Looking at a blank screen intimidates me slightly these days. Trying to find a balance between overwhelming joy and overwhelming grief is, to say the least, difficult.

Mother’s Day. The epitome of that feeling.

Spending this past mother’s day with my rainbow was more amazing than I could have ever imagined. Spending time with that boy, every minute of every day, makes my heart want to explode. When he looks as me with his mischievous little grin and says “ momomomomomom”, I am his. Anything he desires, anything he could wish for he could have. And the best part? All he wants is my love and attention. These days are passing in the blink of an eye. I will cherish every moment that I am his entire world.

But it was never lost on me, not for a second, that the wee girl who made me a mother didn’t get to share in that day. As always, the innocent remarks of strangers cut like a knife. Ive made peace with the fact that this will always be my reality. That’s ok. Sometimes that sting is strangely comforting.

I never thought that I would say this, but sometimes I miss the overwhelming, all consuming, heart wrenching grief. As odd as it may seem, feeling that way meant she was closer. She seems so far from me now. Several lifetimes. I’ve learned to live with the constant dull ache of her absence, it’s always nibbling at the back neck, never out of my periphery. Settling into my grief and knowing that it will always play a role in who I am and what I do has made me feel further from her. Not from her memory, from her. Each day that passes is a day farther from the last time I saw her face, kissed her cheek and felt the weight of her body in my arms.

And then there are the moments like this one. Where I type things like that and in an instant the flashbacks happen. I am sitting in that bed, in that blue gown. IV’s hooked to my arms, unable to feel my legs, drunk from the morphine and ativan cocktail. And holding my beautiful little girl for the very first and very last time. And in those moments it’s happening all over again. The anxiety makes my chest tight. It’s hard to breathe. I can’t see straight. But she isn’t so far away anymore. And although it hurts, and it kills a little piece of me, I hold on to that horrible feeling for just a second more.

It’s about finding that balance.