Friday, November 14, 2014

Bittersweet sixteen

"Bittersweet Sixteen," the headline on the New York Times' Motherlode blog read today.  A post from a mother whose son is 16. And, as you might guess, she is mourning the fact that he is growing up -- and away from her. "This is just as it should be, yes, but my pride in his growing independence is mixed with a very real sense of loss."

And then it dawned on me.

Bittersweet 16?  A "very real sense of loss"? 

Oh, I'll give you "bittersweet 16" -- and loss that's very real, not just in a "sense."

Today is -- was -- is -- my due date. November 14. 1998.  One of several due dates I was assigned -- it kept getting revised as her growth rate kept falling further & further behind the norm.  But this was the first one I was given, so I always think of it as the "official" due date. 

My daughter would/should be having a sweet 16 party this weekend.

And (even worse) I almost forgot about it until I saw the header on this article. Bad Mommy. :( 

In my own defense -- I do find the due date, the might-have-been birthday, generally takes a backseat to the date of loss for many loss moms. (And having three of them kind of complicates the matter. ) I thought it might be different this year, since I am not working & would supposedly have more time to think about these things.

Oh well. :( 
Happy birthday, sweet baby girl.


  1. Oh, this took my breath away. Sending love.

  2. Don't ever call yourself a bad mother. You have been mothering your daughter is an amazing way these past 16 yrs. a bittersweet anniversary indeed, but one that I hope is filled with good moments and memories. Thinking of you.

  3. (((hugs))) I understand the feeling that the might-have-been-birthday is painful. For me it is often worse than her birth/death days (9 days apart) in September. My due date was Xmas Eve. Right. Yup. That is exactly what I want to be celebrating when I should be celebrating my own daughter. So many should have beens. I tend to go into serious survival & self-protective mode starting around the end of November each year. This is not fair! (((hugs))) for your daughter's 16th birthday. We'll be crossing that one next year.

  4. Happy Birthday, Katie. Sending huge bear hugs your way!

  5. I always think of Katie when I see my best friend's daughter. She will be 16 in June. I think of what Katie might doing or liking the same things. Hugs to you and Katie loves her mom and dad.

  6. Dearest Loribeth, if it hadn't been this article triggering your memory it would have been something else. Please don't berate yourself for living your life, a life in which you honour the memory of Katie every single day, both consciously and unconsciously.

  7. Agree with the others. You're NOT a bad mother. You're currently living your life the best as you can and Katie would want you to be happy, too. And she'd be proud to know that you've touched and helped other women like me. (((HUGS)))