Tomorrow is Not Promised. Kiss Your Kids Today

I always call my mom on my sister’s birthday. She would’ve been 32 this August.


As the years have passed, it has not been the anniversary of her death (eleven days before her 7th birthday), but the anniversary of my sister’s birth that has given my mom the most trouble.


I never truly comprehended the sharpness of her sadness until I had my own children.


Now, with a clarity that came in the instant I first laid eyes on my children, I call to make sure Mom is doing okay. See if she needs an empathetic shoulder to lean on, this day she thought she would forever be celebrating the third wonderful addition to her family.


In this chapter of my life as a mother, when I try for a moment to turn the page and imagine walking in the footsteps of my mom’s journey, I can not do it. A wave of aching loss and horror forces me to retreat before I can even lift a toe to slip into her perennial shoes of grief and sorrow.


It causes me to check on my sleeping children without fail, every night, gazing at their angelic faces, memorizing every darling feature in case I, too, suddenly was denied the privilege.


It gave me nightmares and anxiety attacks when my own son was about to turn seven, fearful of a predestined expiration date, and what if seven year was all I got with him?


It makes me suddenly grab my seven year old daughter and hug her, kiss her, smell her, feel her and be grateful that she is still here with me by the grace of God.


It keeps me turning to God every night, thanking him for this day with my family in tact and for giving me, if not the promise, then the hope of tomorrow with us all still together.


It reminds me to call my own mother, especially on my sister’s birthday, to hold her hand as she walks her fated journey, one child less, but with two remaining children still grateful for her decision to continue living for them.


It also compels me to share my story (An August to Remember) and wish that no mother should have to experience such heartache to be reminded that tomorrow is not promised. Kiss your children today.


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