Happy Mother’s Day, friends! How are you spending today? Are you sleeping late and enjoying a simple but heartfelt breakfast in bed constructed by toddlers? Are you dressing up for a fancy brunch with adults? Are you attending church service with your family, looking forward to hearing the preacher’s message about motherhood and all a good woman’s virtues?
Or are you removed from some of the cultural fanfare, either missing your mother or missing your children? I think of some close friends who lost their Moms years ago, and how even with the passage of time the pain doesn’t stop. This worries me for my husband who lost his Mom just a year and a half ago. I also think of the women in our life who have lost a child, of how no matter who else is in their life, that loss remains a deep, open wound.
This all can be scary, except that I understand how grief can be such a beautiful expression of affection. Love and loss, so closely intertwined.
I am so lucky. My own life has been generously blessed by an amazing Mom who at a young, tender age decided to give everything to me, and then to my four siblings, and now to our spouses and her grandchildren. Her life all these forty-plus years has been all about us, good and bad, no matter how much it has hurt her. But really she shows us joy. She makes us believe that she has loved every minute of the roller coaster, and each of the five of us would agree that Mom is our biggest fan, our most ardent cheerleader no matter what we are trying to accomplish. We may not always admit it, but making her proud and making her laugh is truly one of life’s biggest pleasures.
Mom has been an example of humility and strength, selflessness, resourcefulness, and good, plain hard work. She has also shown me how to be a good friend to people and how to be a good caretaker. She totally embodies gratitude. She is a wonderful cook, talented at creating delicious things out of whatever she already has, and she grows the most beautiful gardens. Slowly, naturally, patiently. Every year her gardens are more stunning. This is how I want my entire life to look.
Time will tell whether I become the woman Mom has shown me to be, but for today I am very grateful. I am grateful for the example she continues to set, for the forgiveness she allows when I hurt her, and also for the freedom she gives me to live my own life, to find my own way.
However you are spending this day on the calendar, I wish you all the Love your soul craves as well as all the strength and openness you need to share the Love you have already been given. I hope your life has been graced by all the best qualities of motherhood so that when someone near you needs it, you can shed that grace all over again. Keep it moving, just like new life. Breath it in and breathe it out.
“Making the decision to have a child- it is momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart go
walking around outside your body.”