Notes from the Fox Den

by Josie Fox

Hello from the Fox Den and happy Wednesday! I can’t believe we are already in the second week of May. The saying “the older you get, the faster time goes by’ seems to really be true. It feels as if we just celebrated the new year and we are almost half way through 2018.

May is a month of warmer weather, new beginnings and one of the most bittersweet and challenging holidays that I personally face.

Statistically, one in every four women have suffered from a form of infertility, miscarriage or infant loss. I am one in four. Between the ages of 19 and 28 I had a total of four miscarriages and lost twin boys due to premature birth. They would have been 22 years old in November.

For a long time I did not speak about my twins or even view myself as a mother. After all, are you really a mother if your children are not with you?

By speaking out about my experiences and my loss, I have met so many women who have gone through similar situations and had the same disparaging thoughts I did. And this is what I have come to realize, accept and embrace -- we are indeed mothers.

Like many women in my situation, I continue to struggle on Mother’s Day and despite my best efforts, I still feel pangs of loss and jealousy. But that is okay. It is normal. We are allowed to grieve. We are allowed to shut the blinds, log off social media and spend the day in solitude. We are allowed to celebrate. We are allowed to tell the story of the children we carried and lost.

Infant loss and infertility are not the only losses that can cause pain on Mother’s Day. Pain can be caused from distance, estranged relationships or death. Like many holidays, Mother’s Day can be a harsh reminder of an empty chair.

This is a pain that I feel as well. I lost my mother in 2013 and basically stopped celebrating Mother’s Day all together and it became a day I truly dreaded.

Last year; however, all of that changed. It is still a hard day for me, but I felt such an outpouring of love last year that I can now look back on the day with fond memories. I had an amazing group of friends and co-workers that went out of their way to ensure that it was once again a day of celebration and love for me. They went to great lengths to surprise me and shower me with gifts that came from the heart.

That day I learned that being a mother can come in so many forms. It isn’t always about giving birth, it is about being that presence in someone’s life. It is being the shoulder to cry on, showing encouragement, being a guiding light.

To Skye Golson, Elizabeth Cunningham, Denise Barker, Ashley Baker, Mary Davis and Michael Wingwood, thank you. Thank you for helping Mother’s Day become something special for me again.

To those that struggle on Mother’s Day, I understand. I am right there with you.
To all of the mothers, step-mothers, aunts, grandmothers, guardians, mother-in-laws, custodians, foster parents and any other motherly figure, I hope you have an amazing day on Sunday. I hope you are surrounded by your loved ones and feel as special as you are.

Thank you for bandaging our cuts and scrapes, for the kissed boo-boos, for the bedtime stories and for loving us when so often we don’t even love ourselves.

As an update on my little garden, I am still not 100 percent sure what those purple flowers are, but they are growing like crazy. There are so many blooms on them and they are spreading out. I just love their color and they make my patio feel so cheerful.

Of the two hibiscus plants, one is thriving, but I am afraid the other one may not make it. The poor thing was attacked by my dog Kingsley.

For some reason he has a personal vendetta against that one plant and decided that he would eat over half the bush. The poor thing looks so pathetic, as if a weed whacker got a hold of it. It now has a little barrier built around it that I hope will keep him out of it.

The good news, everything else is flourishing and so far the curse of the black thumb has not wiped them out.

I fear that the bird bath may be too bright as I have yet to attract anything to it other than mosquitos and a few wasps.

One final note for the week, if you missed the opening weekend of Blazing Guns at Roaring Gulch...or The Perfumed Badge at the Cherokee Civic Theatre in Rusk, you missed a great show. Tickets for the shows this Friday and Saturday are still available. I hope to see you there!