Friday, February 13, 2009

Mothers and Daughters

As I stated yesterday, I am so thankful for the new things the Lord is doing in our lives and am very much looking forward to bringing home a healthy baby girl this spring. For a long time I felt that God was calling me to be the mother of boys for a reason and now that idea seems not to be holding up.

Yesterday would have been my own mother's birthday and the day before this I found out that I would in fact be having a daughter of my own. This has all stirred emotions in me that I have not dealt with in a long time.

I have shared before that my mother died when I was young. I grew up without a mother. I can't deny that I grew up with an amazing grandmother, but it is just not the same as having your mom. I am realizing still that I hold a lot of anger and bitterness toward my own mother. When I was a mere nine years old she took her own life. Now, as I have said before, I KNOW in my head that she was sick, I know that she was not in her right mind and I know that years ago it was very taboo to talk of mental illness. I know that but trying to tell my heart is another story.

I have seen what it has done to those she left behind. I have seen how it has derailed the lives of those who loved her most. When I think of her I don't look back fondly with love, I look back and see a selfish coward. I know that seems harsh, but it is true. I am the nine year old who had to grow up too fast. I saw my dad deal with guilt and hurt in ways that were unhealthy and to this day that man immerses himself so deeply in work and staying busy so that he doesn't have the time to feel the deep wounds she left. I saw my grandmother, her sweet mother, literally lose her mind to grief to the point of having to be hospitalized for it. I have seen her siblings and how their guilt and pain season their lives in ways they never imagined. I have grown up alongside a sister who's wounds have never fully healed.

I know she was sick, I know that, but what about everyone else? What about our hearts, what about our brokenness? Not once did she think of that. Not once did she realize that she had two daughters who would be lost without her. I am angry and I still have not been able to let go of it. I have watched as my friends had precious time with their mothers as they had lunch and shopping dates, I have wondered what it would be like to have a mother who enjoyed shopping with me for dresses for dances and prom rather than a dad who was trying his best and his only goal was just to have me covered from chin to toe :-).

I know she had pain, we all do, I know she didn't know how to properly deal with her pain, but she never had to know what it was like to be a teenage girl without a mom. To go through High School and all that that entails without the love and guidance from her own mother. She never had to know how it felt to find the perfect guy and want to share that so badly with her mother only not to have her there. She never had to plan a wedding without ever knowing the joy of shopping and planning with her mom. Her mom was there. She was always there.

She never had to know what it was like to so badly want to have a mother to share her life with, get advice from, just be close with. Yet she chose this for me. She was not there the first time Howard and I had our first married fight and I thought the world would end. (As silly as it sounds I felt horrible for sometime that Howard would never have a mother-in-law)

I was blessed to become pregnant early in our marriage, but found myself at a loss when I desperately wanted no one but my own mother to share in the joy and tell me about her own experiences. She didn't plan a shower for me. She wasn't there the day my first son was born to dote on him, her first grandchild. My children will never know what it is to have a maternal grandmother and because of that, a fully present maternal grandfather.

She wasn't there when I found that we were expecting our second son, and she wasn't there when we were told he would surely die. She never held him or knew of the beauty in his short life and she wasn't there to hold me as I lie in bed as broken as I had ever been both physically and emotionally. She wasn't there to help me figure out how to explain life to Luke or how to grieve with my husband. She wasn't there as we welcomed our third son to kiss his bright red hair and to know the joy he has brought to our family. She wasn't there when we found out we were expecting a FOURTH son and she wasn't there moments later when we were again told our child would not live. And she was not there February 22, 2008, a day I consider the most beautiful. The day that this world was graced with sweet Asher just as quickly as he left. And again, she was not there to help me in my brokenness.

Here I am expecting my first daughter and I have to admit that I am terrified. Terrified that I will not know how to be her mom. I never got to experience what it was like to be a girl who had a mother. I know that God will guide me and I know that once she arrives that everything will fall into place. I know that though I don't know the first thing about a mother daughter relationship, I will learn just as I have learned to be the mother of sons. I cannot promise her perfection, but I can promise that I will do everything in my power to be there for every joyous moment and every sorrow. I am sad, sad that my own mom wont be here to welcome her first granddaughter I am sad that I don't have a mother to be excited with and shop for sweet baby girl things with. I am sad that I don't have a mother and daughter relationship with my own mom to learn how to be a good mom, instead I have my mother's mistakes to learn from.

29 comments:

John, Jessica and Emma said...

Kristi,
I am so sorry. I know you God will guide you through this, you are a wonderful mother. You do a great job and while I am sure it will be different, you will do an amazing job with your little girl as well. God is doing a new thing and CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am so excited for you guys!!! Enjoy buying the pink!!! (It is sooo fun!!)
Jessica

Christa @ Quintooples said...

Kristy,
I can't describe how deeply you touched me in your post. I can't say that I know exactly how you feel, but I know a little of how you feel.

You can be different. Trust me, you can be, and you will be. If you ever want to talk...I am an email away.

mrsrubly said...

i am so excited for you to have a little girl! i know that you will be a perfect mother to this little peanut! you can take your own experiences and turn them around.have a better mother daughter relationship! you are a terrific momma!

mrsrubly said...

i am so excited for you to have a little girl! i know that you will be a perfect mother to this little peanut! you can take your own experiences and turn them around.have a better mother daughter relationship! you are a terrific momma!

Devin said...

Kristy,

My heart just ached for you as I read this.

Can I share something with you? Though I can not relate at all to what it is like growing up without a mother, I too have the feelings of 'not knowing' when it comes to parenting. I had them before I had the boys; I have them now, dealing with things like schooling; and I also have them even thinking of having a girl. I know the reasons behind why I fear that are not the same as yours, but it is real to me all the same. (I don't even know what I would do with a girl! *hee hee*)

But, I know that God will never give you (or I, for that matter) more than you can handle. You have certainly proven yourself more than capable of handling the most difficult things that life can throw at you. I just wanted to be an encouragement to you today. If you can handle what you have been through with the grace that you have shown thus far....

...you are going to be a great girly-momma.

Love ya girl.

The VW's said...

I am so sorry for the pain that you have had to endure in your life and I'm sorry that your mom wasn't there to help you through it all!

But, I have a feeling that you will be the MOST WONDERFUL mother to your daughter! Your suffering and your not having a mother for much of your life will probably make you an even better mother to the precious girl that you are carrying! May God show you the way and give you peace and love always!

msharae said...

My mother's parents weren't particularly supportive of her in a lot of ways, and because she had felt like she was missing out on a lot of aspects of a good relationship, she tried EXTRA HARD to make sure she didn't make the same mistakes with her kids as she felt like her parents made with her.

I think that being self-aware enough to know that you've got "issues" to work through about your mom, particularly in order to be able to have a GOOD mother-daughter relationship (and to have good relationships with your sweet boys), is a GREAT START. God can fix this, too, so LET HIM. :)

Becky said...

Once I read that God doesn't give us the gender of baby that we want, but He gives us what we need. You are going to be a wonderful mom to this little girl. Of that I am 100% certain. I read through various blogs and you are such a blessing to others who have walked the same path as you have.

Mama10EE said...

Your promise to your little girl is the best one you can give her...to try your best and be there for her when you can. That's the only thing that you can do. You can be different from your mother. You HAVE learned her lessons. You KNOW you want something different. That is what matters.

If you get a chance, listen to Martina McBride's song In My Daughter's Eyes. Although you may have heard it before, it takes on an entirely new meaning when you have a daughter of your own. I struggle daily with many of the psychological problems that most likely plagued your mother. My daughter has kept me from setting a fate exactly like your mother's. For that, I cannot begin to express to her how much she means to me. Your daughter will be the same for you.

Kelly said...

Kristy,
You are an awesome Mother. I don't know what it is like to not have a Mom but can tell you that I know some of your pain that you are feeling. You are a strong person and with God guiding you can accomplish anything. This baby whether it is a boy or a girl will have the most amazing parents that I have seen in a long time.

By the way...I predicted a girl. I was right with Cooper too. Perhaps I am in the wrong business. Enjoy the "pink" buying, after all the boy stuff I am sure you will have a blast. It will all come naturally, I promise.

Hugs,
Kelly

Amy S. said...

Kristi,
What a heartfelt post.Wow! You are amazing in sharing your pain with all of us. I'm so sorry for the way you feel. Know that so many of us are thinking of you.
Congratulations on having a girl!
You won't know what to do with all that pink!

Love and Hugs...

Corie said...

So much heartache my friend...praying for you. I do know you will be an excellent mommy to your daughter, just as you have been for your sons. You have endured much loss in this life. I am so sorry. I am praying for you, your aches and the joy to come.

meela said...

Oh Kristi, a girl!!! I am so happy for you, and believe with all my heart that you will be an amazing mother to your daughter. Here you are, being forced to confront issues you would rather not, and could there be a more beautiful and miraculous way for you to be forced? I hurt for you, and what you have been through. I pray for you and think of you often.

Melissa said...

I have never commented before, but wanted to "shed some light." First and foremost, please know I truly am saddened to read about your two sweet boys in Heaven. I have two myself and cannot for a moment imagine the journey you have walked...You truly are a remarkable woman how strong you are and the faith you have is something to be so proud of. I love reading your Blog.

Although our stories are not the same, the outcome will be...My husband lost his dad when we were 23, right after we got married. Now loss means he physically left this earth, but he never had him in the first place. This is the dad who left his boys waiting every other weekend and never showed up, this is the dad that also never showed up to a baseball game, birthday party, graduation. Yet, my husband was the one left with the deep deep pain because HE felt guilty that he wasn't a better son and should have tried harder and it was his fault he never got a chance to say goodbye. That pain has made him the father he is today. His sons love him more than life itself because of it. He is always there and always will be, they will never feel the pain he felt as a child or an adult, not for a minute and neither will your sweet baby girl. Those moments growing up will never leave you and THAT is why you will be a great mom to her. There is nothing more sacred than mother and daughter, IF you allow it to happen. I pray for you that you will be her rock, that she will know she can turn to you for anything, that she will want you there EVERY step of her life because YOU created that trust. And just wait until she looks into your eyes, it will all fall into place. I am sorry the loss you endured growing up, no other words than simply unfair....

. said...

Your post was so beautiful in its truthfulness and raw emotion, and just what this sometimes depressed mother of a precious 8 year old girl needed to hear.

I'm thrilled that you are growing a healthy baby. And extra thrilled that it is a girl.

Laura said...

Thinking of you....you are going to be an amazing mama to your little princess. God will continue to do a NEW things each day, each moment.

Katie said...

Wow on the post, Kristy! I can't say I can completely understand how you had to grow up, but I do get some of the emotions of losing somebody to taking their own life. My sweet husband's brother took his own and I have seen such an ugly fall-out from that in his family. It's a horrible, awful tragedy that nobody should have to live through.

Thank you for sharing that. Thank you for sharing your life with me. I appreciate seeing your heart. You will be just as wonderful as a girl-mom as you are a boy-mom. And baby girl Bolte will be so beautiful and fun.

Katie

Allison said...

The cool thing about going through loss and tragedy as a child is you get to do things different when you become a parent. The things you know you lacked as a child from not having a mother, will be the things you will give in abundance to your own daughter. And she will call you blessed! Amazing how God brings good out of a situation that so easily could have turned out tragically. My daughter and I have such a special bond and I hope it lasts forever! Enjoy her, you are going to be a great mom to her and your sons are going to be awesome big brothers! Thanks for sharing your heart.

sumi said...

Kristy...you will be a wonderful girly momma. I am so glad for you!

paperglueetc said...

Wow! What a great post. I can't imagine your heartbreak, well that isn't entirely true. You see my maternal grandmother killed herself when my mom was 10, unlike you my mom never dealt with her feelings I've never heard her say she was angry, etc. My mom is a terrible mother, she could care less about being a mother and I think that stems from not dealing with her own feelings. She grew up without a mother and she thinks she did just fine so she takes her role as a mother very lightly (lots and lots of counseling have gotten to me to that peace..ha). I think you will be a great mom because you know how important that role was to you. You will be a great mom because you might not have had a "mom", but you had a heart and you know what that heart needed from a mom. Stop by my blog sometime I have post dedicated to daughters, it the second toughest relationship in my life, being a daughter was a disaster and I just want more then that for my girls. Sending you a huge hug! Sorry this is so long.

Mrs. Angel Ghastin said...

Kristy,

I'm not sure what it was like to be without a mother...but I do know what it was like to be without a father. My father took his own life when I was eight years old. It didn't even seem real at the time. For a long time, I didn't even understand what it meant but later everything became clear. He was never there...when all my friends fathers were. I longed for a father and every time I saw one of my friends with their father, I hated mine even more. How could he do this to me? He was a sick man. For the longest time, I didn't understand why he did it. I couldn't remember anything good about him...I hated him! But, he was already dead. I dreamt of him often, most of the time it was the same dream. He was wounded and begging for my forgiveness. I was afraid. My dreams seemed so real. It was as if he was really in the room with me...I'd start to run, trip and fall, and then I'd wake up. This took place for a long time (11 years). My anger took over everything. I hated men, I hated my mother, I hated my brothers. I doubted and questioned everything. All I could remember about him were the bad things I had seen happen. It wasn't until I was in nursing school, 19 years old, when I was forced to attend AA meetings for a learning experience that I finally came to understand my father. He was an alcoholic ( not an illness to me at the time...a choice...a choice he made over his family). I had to attend 6 meetings total. As the men and women stood up and told their stories, I was floored! It was just like my father, pretty much every single story. I began to undertand as these men and women pleaded for forgiveness and spoke of how they struggled every day. I wept...over people I didn't even know. It was then that I began to understand that alcoholism was an illness and addiction, not just a choice. I started asking questions about my dad to my family members. I was told what a good man he was...when he wasn't drinking. Even my mother, who loved him dearly but suffered from his addiction, told me beautiful stories of how he loved us so much. How he would rock me to sleep and sing beautiful songs to me. I started to remember the good times I had had with my father. I would remember something new...ask my mother...only to find out that it was true. I had blocked out good memories and replaced it with the only thing that made sense at the time, anger. I have forgiven my father, I no longer dream of him wounded and begging. And as you do, I long for him to share all the things that he could not with me, but this has become a comforting feeling instead of an emptiness because I know now that if he could of...he would have been here.

I hope that you will eventually find comfort in the memories of your mother. You ARE a GREAT mother (deep down you know that). It is probably the experiences you have had that have made you as strong and resilient as you are. Your boys are lucky to have a mother as dedicated as you are, and your baby girl will be the luckiest one out there. Don't doubt yourself, you are amazing and your faith will carry you forward. Rejoice in this beautiful gift, you will be a better mother to your little girl because of your mother's illness...and when the time is right, you will thank her for that. Truly Kristy, try to find a way to forgive her, and I promise you will feel a heaviness lift, one that will allow you to breathe like you've never done before. Lots of love and prayers for you and your family. I love you guys!

Angel

teampischke said...

I read your blog and never comment.. BUT I am thrilled you are doig well and that God is choosing to give YOU a baby girl. God will give you the grace you need. He has brought you through so much he will not forasake you now...
On a side note.. my grandmas name is Happy and I have often prayed for your little baby by the name Happy!
blessings
Dena

Kim (marygracesummons.blogspot.com) said...

Kristy,
It is nothing but joy to see what this world has handed out to you and to see that although yes you have hard days, struggles with it all (who wouldn't) but that you still give God the glory, you still rely on Him to pull you out of the pit, you still search for ways to be all that He intends!! And He has set in place for you to be a 'girly" momma and you will be more to her than you could even imagine. She is so lucky to have you with all your wisdom, with all that knowledge of what life with God is like when all you can do is just rely on Him. That's priceless friend, you have something priceless.
I love you and am praying for you every step of the way.
Kim

Michelle said...

I have been seeing dandilions everywhere and I think of you! I did not know this part of your life story. You are an amazing, strong woman of God... you are going to be an incredable mama to this baby bolte #5!!! Just as you are to your boys. God is so good!

Christa @ Quintooples said...

Kristy,

I had to add that you are going to have SO much fun buying her all the 80's toy's that we used to play with that are back in fashion now!!! hee hee! I know you said the other night that you want to buy her a cabbage patch doll. I buy Reagan My Little Pony's. It's SOOOOOOOOO much fun!!!!! I will say that it's a *little* hard not to go overboard. ;)

P.S. To Michelle....I am a LITTLE jealous that you are seeing dandelions. It's a nice gesture, but here in the tundra we are bracing for another round of a foot of snow by the end of the week! Enjoy your dandelions! But Kristy!!! How nice that when you bring home your PINK bundle of baby Bolte you will have dandelions to greet your new arrival!

siscaboo said...

I had a mother, but, not the kind nurturing one that everyone wanted. I was taken from her at the age of 9 and lived in foster homes. When I had my first daughter, I was scared, scared that I didn't know how to be a mom, but, as I began thinking there were many role models in my life that did teach me how I wanted to be as a mother. One of my foster mom's was a blessing and I took lessons learned from her, and from some of the older ladies at church who also nurtured me. I also had role models that I knew that I didn't want to be like and that also helped me. Plus, life is a learning experience. You never know what to expect. You just go with it and learn from it. Being scared is good. Having doubts that is good. Lean on the people closest to you. They'll help you. I promise. And love, well, we all know you are gonna love her, and that is the most important thing. ((HUGS)) You'll do great.

siscaboo said...

You are gonna be an awesome mommy. Just love, live, and learn. Lean on those cloests to you and it will all fall into place.

aos98 said...

Kristi, I've often read, but never commented, but just had to this time.

I've been where your mother was, but never got to the point of actually trying to take my own life, but desperately wished I wasn't such a coward (yes, at the time I believed I was a coward for not even being able to do that)..but that dark place is so bleak, so unforgiving, so horrible, I can't describe it. In the very depths of that black hole, there is nothing, no love, no feeling except horror, horror and desperation at life, and how awful it is. It is something I cannot even begin to describe.

But in the depths of that horror, I believed that my family would be better without the burden of me on them. I honestly believed that if I died, not only would they get over it, but they'd probably be relieved that they no longer had to live with this awful person that I was. Depression alters the mind in such a way that cannot be described.

Having been to the depths of that black hole, I'm sure that your mother really believed that she wouldn't be leaving behind a grieving family, that in fact they would be all better off without her. And it wouldn't have mattered if you'd told her this ten times, a thousand times, "knowing" this and "feeling" it when depressed are two totally different things.

You can learn from your mother's love as well..in her head, bad as it was at the time, she honestly believed she was sacrificing her life to help you have a good one, a good one without her.

I hope you won't judge me for saying all this..but just wanted to give you an insight from the other side.

heather said...

i'm so glad you shared- you probably don't remember- but i've emailed you as i have three sons and now a daughter and have also lost 2 babies.
i have asher as a son, and isaac as a brother, so i think of you often. :)

my daughter is the youngest and is now 10 months old. i too was terrified to have a girl and was quite comfortable mothering boys. i have a decent relationship with my mom now but there are many things i wish she had shared with me.

it was a lot like being a first time mom, but i have to say, the older she gets the more in love we fall. i adore watching her daddy soften even more with her, i love putting bows in here hair and celebrating her girlieness and i love how having her is healing places in me and letting me enjoy my femininity even more.

i'm thrilled for you. we continue to pray for protection of this little one as she grows, and for the transition of your family.

have loved reading the updates of how you've celebrated the boys you've lost.

thanks for sharing your story- i look forward to "watching" you explore life as a mother of a daughter.

welcome to the "multiple boys then a girl" club. :)
lol!
-heather