My daughter’s mother passed away this weekend. She stepped out of her cancer riddled body and moved beyond the veil. She moved from the life of pain, she was living, into the peace of the world beyond this one. Her life seemed so short; she was much too young, but none of us get to decide the hour or time of our passing. Does it seem weird to you that I say my daughter’s mother? I suppose it might. If you read my earlier blog, A Story of Adoption… My Story, it is easier to understand why I say this.
Let me tell you a little about my daughter’s mother. She had a smile that was infectious. It was so infectious it made you wanted to smile and laugh right along with her when she did. She was fun too! Never taking life too seriously. When I was young, long before any of my daughters where around, her husband (at that time) raced cars and I was part of the pit crew. One time, the car got banged up that it needed some metal repaired on the fender. Dottie and I riveted a new piece of metal to car. Then we painted it to look like a bandaid, all the while laughing and joking about our little addition.
There were countless summer bonfires out at her house. It was a time in my life when I was carefree and my responsibilities were few. My biggest “to do” was to make it home in time for my curfew. She was “that” adult who listened to me and took me serious, when so many others dismissed me or told me how I was feeling, was wrong. She helped me see myself as important.
Today, I sometime speak to high school children about adoption as an option for unplanned pregnancies. As part of these talks my daughter provided a recording of what the experience was like for her. Her mother, Dottie, wrote a letter. I would like to share some of her words with you.
When she described the time, right after this beautiful little soul was born, she said; “They called me in and the mother was holding the baby. I was just dying to see what she looked like and she (the Mother) put her arms out to me with the baby; to give her to me. The baby was crying and crying and I said isn’t that beautiful? The sounds of a baby crying. They (the Mother) shake their head no. I’m holding the baby and the baby stops crying and I started crying. I did ask the Mom if this is what she really wanted to do, and she said yes. This baby girl was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on. She had so much hair and beautiful coloring and every finger and toe was there; she was just perfect to me. This Mom had produced the most beautiful angel I had ever seen; there was so much love between this baby and I. I could feel it.”
Dottie always let me and my family be part of her angle’s life. Her reasoning was simple, beautiful, and loving. “I cannot describe the love that I have for the Mom and Dad that gave up their rights to give me that child. That Mom gave me the greatest gift you could give to anyone that cannot have a child. She (Mom) did not give this beautiful child because she did not love her; she gave her to me because she did love her and wanted her to have a good life with a loving Mother and Dad. Time went on, (the baby’s) Mom would come out and see the baby; I never stop her from doing that. That was okay with me because that baby was a part of her life too. I never stopped the baby from having any contact the Mom’s side of the family. Great Grandma and Great Grandpa just adored her. At the time, I was thinking that one day the baby would know she was adopted. So this would make it easier for her, because she would already know that side of the family”.
There was so much love in Dottie. She was so unselfish in allowing my family and I access to know and love this child. She sent pictures often. Dottie and I would have long conversations where she kept me up to date as to what was going on with this daughter, we shared, as she grew. As she grew into adulthood, these conversations decreased and then finally stopped. I will miss those conversations. Dottie always welcomed me, my visits, and my involvement. I see Leeah as daughter to both of us but I see Dottie as her mother. She is the person who did the work of being a mother. Staying up when Leeah was sick, going to her games, concerts, award ceremonies, disciplining her, and celebrating with this girl as she grew. I was only watching from the wings, happy that there could be so much love for her.
No mother/daughter relationship is perfect and Dottie and Leeah have had their differences through the years. It is those we love the most, who can make us the most angry. Fortunately, love can heal all wounds in time. Dottie always shared love with me. As I kissed her cheek that last time and said farewell; I felt that her stepping out of this world would leave a hole, an emptiness, a void. May you be surrounded by peace and filled with love in the place behind the veil, Dottie. Thank you for raising the daughter I was not able too. I love you. I miss you.
I would like to conclude this blog with Dottie’s own words about having adopted the daughter we shared, “I have had nothing but joy, love, and happiness. What I have seen since she’s been growing up; she is so much like her mother and looks like her mother and has the same beautiful qualities as her mother: compassionate, giving, logical, and sympathetic to people’s needs. …So thank you too Leeah’s Mom for this gift from God to me. I know you loved her then, you loved her as she was grown up, and love her now. That makes us all good Moms.”
Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find peace in all of your relationships and your decisions, as if by magic.
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