written in honor of Bereaved Mother’s Day – May 6
She would be six years old.
Her mother would be waking early in the morning, to pack her a lunch and place her items carefully in a brown paper bag, folding the top over, and placing a heart sticker on the outside of the bag.
Her mother would tuck the brown paper sack into the pink, glittery back pack.
Her mother would help her pick out blue jeans with a pretty multi-colored butterfly pattern along the seam, and a purple shirt to match.
This mother would brush her daughter’s dark brown hair and tie it in pigtails with bright green hair ties.
She would see her daughter off to school, kissing her forehead and telling her that she loves her.
After school, the little girl would come bounding up the front steps, pigtails bouncing, holding a small plastic cup with a small, budding flower in it, just for her mother, with a heart scribbled in red on the outside of the cup.
“Happy Mother’s Day!” she’d say, as her mother would open the screen door, scoop up her daughter, and hug her in thankfulness.
That night, this mother would run her daughter a bubble bath, wash her hair with strawberry shampoo, and lay out Snow White panties and Cinderella pajamas.
The mother would brush her daughter’s dark, soft hair and the two of them would giggle together over something only mothers and little girls giggle about.
After the mother finished reading her a Bible story, turned on the princess night light, and tucked her into bed, she would go to the kitchen sink to finish washing the dishes, where the new flower, sitting on the window ledge above the kitchen sink, would cause her to stop and smile.
The very first Mother’s Day gift her daughter ever brought home from school.
Instead, she goes grocery shopping, and places the bags in the back seat of her car, where a booster seat with purple flowers on it and cookie crumblies crunched into it should be.
Instead, the refridgerator door is bare and shiny where sheets of beautiful scribbly artwork should be.
Instead, three feet above the floor level, the walls are all perfectly clean, where tiny smudgy fingerprints should be.
Instead of joining MOPS, she joins a support group.
Instead of calling her daughter’s Brownie leader, she emails her bereavement mentee.
Instead of going through her daughter’s bookbag to find a worksheet with a shiny gold star, and carefully placing the worksheet in a scrapbook for her daughter to treasure and to pass down to her own children someday, she opens her tiny shoebox sized container of items saved from the day her beautiful daughter was born…the day her beautiful daughter died.
Instead of dreaming of passing down her wedding dress to her daughter, she opens the tiny ziploc bag that holds her daughter’s first blanket, and quickly, she breaths deeply, trying to capture and remember every last detail of her daughter, before tightly shutting the bag again.
Instead of teaching her daughter how to write her name, she reads her daughter’s obituary.
Instead of her daughter bringing her flowers from school…
the mother….brings flowers….to her daughter.