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Sweet Matthew,

Today was a tough day for mommy.

I had to make a decision that impacts you and it hurts my heart.

Mommy and Daddy are trying to make a baby brother or sister for you.

But, we’re not having any luck.

Mommy still nurses you in the morning and at night and those quiet moments with you are amongst my favorites of the entire day.

For nearly 18 months, we have greeted and closed the day nursing and connecting with one another.

But now, we will begin the day differently. With hugs and snuggles. With giggles and smiles.

We want so badly to give you another sibling.

Another person that you can lean on.

Another person to make you laugh.

Another person to love you when Mommy and Daddy are no longer here.

So, we will nurse a bit less to see if that helps.

It hurts me to take from you so that I can give to you.

We will still nurse at night and I will savor those moments with you.

My sweet boy. You will always be my baby.

Always.

I promise you.

Always.

I love you, sweet Matthew,

Mommy

Your joys so much greater…

This week’s Small Moments Mondays guest poster is…me!

I wrote this letter to Katie last Monday and since today is my birthday, I’ve decided to share it with you here!

Thank you so much for reading…

Dear Katie,

When Daddy left for work this morning, he asked you to go easy on me today. Mondays are always rough, as we try to find our groove again with Daddy back to work. He told you that I needed some extra hugs and that you should snuggle with me as much as possible.

And you did.

You molded into me, stroking my arm and squeezing my hand.

You tickled my neck and “read” to me.

You simply loved me.

You are such a beautiful child, Katie. Kind and tender, intuitive and observant.

You aren’t yet four, but somehow you are so much older than your years.

It brings me so much joy to look at what a lovely person you are becoming. I see hints of the woman you will one day be.

I am so grateful to have you in my life.

Life is so filled with twists and turns, my sweet Katie. Sometimes I want to hold you you tightly and refuse to entertain the idea of you growing older.

But you will.

You will.

And I hope to be there by your side, sharing the bits of wisdom that I’ve gathered on my journey.

Small things, like always carry tissues in your purse, to bigger things, like reach for all of the happiness that your arms can hold.

Tiny things, like Dave Matthews must play a central part in any road trip, to more important things, like don’t be too hard on yourself. You will stumble. We all do.

I hope to be there to tell you where I made mistakes and where I made great choices.

And, like all mothers, I hope that your sad times are fewer than mine and your joys so much greater.

Because, if I know anything to be true in this world, it’s that I love you, Katherine. From tip to toe.

You are truly remarkable.

And I’m blessed that you’re ours.

With a heart just brimming with love,

Mommy

*********************

I’m honored to be guest posting over at my lovely friend Natalie’s blog, Mommy of a Monster, where I am sharing one of my less than stellar mommy moments. It would mean the world to me if you would come over and say hello.  Come read, “To Be Sure.”

One More

There are times when I am so fearful that the baby that we want so desperately won’t come.

I look at Katie and Matthew and my heart aches for just one more child.

One more child to be a part of what we have built.

One more child to have all that neither Craig nor I had.

A solid family. A mother, a father, predictability, stability.

When I see Katie run for the garage door to greet Craig when he gets home at night, a piece of me heals.

When I nurse Matthew at bedtime and I can hear Craig reading Katie her bedtime stories, a piece of me heals.

When I come downstairs on Saturday mornings and see my family together, snuggling on the sofa, a piece of me heals.

When I catch Katie watching me kiss her daddy, a piece of me heals.

I didn’t have this.

Craig didn’t have this.

But our children do.

It is such a remarkable thing to experience…this feeling of being part of a solid whole.

Just one more baby…just one more tiny life with whom to share all of this.

Just one more.

For berries…

I have a surprise for you, Chole.

My Aunt Judy, my godmother, always had a surprise for me. Always a lovely little indulgence.

Let’s go out into the garden.

I reached for my shoes and noticed that she had left hers behind.

Look over there, past the hydrangeas…

The grass was silky and sleek beneath my feet as I skipped along.

look beneath the elm tree…

With my chubby hand, I shielded my eyes from the harsh noon sun.

just there, against the white fence.

There, in the cool shade grew hidden treasure…brambly, plump wild raspberries.

Pull those branches apart, that’s where the sweetest ones hide. Choose a crimson one….the others are still bitter.

We had no money for berries. Our fruit bowl held Macintosh apples, navel oranges, bunches of bananas.

Give it a gentle pull, it will come off easily if it’s ready.

We often had no money. For doctors. For books. For rainboots.

Be careful, those thorns are like tiny fishhooks.

I swiped away stray strands of my sun-bleached hair that were blocking my view.

Got it? Okay, now taste it…

I had seen raspberries before, I’d tasted raspberry flavored Kool-Aid before, but this was different…so much better.

Have another…

We had no money. The grown-up apologies in my mother’s hazel eyes told me so.

May I have one?

In the shade of the elm, we ate our entire bucketful.

I couldn’t wait to share these with you…

There, with juice-stained hands, fingernail beds, and lips, those wild raspberries made me feel rich.

 

This post is in response to the this week’s RemembeRED

prompt that asked us to write about our favorite fresh fruit or vegetable.

 

 

 

Happiness is a choice…

A few words before you read…this post assumes that you know about my father’s death. If you are new to my story, you can read about it herehere, and here.

Also, I have exceeded my word count with this story and it is truly sentimental. But it is mine and to cut words would be to cut meaning. I just couldn’t do it.

My grandparents stepped in to fill the void left by my father’s death and to offer me a sense of connection to him.

My grandfather, honorable, and upstanding, strong and true, was a leader in the community.

My grandmother, soft and loving, tender and compassionate, taught me to express my feelings, talk when something bothered me, and listen when someone confided in me.

There were no silences, no empty spaces where words should be.

They taught me that happiness was a choice, to see the sunshine and smell the flowers, to cherish my life.

They taught me that I could have more and be more than I ever dreamed.

I spent every weekend with them.  Looking back on that time now that I am a mother, I can’t fathom having Katie and Matthew gone every weekend, can’t imagine those days without them.

My mother let me go for their sake…to help ease their pain from the loss of my father.

My grandparents offered me routine…predictability.  They were constant and true.

Friday nights were for settling in and entertaining company. Friends or family came to play hands of Bridge and 31, but before they arrived, my grandparents played Spite and Malice with me, teaching me the joy of game play.

On Saturday nights, after supper, baked beans and homemade macaroni and cheese, we settled into the living room, where Lawrence Welk greeted us.  Once I made it through the boring polkas, I was rewarded with The Love Boat.

Hands were never idle in my grandparents’ home.  As we watched television, my grandmother taught me to knit and crochet, always giving me a task perfectly suited to making me feel both challenged and accomplished.

Before bed, I helped my grandmother roll her hair, then climbed into my bed, in my own room at their home, the sheets ice cold.  It’s such a funny thing now to think about.  How strange it is that something as simple as a properly made bed can make such a difference at the end of the day.  The ritual of peeling those covers back and feeling the crisp, cold linens, inviting you in for your warmth, is a truly magical thing.

Why didn’t I make my bed at home?  Why didn’t I realize that I could create that routine for myself?

I would lie in bed on those nights and imagine what it had been like to be my father, their child.  They  pushed, yet comforted him.  They had high standards, yet comforted and encouraged him after a failure.

Sunday mornings were lovely.  My grandfather, up before the sun, greeted us as we made our way to the kitchen to collect hugs and my grandmother’s steaming hot coffee.  We went back to her bathroom, where I helped remove her hair curlers and place those soft rollers and plastic picks back in their bag. She fluffed and comb her hair and spritz on her perfume.

We ate the same thing every week…thick, greasy bacon and eggs fried it the fresh bacon grease.  Biscuits and baked beans from the night before finished our meals.

We dressed for church and drove the short distance to take our seats in the very front, in a pew with a brass plate that bore my father’s name.  The bibles in our tiny little chapel, were donated by my grandparents in my father’s memory.

There was something about reaching for and holding one of those bibles that made me feel connected to my father.

These people knew him.  They knew my grandparents.  And it was one of the very few places that I can remember where I didn’t feel shame…shame of being the child whose father had been murdered.

There, I was accepted and encouraged.

I was hugged and kissed and told a million times over that I was my father’s child through and through, his spitting image.

The relationship that I shared with my grandparents couldn’t have existed if my father had lived…of that I am certain.

With the loss of my father came something so very beautiful and important.

I wouldn’t be me without them.

I welcome concrit on this piece…I feel like the structure should have been different somehow, but my mind just couldn’t pull it together. Every time I write about my grandparents, I’m swept away by my love and memories of them…it’s tough to see things with any perspective. Any suggestions?

This piece is linked up with The Red Dress Club. Our challenge this week was to find beauty in something ugly.



About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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