There are two days out of every year which are especially difficult for those grieving the loss of a loved one. The person’s birthday, and the anniversary of their death. I give myself a free pass on those days. Today is Jillian’s birthday.
I remember that day. The day you were born 31 years ago today. I can still feel the excitement as the nurse placed you in my arms all those years ago. My first baby girl after two boys. Oh, what Joy! As I gazed down at your beautiful face with that head full of dark hair, I instantly fell in love. You are here. You are mine.
While I had two boys already, I knew raising a girl would be quite different and I felt unprepared. How am I going to teach this little girl to be strong and independent? To think for herself and to learn how to navigate through this world without losing herself?
I didn’t need to worry. I learned more from Jillian about life, strength, willfulness and perseverance than I ever could have discovered by myself.
I wanted Pink. She didn’t.
I wanted cute frilly dresses and bows. She wanted her brother’s shorts and high-tops.
Jillian needed to be herself, and she taught me to let her. She was MY teacher, and she continues to teach me how to live my life each day by how she lived hers.
So, thank you, Jillian. Thank you for being born. Thank you, for being you. Thank you for giving me the most incredible gift of being your mother, although, not nearly enough time with you.
Thank you for showing me that you were never mine.