When I was young, I had sort of ambivalent feelings about the month of April.  The only redeeming factor of the first of the month was seeing my older brothers get pranked by my mom (chocolate covered squares of wax, anyone?), but I was terrified to be made the butt of someone else’s joke.  Easter was fun, but often didn’t wait around for April to begin.  As for the rest of the month, it was too late for Spring Break and too early for the end of the school year.  Even though I was a good student, summer was my favorite time of year, and the spring was just that last stretch before the long, hot days, swimming pools, and wading in the creek.

Nothing changed much as I became an adult.  All through college, grad school, and my early career as a teacher, I followed a similar schedule, looking forward to summer and merely enduring those last few months until it arrived.

And then my mom died. April 14, 2010. From that day on, despite the prolonged daylight, April became a dark month, a reminder that she was gone too soon. That she would never meet the grandchild(ren) Hubby and I would have to work so hard to conceive. Each year, in the days leading up to that anniversary, I would feel myself sink into a blue mood, one I wouldn’t be able to shake until after Mother’s Day had passed and, with it, the onslaught of wound-poking advertisements: no, I am not a mother; my own mother is dead.

Last year, for the first time since her death, April 14th came and went without much notice. Why? Because I was less than a week into figuring out my new role as Mommy. Those early days are a blur of sleeplessness, feedings, tears, worry, and immeasurable joy. My daughter (whose name also starts with A) not only gave me the gift of becoming a mother myself, but she gave me a connection to my mom I hadn’t experienced before. With every act of mothering, there was a recognition, a repetition. She bathed me and changed my diapers. She worried and watched while I slept. She responded to my cries with love and compassion. She watched in wonder as I grew and changed daily.

And so, for her birth month, I want to give baby girl a special gift, one I hope she’ll want to read again and again as she gets older. Twenty-six love letters, one for each letter of the alphabet. It’s not enough, but it’s a small token to show her–and anyone else reading this–how she has changed my world for the better. She is the light of my life, the sunshine that turned April bright again.


18 thoughts on “April

  1. A very special gift indeed. I am so happy that your Aprils have turned around for you and that you have some emotional relief. My Augusts felt the same way for me for awhile until family trips started to take some of that pain away. Take care and best of luck this month, Cheryl

  2. I’m so glad the day isn;t as terrible for you as it once was. My mom had a heart attack January 2nd, and resulting memory loss. It’s been a terrible day for me, but I look forward to it next year since I’ll have a new baby. Maybe it’ll be better for me then too.

    Beautiful post.

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy

  3. Oh my goodness, this made me tear up! I’m a first-time mama to a 9mo boy, and have been writing him love letters each monthly birthday. I hope it’s something he’ll appreciate as a boy/man. Also, my maternal grandparents died on April 4, 2011, just two hours apart! I actually wrote about it that year for the A to Z challenge (http://www.allisonwrites.com/2011/04/death-and-devotion.html). Death is always difficult, but it seems even harder in such a spring month.

    Looking forward to the rest of your posts this month!
    – Allison

  4. Brilliant! So wonderful you have the foresight to leave her this little gift of you, and of her, and of your mother (her grandmother). I think these kind of gifts are the very best, never to be forgotten and forge bonds above and beyond. I have also lost my mother and I feel your grief and I have children of my own and feel your joy. Much love to you and yours.

  5. What an amazing way to honor those you love. Three generations of beautiful women benefiting from 26 posts. And thanks for participating in the A to Z Challenge!

  6. Having kids makes ones whole world a lot different. I’ve seen 5 grow into adulthood and now are giving me grandchildren. My own mother died this past November. Her birth date is in April and this will be the first April without her. I think of her everyday and still think of things I want to ask her. Life goes on and so do the generations.

    Enjoy your children because they become adults so quickly.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  7. I’m so glad April has a second meaning for you now. I had the exact same realization when I had my son- it changed how I thought about my mother. But I am lucky- she is still alive and well, and I was able to tell her how much she meant to me now that I was a mother too.

    Best of luck with the A-Z Challenge!

  8. Oh, my. Heart. the act of mothering pushes us through the day, we don’t have time to wallow in sadness because there is work to be done and those eyes which sparkle with the joy of of life.

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