By Alla Zaykova
As I scroll through the posts in the parents’ groups I’m signed up to on social media, I see many different stories. Stories of the daily struggles of parenthood. Stories of love and joy. Stories of courage and perseverance. And sometimes stories of loss. Stories that come with photos from child cancer wards, or prints of tiny feet that bereaved parents will never be able to kiss…
And I pray these parents find the strength to go on. And I pray so that I may never know this kind of pain. And I pray for my little one to grow up healthy and happy.
And as I hold my baby in the small hours of the morning, I realise it doesn’t matter…It doesn’t matter how much time I spent rocking her. It doesn’t matter if the house is a mess and I haven’t showered for days. It doesn’t matter that there are only a few hours left until my alarm goes off and it’s time for work. It doesn’t matter that I’m not a perfect mum.
All that matters is that I’m able to hold my baby for as long as she needs me to and revel in her presence, no matter how tired. Because I know these parents would do anything to hold their babies, and no amount of time would be enough.
I can only imagine what a loss of a child feels like, and there is probably no greater pain. But reading these stories makes me so intensely aware of the fragility of life and therefore its capricious beauty. And it forces me to appreciate the importance of being present in the “now,” because who knows where we’ll end up tomorrow.
But reading these stories makes me so intensely aware of the fragility of life and therefore its capricious beauty.
Over the last few years, my mum has been quite unwell. And I admit, I am absolutely terrified of losing her.
She is the most amazing mum. She has always been my shining beacon through times of darkness. My inspiration and muse. My counsellor and friend.
And sometimes I can’t help but wonder, why did it have to be my beautiful, loving mother who got sick? And I feel like a selfish little girl who just wants her mommy to be OK, so she can continue to be my muse, counsellor and friend.
Yet, as I battle my fears, feeling sorry for myself (yes, like a selfish little girl), I realise one thing: nobody can take away the love she gave (and continues to give) me over the years. One of the many things I have to be grateful for is that I’ve never had a shortage of motherly love.
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