I will be away from home on Mother's Day for the first time since Meghan died ten years ago. For the first time ever, I won't be physically with my children on Mother's day. Mother's day is always a difficult day for me. While I miss Meggie every day, Mother's day is like a slap in the face. A harsh reminder that I failed at the most basic tenets of parenting - I failed to keep my daughter alive. The guilt is something I've processed and accepted (and have written about before on my other blogs), but I still feel it this day more so than any other, save for the anniversary of her death.
I usually spend Mother's day quietly. I'm usually irritable, withdrawn, and tearful both in the days prior and on Mother's day, and spend time at the cemetery and in her room to "be" with her. I also spend time with my boys, usually at their soccer games, and we often have brunch or a family dinner of my choosing. Being boys, they need significant prodding just to wish me a happy Mother's day! I love being with my boys and celebrating the fact I am their mom, but of course, Meggie is always missing. It's a very bittersweet day.
This year, I will be across the country on Mother's day, at Disneyland. This year, I am running the Tinker Bell half-marathon on Mother's Day. I am also running the Neverland 5k on the Friday before, and the Tinker Bell 10K on Saturday. I have my costumes all set - Tink, of course for the 10k (complete with wings!) and a modified Tink for the half. Meggie loved Tinker Bell and her personality was not unlike the little Pixie at times. At her calling hours, one of the songs that played in her memory was "You can Fly" from Peter Pan. She always used to run up to people, reach her arms up and say, "Fly me?"
This will be the first time I have a Mother's day *just* with Meghan. I feel a bit guilty about not being with my boys, but it is MY day and this year, I needed to do this instead. They don't much care if I'm home or not. They mostly think I'm nuts for doing all this running. The reality is their Mother's Day won't be any different than any other Sunday, other than the fact I won't be home to hound them that it's Mother's day and they should be extra nice to me! We do have plans to Skype and talk via phone and other electronic means of communication and we will celebrate when I return (maybe I'll get two Mother's days!)
I have created a shirt with a quote from Tinker Bell that seems very appropriate to the sentiment of the day and my relationship with Meggie now, that I will wear with my other Tink inspired attire that day. I've added to it a photo of her and this website URL We're gonna "fly" 13.1 miles together. In the process, I hope to bring attention to Meghan's Hope and raise some awareness about tip-over prevention and the importance of grief keeping. I am still the mother of three, I just mother one child who happens to be in the next place and two that still walk on earth with me.
Considering I tear up just thinking and writing about running this race on such a significant day, I imagine I will cry before, during, and after the race. Where am I gonna put the tissues?! I fully expect to cross that finish line and dissolve into tears as soon as I get that wing bling around my neck. I feel for the person who gives it to me and wonders why I'm such an emotional mess.
I know I'm not the only bereaved mother running that day. I also know there will be many women running who have lost their own mothers that day, and are grieving for a different kind of loss. I expect to see a lot of grief keeping, tears, and a whole lot of hugs and support for and from complete strangers, united in our grief, love, and triumph in running on an emotionally challenging day with and for our loved ones in spirit.
So why am I writing about this on the safety blog? Because raising awareness is done in many, many ways. On Mother's day, I will run with and for Meggie, but also to raise awareness. Our team is "Meggie's Pixie Posse." When people ask me about my shirt, or the web site, or who Meggie is, I have an opportunity to educate them. Everyone who sees the back of my shirt (literally at least 12,000 people that day) will see her beautiful face and maybe remember the website and feel compelled to see what it's about, even if they never ask me a thing. If even just one person learns to keep their children and their home safer and prevent tip-overs, it's worth every mile and every tear.
If you'll be there too, message me! Perhaps we'll see each other along the way.
As a secondary request, I would sure appreciate some positive energy and healing vibes on Mother's day. I'm sure I will need it.
As Peter Pan said, "All you need is faith, trust, and a little bit of Pixie dust." I've got all three of those!