17 February 2013

15 years on... taking back more power and making a sad day into a day of celebration

Today, February 17, 2013 is Amber-Rose's 15th Birthday.  It seems almost unreal 15 years have passed since she was born... a lifetime ago.

Every year, this day has been about pain, much as it was the day she was born. And I think that is where I took my cues.  When a baby is born, there is supposed to be joy, celebration.  When Amber was born, for her, there was a double whammy.  First the fact she was born 6 weeks premature meant she was not well and so there was fear surrounding whether or not she would make it beyond those initial hours and nights.  Once it was established she would, what followed was not a celebration of her life, but the relentless pressure on me, her mother to give her up so someone else could be a mother.  So what did that mean?  It meant there was no celebration of a life, there were no flowers, no "Welcome to the world", there was simply an atmosphere one would expect following a child's death.

I can remember that very well and I wanted to scream at them, "BUT LOOK AT MY BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER!!"  She deserved the same celebration of life as any other child who was born.  So it was me who celebrated that with her.  By loving her, nurturing her and spending every minute I could with her.  She was real and living but to many she might as well have been dead.

This atmosphere of grief has permeated every single birthday since.  Her first birthdays were simply awful and those days were written off.  My body went into its own grieving pattern and for the first two - three years, I would have milk come in and an unexpected guest regardless of where I was in my cycle.  Following those years, it was just a day of focusing on the loss and how much pain came with that.  Memories would flood this day and I would curl up and wait for it to pass.  

This day, a day where one celebrates their life with those who love them, became a nightmare, a cause for pain and I dreaded it as so many mothers do.

And yet, this year, this year it is different.  Anger has replaced the pain and determination that this day will no longer be about mourning the loss of her as I have every other day of the year for that.

No, this year I have decided to make it about Celebration.  Celebration of her life.  Celebration that this day cements the fact I am her mother and she is my daughter and no one in this entire universe can change that - pieces of papers and laws be damned. Celebration of her, who she was, is and will be.

From now on, I will celebrate this day because it belongs to her and to some extent, me. It marks a time in history before all the bad happened and as such, is pure.  It was HER day and remains HER day.  Not theirs and it is something they cannot take from me regardless of what they did.

My beautiful girl, I love you so much.  One day I hope we will share this day together and you will know how much you have always been loved.  Until we get to that day, may you know we are here, waiting for you, celebrating YOU and loving YOU.  Happy 15th Birthday.

As always,
Mama xxx

(Picture courtesy of Google images)