Friday, May 8, 2015

On Mother's Day

by Jenna Gassew

This Mother’s Day seems to be a tease. After losing my son in October, I find myself tortured by the holidays that pass. It’s one of those days that should be filled with holiday spirit, friends, and family, but the reality is it is just another day to remind me of his passing. I wish more than anything people would bring him up, or ask to see a picture, but I realize child-loss is one of those taboo topics many people don't discuss. I am not quite sure why because after losing my son, I realized it was more of a reality for people than most thought. I often find myself feeling lost in the world where moms clean up bottles, change diapers, and are running on three hours of sleep. I am lost because those roles are not a part of my everyday routine. My role as a mother now is to visit my son daily at his resting place, decorate his spot for certain holidays he celebrates in heaven, and plan events to create awareness for the fatal birth defect, Anencephaly, that took him from me. I wondered if some people would even consider me a “mom” since my son passed, but then I realized while my arms are empty, my heart is so full of the love I have for my son, and that is what being a mom is all about.

To the Mom’s whose arms are empty this Mother’s Day:
Because of you, my world changed for the better
Because of you, we became a family
Because of you, my life plans became our life plans
Because of you, I did everything for a reason
Because of you, my body changed into a beauty I never knew
Because of you, my body carried not one, but two heartbeats
Because of you, I got to look true love in the eye
Because of you, I cried tears of joy
Because of you, I held the whole entire world in my arms only to say goodbye shortly after
Because of you, I was strong when you had to leave me
Because of you, I learned the value of life is not measured in time
Because of you, I held an angel
Because of you, I am a mom
To my son:
Momma loves you so much. Happy seven months in heaven! We miss you more than you will ever know.

~ ~ ~
Jenna Gassew is from outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Rosemont College with a degree in Mathematics. She is the mother to a beautiful little boy in heaven, Shane Michael Haley. Shane was diagnosed with Anencephaly at 13 weeks gestation. Jenna and Shane’s father, Dan, decided to create a bucket-list on which they took Shane to various places such as Phillies games, New York City, and Ocean City, Maryland. Shane was born October 9, 2014 and lived for four precious hours where he spent his whole life loved. She continues to bring awareness to Anencephaly in honor of her son. More about Jenna, Dan, and Shane’s journey can be found on  their face book page, “Prayers for Shane.”


Cheryl Liberato said...

Jenna you are a mom and a wonderful mom. I lost my daughter and people don't say Happy Mothers Day because they are afraid to upset us. Just like you I want to talk about my angel. You can always message me and we can share stories of our angels. I hope that you and Dan have something special planned to celebrate Mothers Day. God Bless you and give you strength to stay strong. Don't ever forget that you are a mom and a great mom.

karen hansen said...

Jennifer you are very much a mom. I followed your story and cried with and for you. Still check to see if you post anything more. I hope you continue to let us know how you are both doing. I hope one day when you are ready you will share news that you are once again with child. Shane would want that for you. He is an Angel looking down on you both, one day he will be a big brother looking down as well. In those few moments in time as you held your son he knew he was loved by you and all of us who cared and still do. He mattered. His short life mattered. You both matter. Bless you both. With time and support from those of us who care you will find your story will have a happy ending. Happy Mothers Day Benn. xxx

Anonymous said...

Jenna that was beautifully written and as always you have me in awe of your poise and strength. Of course you are a Mom and a very special one to say the least. I truly believe that God picked you and Dan to be Shane's parents because he knew you would love him unconditionally and make the most of every moment you had with him. Keep up the good work you are doing with Anencephaly awareness and Happy Mother's Day!

P.S. Please know I am very proud to tell people your story and say we are related. Kelley

Cindy Moore said...

Happy Mothers Day Jenna! What a beautiful post. And what a beautiful son you have. I too have followed your journey and I check your Facebook page almost daily for new posts, pictures of Shane and to continue to raise my awareness about anencephaly. Keeping sharing, keep speaking up. Surrounding you with love and light.

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