I became a mother that Christmas. A tiny human had made her appearance in my world and nothing was the same.
The healing had started from the moment I knew I was expecting her. Somewhere in the process of becoming a mother, the grief over my own mother’s death had begun to recede. Some sort of circle of life was in play which I would never quite be able to fully explain.
I bought a red velvet dress and had Christmas photos taken of my daughter. I made the Christmas cookies my mother had always made for me when I was a kid. I set out my mother’s nativity set. I played Christmas music and went to Midnight Mass. I reached back into my memory and searched for traditions to give to my child to anchor her to a childhood filled of happy Christmas mornings and love.
Becoming a parent changes you. Like it or not — that decision — to be responsible 24/7 for another human being resets every other priority you thought you had. I was hardly a passive person, but when my child was born, the phrase Mother Bear was not even remotely adequate.
I was fierce.
The love I found in my heart that Christmas for this tiny human was the most miraculous thing I had ever experienced. I could literally feel the pieces of my grieving, broken heart being pulled back together as I held her in my arms.
They’re right. Love does heal all.