Sunday, May 13, 2012

One last day in the gauntlet from hell...

In an earlier post I talk about this 'gauntlet' of hard dates I had to get through: Aimee's birthday, Rowan's birthday, my and Aimee's anniversary, and Mothers Day. Three of the four of those has passed, with the anniversary date having been the hardest by far. The last one was today - Mothers Day.

Aimee and Rowan right after Rowan was
born. I'm pretty certain Aimee would
object to this picture being posted for the
world to see.
I remember the first Mothers Day that applied to Aimee. Rowan was only a few weeks old, and it seemed REALLY strange to both Aimee and I that we would actually celebrate the holiday with us being the parents and Aimee as a mother (we were slightly more accustomed to the idea by the time that Fathers Day rolled around). But luckily I hadn't been caught off guard, and I'd taken a few photos of Aimee and Rowan and created a collage through Snapfish that arrived just in time for Mothers Day. That was my first Mothers Day gift to Aimee.

We celebrated a total of four Mothers Days together, all of them good. Of course, like any husband trying to be a good one, I worked to celebrate Aimee as a mother and wife every day (I'm sure I fell short many, many days). But Aimee never fell short as a mom. Every time I see photos of Aimee and Rowan together, I am reminded of how much they each loved the other, and how Aimee never had an 'off' day as a mom (though I'm certain she felt otherwise). I feel constant sadness for Rowan's loss, and Mothers Day kind of emphasizes that to me. I have little doubt that as Rowan gets older, this holiday will get much harder for her as well, emphasizing for her that she doesn't have her mother.

And for me, in the long term, that will probably be the pain that'll be hardest to get past - Rowan's loss in all of this. The loss of a mother is so huge, especially at so young an age, but even for those who are older it can be a profoundly devastating experience. Take, for example, my friend Mollie, who lost her mother to cancer when she was 16. She says she felt so alone: "...granted I had my family, my father, sister and brother, but there is nothing that can ever really truly fill that void of not having a mom anymore." Wow.

And with Rowan being so young, I can't begin to imagine all the ways this will be thrown at her: mother-daughter teas, going to friends' houses for sleepovers where the mom of the house decorates or makes cookies or some such other cool mommy thing, shopping for clothes/prom dresses/jewelry, learning how to put make-up on (I dread that day!), and so on. My point is, she's so young and there is still so much she could have learned from her mother. Aimee was such a great teacher, and an incredible role model. So many of you who knew her have pointed what an amazing person Aimee was. We wanted Rowan to be like that also. Like I've said many times - I'll do the best I can, but I can never be her mommy.

(Read Mollie's blog post about her loss. It's very sweet and very poignant.


  1. I just came upon your blog for the first time. May God bless you and your sweet daughter. My hero, my Auntie passed away after a long fight with lung cancer just two days after your Aimee. Melanie wrote her story at I miss her every day.

    1. Thanks you so much for commenting, and for sharing the story of your aunt. I just finished reading a number of the posts from her blog (thanks for the link), and it reminds me so much of what Aimee's father went the previous year - all the doctor's visits, the effects of the treatment, and so on. It sounds like Melanie was a wonderful person, and I'm very very sorry for your and your family's loss.

  2. Pat, do not forget there is One who loves Rowan even more than you. And, He is able and willing to provide. So do not be anxious but, submit this need to Him. He will provide for her much more than you can even imagine.
    I know this to be true. Finally. I am getting better at remembering His hand in my life and His promises in times of crisis as well.

    And see all that He is teaching you? Some things you can only learn walking through the valley of grief and the shadow of death.

    Aimee is safe in His care and so is Rowan and so are you. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2

  3. Barnes notes on this passage: Jesus was consoling his disciples, who were affected with grief at the idea of his separation. To comfort them he addresses them in this language: "The universe is the dwelling-place of my Father. All is his house. Whether on earth or in heaven, we are still in his habitation. In that vast abode of God there are many mansions. The earth is one of them, heaven is another. Whether here or there, we are still in the house, in one of the mansions of our Father, in one of the apartments of his vast abode. This we ought continually to feel, and to rejoice that we are permitted to occupy any part of his dwelling-place. Nor does it differ much whether we are in this mansion or another. It should not be a matter of grief when we are called to pass from one part of this vast habitation of God to another. I am indeed about to leave you, but I am going only to another part of the vast dwelling-place of God. I shall still be in the same universal habitation with you; still in the house of the same God; and am going for an important purpose - to fit up another abode for your eternal dwelling." If this be the meaning, then there is in the discourse true consolation. We see that the death of a Christian is not to be dreaded, nor is it an event over which we should immoderately weep. It is but removing from one apartment of God's universal dwelling-place to another - one where we shall still be in his house, and still feel the same interest in all that pertains to his kingdom.