I have to confess that I wanted to take this post in a million directions. Motherhood and Mother’s Day bring me to my happiest and my darkest moments. I’ve decided instead to share my post in three parts: The Sisterhood, This Sister, and The Sister with Empty Arms.

The Sisterhood…

When you become a mom, you enter into this sisterhood of women who totally get you. From the addled “baby brain” that comes in the early days, to the milestones that make you feel like your kid is the First Child In The World to have achieved such greatness, to the frustrations, the hurts, the momma-bear moments, and the emergency room visits… other moms totally get you.

And you need them to get you. There is nothing like the support you get from other moms. They babysit your kids when your plans go awry and you’re stuck. They listen when you need to vent about the sleepless nights and the endless laundry. Even if it is just someone to be there on the other end of the phone or the email or the text, the sisterhood is who you turn to.

I can’t begin to count the times when I felt like a failure because my kid was a beast to his friends. My mom-sisters understood. I will never forget when my eldest son was finally able to share with me that he was being bullied at school and my heart broke. How did I not know? What should I do for my sweet boy? The sisterhood to the rescue.

The sisterhood is there for you because whether or not they have experienced what you’re going through, they understand what’s at stake. They know the pain and the guilt and the worry that never leaves you – all without having to be told.

This Sister… (a bit about what Mother’s Day means to me)

This is my mom, Patti. (and me, and my sister’s arm.)

My mom was one of those best-friend moms. We had so much in common and really enjoyed spending loads and loads of time together as adults. She died of cancer in 1998 at the age of 51, and there are still times that I can’t believe she is gone. The thing that breaks my heart today is that my children will never know her. She was such a vibrant, smart, and hilarious person and my kids would have loved her. I miss you mom!

This is my daughter, Rowan.

Rowan Johanna died when she was just a baby. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and how much our lives have been impacted daily by having her and losing her. So many people say that everything happens for a reason. I really don’t like to think about it that way. I tend to feel instead that it would be an incredible waste to ignore the gifts and the beautiful things that have come as a result. Rowan Tree Foundation is named for my daughter, and through the work done there, a team of volunteers and I work to support families who are walking this crazy path of life after losing a child. My greatest wish is for people to realize that it is ok to talk about child loss. That we really need to talk more about it.

This is, from L to R, Aidan, Conor, Liam, and Rory.

Fab photo by: UleLoguePhotography.com

I cannot believe that my husband and I have been so blessed with these children! Conor is our adventurer, possibly our writer. He will be exploring and moving and learning as long as he can. Rory is our artist. She is a good friend and the silly one in her crowd. Liam is our jolly yet stubborn one. But as he gets older I’m finding that he really just wants to have things explained to him so he can take action. Aidan is our tender heart. What a love this boy is. Even on our very worst day, I am so in love with these people!

The Sister with Empty Arms…

So many women, too many women, have had to say goodbye to their child. Mother’s Day is a very difficult day for anyone who has lost a child. It is made even more so because the world doesn’t know how to deal with this. Through my work with Rowan Tree Foundation and the Miss Foundation and lots of other organizations, I know of thousands of women who will spend Mother’s Day with empty arms.

If you know someone who has lost a child, no matter how old this child was when they died, please reach out and let them know you remember. You won’t make them sad, they are already sad… but you’ll lighten their heart when you speak their child’s name and tell them that you remember.

Clearly, she is in the sisterhood:

This post was made as part of the #MayMomBlog Hop going on all month long! So far, we’ve enjoyed posts from :

5/1 by Nadia at Musings By The Light Of The Moon
5/2 by Christine at  All About Momsense
5/3 by Crystal at  Domestic But Not Martha
5/4 by Dana at The Sears Family
5/5 by Wendy Jean at Keeping Up With The Pickles
5/6 by Kimberly at All Work & No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something

Be sure to visit tomorrow’s Mother’s Day post by:

5/8 by Jennifer at JennHeffer
About the Author Corinne

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  1. Great post! I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your angel Rowan but I do LOVE your ability to still enjoy the beautiful things. You are definitely an inspiration. Your family is precious and boy, do I understand the ‘sisterhood’!!

    I have really enjoyed this May Mom Blog Hop!! Thanks for mentioning me at the bottom!!

    I am actually terrified! ;o)

  2. Thank you for making me laugh after making me tear up!

    I’m so glad you were able to be a voice for moms who have lost a baby. This just shows the women on the blog hop are diverse in so many important ways.

    This is a beautiful story, and while your loss is heartbreaking, it’s wonderful that you’ve had four gorgeous kids to share your love. Rowan was lucky to have a mother who cherishes her so dearly.

  3. Beautiful post Corinne. It’s amazing to me that we both intended to do light hearted, funny posts, but in the end we posting things much more close to the bone. The stark reality of motherhood is that it isn’t always funny and sometimes it hurts like hell. Those funny moments just help us pushing forward, crying through the tears.

    I’m glad you mentioned that mothers of Angels actually want us to acknowledge their losses. It’s so awkward to know what to say, so too often we don’t say anything at all.

    Happy Mother’s Day, my friend. Thank you for sharing. All of your beautiful children are so lucky to have you as their mom.

  4. I have experienced and grown stronger from the mom sisterhood. I’m sorry about your loss. How wonderful that you have put together a way to help others with angel babies.

  5. I loved this post. I already knew kind of what it was going to touch on and I had tissues at the ready. *used all of them* You are so amazing to have gone through so much and turning that around to help others who have gone through the same or similar situations.

    Thank you for sharing something so awe-inspiring. Your kiddos are so lucky to have you as their mom.

    Happy Mother’s Day sweets. I know Rowan’s looking down and smiling. <3

  6. Thank you all so much for your lovely words. Like Wendy said, we both planned to write light hearted posts and struggled with the way things got all heavy. I apologize to those of you who had to bring out the tissues.

    Looking forward to reading the rest of the mom blog posts this month!!

  7. Corinne, I am sorry I was unable to read your post over the weekend. We were out of town. What an amazing and honest post. I love hearing about beautiful Rowan. Though I never met her, I will always have a special place in my heart for her. And your other children are so adorable! Also, I am sorry about losing your mom.
    I am so glad you shared the Rowan Tree Foundation. I have learned over the past four + years how critical it is to talk with mothers who have lost a child about their son or daughter. Thank you for writing about it on your blog. (((Hugs))) Susan

  8. What a great post. I am so glad to have come across this to share with some of my friends who will benefit greatly from the information. I am truly sorry for your loss and appreciate your strength. Best wishes!

  9. Damyanti and Natalie – thank you.

    Susan, thank you. I have made an effort in the past to separate RTF from this blog, but after the response, perhaps I should continue to mention it. It is truly so important to talk about loss.

    Regina, I am sorry for your friend. I am glad that RTF can be a resource. *hugs*

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