I came across this quote earlier in the week and I saved it because it spoke to me, as I lost my mother 4 years ago. Then a few days later, I found this family picture of when I was an infant with my parents and brother. The tears flowed. And they flowed. And they flowed. I sobbed like a baby, 32 weeks pregnant with my second daughter, staring at this picture I had never seen before because my life would soon be that picture. Our oldest daughter will be sitting between us as I hold our new baby, just as my mom held me. We will soon welcome our second and last child, and again, my mom will not be here to see her or hold her. She won’t be here to answer my calls in the middle of the night asking what’s wrong with the baby, the baby is doing this or that, or come to the rescue on the days when I just need a break from my wild toddler and fussy baby.  I found out we were pregnant with Goose just 2 months after my mom passed, so she didn’t even know she was going to be a grandma. During my pregnancy, I felt like I was living out LeAnn Rimes’ song ‘How Do I Live’ every single day. I would constantly ask myself how I was going to raise a child without having my mom’s knowledge and wisdom to help me. My friends’ moms were there to help them with their babies, or answer questions or hold their hand during labor and the birth. How would I get through without my mom? It was so scary thinking about the future and having a child of my own after losing my mom. I would think about my child losing me eventually and it would (and still does) rock me to my core. I know how I felt losing my mom but when I had my daughter, I couldn’t think about how my mom must have felt having to leave her husband, children, family and friends. I would (and still do) cry so hard, I would end up dry heaving. The thought of me being ripped away from my babies and them growing up without their mommy is like a dagger in my heart. It’s my ultimate nightmare. And the fact that my mom was forced to leave her babies destroys me.  Now that I’m a mom of almost two little girls, I am so giddy and excited at the thought of our future together. I was 23 when I lost my mom, so I missed out on some big life events because I didn’t think I could handle them without her. I didn’t have a wedding. My husband and I had a ceremony in the livingroom of our house with just my dad, brother and in-laws present. It was perfect for us but I still dream about planning a big wedding and dress shopping with my mom. My only wish is that I can share those memories (in 30+ years!) with my girls. I do have amazing memories of my mom and I shopping for winter formal and prom dresses during high school and the days when she’d let me play hooky and we would go shopping and have lunch together, memories I will cherish forever. I still wonder how I’m doing and if my mom would approve of me as a mother. I wonder what her relationship with my daughter would be like and if they’d be the best of friends like Goose is with her Grandma, my husband’s mother. I wonder if she sees me from wherever she is and is proud of the woman, wife and mother I’ve become. I wonder if she knows that everything I do for my children and everything I know about raising babies, I learned from her.

– Casey