Friday, May 10, 2013

For Mother's Day

Mother's Day seems to me to be such a weighty day. And not just since I'm without a husband to buy a "mommy from child" card and make my coffee and bring home flowers. That is surely painful, but there are other things too.

The difficulty with this day started for me quite a while back. For years, I longed to be counted among the mothers! And every year, my empty arms ached. I felt sick as the day approached. But then on November 17, 2009, I was given this great, joyful gift of motherhoodone I pray I never take for granted. I am continually amazed and humbled that I have been entrusted with this little soul.

Yet now that I can call this day mine, I still cannot stop aching. I look through my tears at the pain etched on other childless women's faces. And I feel it all over again. I cry for their breaking hearts and their secret sorrows.

And I watch as my dear friend can celebrate neither her mother nor her father on their respective days. These two parents produced my amazing friend who now bravely and beautifully raises her own little one without their presence. So, somehow, without having ever met them, I know them. Because her amazing mothering is a result of being amazingly mothered.

And another friend grieves the emotional distancerejectionby her mother. Living but absent. Excruciating alienation.

Still another can find really nothing positiveapart from lifethat her mother imparted to her. Never nurtured. Abuse and pain haunts and colors her life.

And I think of the multitudes of motherless childrenthe orphans of our broken worldwho wait to finally find themselves in their forever families.

I look at the bravest woman I knowmy daughter's birth motherwhose sacrifice was greater than most mothers could ever imagine. Her first moments of motherhood were those of painful loss. And the world around her rarely celebrates her. Sometimes, in their ignorance, they painfully wound her.

I grieve for my mother-in-law and other mothers that have said goodbye to the ones they raised. It is against the natural order of things. I wonder how often they must think, "Wasn't it just yesterday I held him in my arms? Taught him to tie his shoes? Can he really be gone? Gone before me!"

I listen to the pain in another friend's voice as she wonders and hopes and prays that remission will be long and lasting. That she will have more time with her young children. Years? Yes, Lord, give years!

I think of the military families whose sacrificing of the comfort of being together gives the rest of us comfortable togetherness.

I remember the women whose husbands have gone before them. These dear men will not tell their wives this year how glad they are that they married them and what fantastic mothers they are to their children.

And the men whose beloved wives are no longer thereno longer mothering their children. They try to fill her shoes for their kids, but they know they never can. And those kidsthey have a mother-hole in their hearts.

And so, I remember you all this weekend, knowing that Sunday will likely bring pain. I am so very sorry for your hurting hearts.

And for the many, many amazing mothers I know...I celebrate you.

My own mom. She has taught me how to be a mom. She still mothers me. She cries with me, cooks for me, puts up with me, advises me. She teaches me daily about what it means to swallow your pride, turn the other cheek, give until it hurts, forget about problems and focus on the gifts of life. And she grandparents her five trouble-making but super adorable grandkids. And they are over the moon about their Nana.

My sister. I've never known a more competent person in my life. She juggles an enormous load of people and responsibilities. And kids are on her hips and up her nose. All the time. They stick their fingers under the bathroom door and climb in the shower with her when she thought she would have just a moment of peace. And later she realizes that she shaved only one leg. They spillinto the freshly washed diaper bagall the liquid motrin that the teething, screaming baby needed. They get the stomach flu three times in one month. And while she loves and serves and sacrifices for all these little people (and jokes about the chaos and her pending insanityor in the hard moments, cries and wishes she was comatose), she has myriads of friends counting on her too. And Erika thinks she is the greatest.

My mother-in-law. She raised one of the best men I have ever known. A man who was a gentle, funny, wise optimist who celebrated everything. And she makes my daughter feel that she is the most important girl in the world.

My sweet friends. They compare potty training strategies, nuk discontinuation game plans, discipline tactics, natural sunscreens, crockpot recipes, craft ideas (which I aspire to but never really do with Erika), schooling decisions, and sound advice on mommy coping mechanisms and stress-relievers, as needed. I need you girls and have gained so much from your presence in my life.

And for those who are not mothers but faithfully pour themselves into the lives of young people, I thank you. I am one whose life has been profoundly touched by you. And I watch as you impart wisdom and grace into other young lives.

Happy Mother's Day


  1. Yet I still dare to hope
    when I remember this:
    The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
    Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.
    I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
    therefore, I will hope in him!”

    May the God of Comfort be with us all.
    Peace, Emily.

  2. And every year since 2003 I miss going to the card rack to find the perfect card for my beloved Mom. She was one of the great ones. For that I am thankful. Blessings to all those who find Mother's Day to be difficult. Love you, Mom Emily. Susan Blount