A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love she holds in her heart. -Franchesca Cox
I was at the grocery store, trying to decide which bread to buy….when I noticed them. A family of five, chaotically walking through the store. As I stood there frozen, I stared at them. I became envious. I wanted my family of five back. Actually, I wanted my family of six back.
The baby was crying, the toddler was placing unwanted items into the cart and throwing out the wanted ones, and the oldest was complaining about how he didn’t want to be there. I looked at that Mama knowing exactly how she was feeling. Knowing that she desperately just wanted to get out of there as quick as possible.
As I watched her frantically grab some bread off the shelf and head to cash, I instantly remembered that had just been me only seven weeks prior. I missed it. I had done everything in my power to avoid the chaos those two months brought me, but now I would give anything to have it back. To have a woman approach my cart again, and tell me that I had my hands full with all these little girls. I wanted my hands and my cart to still be full of all my children.
Sometimes I imagine how crazy my life would be right now, with an eight year old, two year old twins, and a baby on my hip. I have really learned the meaning of how you really don’t know what you are missing until its gone.
During this journey, one of the main things I have heard is, ” Thank God you have your other two girls.” Although I know that it is people’s ways of trying to comfort me, a part of that sentence makes me cringe.
I am very thankful for the two children that I have. My heart breaks for the Mama that losses her first born , and has no children to return home to. The problem is…none of my children can take the place of Audrey. None of them can replace the love and the bond that we had together. They cannot do this….because they are not her.
Half my children are in Heaven. The half that remain in my home cannot replace that. Future children cannot replace that. Even pregnant for my twins, having one baby born alive and completely healthy…did not take away the love or the pain that I had for the one born still.
I am constantly reminded that there are now only two children in my home. I am reminded when there is only two seat belts to buckle, when my double stroller was replaced with a single for the second time, when only four chairs are occupied at the dinner table, and when there’s only one bottle to prepare at bedtime. Most of all my heart reminds me on a momentarily basis that there are two pieces of the puzzle missing with everything I do.
I thank God for my girls every day…but I don’t only thank him for the two that are here….. but for the four that he gave me. As I sit here this morning, in love with each and every one of my girls in their own unique ways, I realize that death does not ever change that. I am no longer going to feel like I have to focus on just being thankful that there are two……because my story is, and will continue to be….that I am a mommy to four.