Yesterday I met with some new friends and some old friends at a monthly gathering of parents and kids with different abilities. The old friends knew Dan at his worst.
One of my new friends introduced herself, "Hi! I'm (name), mom to (name)." I answered her, "Hi! I'm Jill, mom to an angel."
She paused a minute, looked at me and then a few minutes later, asked how old my child was. I answered "He would be 6 in December."
She paused again, looked at me again, and then realized what I had said.
I am mom to an angel.
There I've said it. It naturally rolled off my tongue, just as if I said "Hi! I'm Jill, mom to Dan." I didn't cry when I said it. Maybe because of the company I was in - parents who understand special needs. Parents who understand life challenges.
It's not a phase I ever wanted to say. It's not a group I ever wanted to be a part of. But sometimes you just don't have control over your life. If I did, Dan would still be here, healthy.
But I have to accept that he isn't. Accepting it doesn't make it any easier, doesn't make it any better. It's just reality.
I will always be Dan's mom. But I am also, now, mom to an angel.