief and pain. This day is for all of you amazing women. You are the true meaning of motherhood.
Elaine, Aaron, Addison and Charlie