If my mom were alive today, she’d probably go into early retirement. Well, probably not (the woman would NOT stop working, no matter how many treatments, sick days, or mental breaks she needed). But she would do everything in her power to take care of her grand kids.
She’d be less than thrilled (and that’s putting it mildly) that I’m having a kid before marriage, but I know deep down she’d be so excited I’m having a kid biologically and support my decision on adopt more kids in the future.
She’d be thrilled to have a grandson as beautiful as Daniel, a son she always wanted but never had.
She’d be with me in Memphis as long as she could and teach me how to be a mom (I’m a firm believer that maternal “instincts” are in fact learned traits).
She’d love Louie and make corny jokes with him about my overall cranky demeanor.
She’d sing lullabies to Baby Keller and Baby Daniel, a voice so rich and full I’d sit in the room until we all fell asleep.
I’m thinking about all of these things on my Spring Break because in less than 3 months I’ll be a new mom. I’ll do my best to raise my baby without my family to guide me in the day to day. Dealing with my mom’s death hasn’t gotten any easier. She’s missed every significant moment in my adult life, as well as my sister’s.
I know this is what every happy moment will feel like for the rest of my life— a cup with a leak that you can’t fix.
Then I looked at my stretched out belly, watch the flutter of kicks as Baby Keller finds her way into birthing position, and I know my mom is still teaching me to this day. She was pregnant with me when her father passed away. She taught me then, and I finally understand, that grief never goes away. We are just better able to handle it. We must embrace the sadness and use it in every moment— let it drive us towards beauty. Like a fine perfume, a minor key, or a stiff drink, the bitterness always leads towards transcendence.