Moving on

I have taken the time to mourn my losses
Appreciate my gains
And the chance to live past my fears

I have scrubbed the house clean of reminders
Nursing pillows, bras, pads of all kinds
And tossed them out like yesterday’s trash

I even cleaned out my hope chest
Put away those hopes
And discarded wishes for babies that will never come

The binkies were easy.
The bottles are gone.
But little pink clothes, so soft in my hands, lingered on

I always put them away before.  Way back in the closet
Maybe next time, I hoped
But now I know next time will never come

My breasts are gone.  I could not feed her.
My ovaries are gone.  I could not create her.
My cancer history would stop adoption.

The little girl I dreamed of is not to be.
She will not come, all pink and new
She was only a dream, a hope, a wish

And I will remain a mother of boys
For as long as I remain
My future intertwined in theirs.

And this, this sealing of the little pink box
Mailing it to a faraway friend
Is the end of the mourning process.


34 Responses to Moving on

  1. I am so sorry. I too wanted more kids, and of course know that they would never allow me to adopt. My husband tells me that someday I’ll have grandchildren, but it’s not the same.

  2. amandalinn says:

    I don’t think I’ve cried in weeks but this did it. I’m so sorry. And you’re such a good mom.

    No adoption… another thing I had not thought about.

  3. JoC says:

    Beautifully articulated (as usual). You are finding your way with incredible style and grace.

  4. Jacquie says:

    Bittersweet but beautifully written.

  5. Spacemom says:

    OR perhaps for your grandchild from one of your sons….

    Hugs Susan. You have much to celebrate as you do to mourn…

  6. liz says:

    so touching and beautifully written.

  7. Alice C says:

    I do understand this grief because I had a long period when I thought that I would be in the same situation although I subsequently went on to have a much loved daughter.

    Let me tell you something that will give you hope… my son has a girlfriend who is absolutely adorable…she is not my daughter but in some ways she is more like me than my daughter. I wish you a relationship with one or both of your sons’ partners which is as special and rewarding as mine with the Lovely MissE.

  8. magpie says:

    Hey. You said that really well. And those little clothes will go off to a little child who will be just graced by your good wishes.

    And, someday, you’ll get a daughter when you become a mother in law!

  9. Kimberly says:

    You just gave me chills, Susan.


  10. I am here after reading Judy’s post on MWC and your post can echo her sentiments again, sad, sad, sad…

  11. Ruby says:


  12. Donna4k says:

    If it’s not too late keep something! and if is too late…get something you would have gotten for a wee girl. A lost dream is still a dream worth mourning, and its ok to have a few soft bits to cry with once in a blue moon. Love and hugs.

  13. AliCF says:


  14. Beautifully written…

  15. Phhhhhhheew.


    Thank God for those boys.

  16. Lisa says:

    Hugs. I know it is not the same, but mine thinks you are one of her mothers ;).

  17. Dear Susan,

    The human response to loss is grief. There are no words to take away the pain of grief.

    Although the loss is permanent, the grief is temporary and healing. In the midst of your pain, take comfort from knowing your pain is recognized by all the caring people in your life, included those who commented above.

    With hope, Wendy

  18. no one says:

    it made me cry but at least you have two beautiful sons. some will never have children.

  19. joann in nj says:

    Oh Susan,
    I am so sorry for all you’ve lost in the last year. But perhaps when Cancer is a distant memory, you can adopt a perfectly pink package!

    check into the adoption, I don’t think all doors will be closed as long as you are cancer free.

    Take good care!

  20. Stimey says:

    I’m sorry. This is beautifully written though.

  21. NoRegrets says:

    How about a big sister to someone?

  22. imstell says:

    Chickenskin, sinus prickles and eye puddles. I know just how you feel. I was finished at two. I NEVER wanted a girl. (God forbid I experience puberty twice! shudder) Yet souls being fickle as they are, mine began a wee mourning keen for the daughter who’s hair I will never braid. It would have been nice to have someone to shop with; a daughter who would WELCOME my calls in adulthood (not exaggerate an eye roll and beg someone else to answer the phone like Daddy-O with his own mother).

    Boys are just boys, after all. They come with certain built in social limitations. 😉 I like to call it Testosterone Poisoning.

    Mostly that keening wail is silent two years later… yet sometimes, if I listen closely, I feel it vibrating in my heart.

  23. Brmom says:

    Susan – that was so beautiful and incredibly well-written. I think some of the most difficult times we experience in life are when we are so very grateful, yet grieving at the same time for what is also lost.

    With hope always for you,

  24. NYfriend says:

    *sniff* Big hugs….

  25. divrchk says:

    I’ve been following LeAnne at and they are in the process of trying to adopt. Have you followed her at all? Most of the writing on the site is done by her husband and it is amazing.

  26. mandi says:

    i have no words. hugs.

  27. Cass says:

    Sending you a hug.

  28. I’ve never said this before:
    but I can’t have any more, for medical reasons.
    I’m cleaning out my attic right now and giving away baby clothes to charity and it is hard.
    But then I hold my son and say thank you for allowing me to have 1 baby.
    I’m tearing up- ugh!
    We just gotta hug those little guys 🙂

  29. Bon says:

    i am late to this and weeping, because i am that faraway friend. and honoured to be…but i sorrow with you, too.

    the little pink things will be treated with love, your ephemeral girl always a part of them somehow.

  30. WhyMommy says:

    Oh, Bon. I didn’t mean for you to see this.

    Thanks, everyone. It’s getting easier to bear.

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