Cora's due date was May 14th, 2006, but whenever I was asked when I was due I just answered "Mother's Day!" It's been 11 years, but today is the first time since that May 14th and Mother's Day have coincided. I have had 11 Mother's Days, 9 with a child in my arms, and 11 due dates, but this is the first time since the first one that have had the both happening together. And it hurts.
Not only that but the Primary Sunday school group sings to the congregation for the mothers, and today would have been the only time all 5 of my children would have been up there to sing for me. Primary is for kids aged 3-11, and Owen is 3 this year. Next year Cora would have been 12 already and not singing. It was kind of a tender mercy to me that Owen refused to go up with his siblings. Even if Cora had been here, it wouldn't have been all 5 kids.
But up until that moment, I was dreading it.
I have been dreading today.
Sometimes grief sneaks up on you. It comes out of left field and bowls you over. But then there are times, like today, when it's like standing on a beach waiting for a tsunami. Standing on the beach, watching the water retreat, knowing what's coming and being unable to move, hoping that the crash of grief doesn't drown you.
Thankfully, in my experience, emotional tsunamis aren't as fatal as actual ones.
But that doesn't mean that you aren't bruised.
That doesn't mean that you don't need time to recover.
That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.
I am so grateful for the four babies I get to hold this Mother's Day. But my heart aches for the one I don't.