As the mother to three wonderful kids and the daughter to a woman who I no longer communicate with, Mother’s Day brings a combination of mixed emotions for me. So I am going to take a few moments to give a voice to those women who might find this day one of the most painful days of the year.
For those women who dream of being a mother, stay strong. For five years I would spend Mother’s Day crying in church. Praying that God would just bless me with the one thing I wanted more than anything, a child. To this day, I celebrate Mothers Day with my children, but that empty void that I felt is still there. I don’t think a pain that deep every truly goes away. Understand that these women can’t have what they want because their bodies have betrayed them. It is something completely out of their control, which only adds to the feeling of failure and emptiness. Along with this, remember the mothers who have lost children. On Mothers Day, their arms feel even more empty.
For those whose mother has passed away, remember the good times. My father died when I was 13 (1981). I still feel the loss on Father’s Day, watching people celebrate their fathers, knowing I need to go to a piece of land to place flowers on his grave for a gift. Embrace the love your mother gave you, know she is celebrating her special day in a way that we can’t see or understand, but she is still aware of your love. Trust that even in death, the bond is still there.
Now for the people who have a mother yet the relationships are so strained they will not be able to celebrate this day together…………let go of the anger, resentment and hatred. My favorite saying is “I can forgive you but I won’t relive you”. This doesn’t mean you have to subject yourself to your mother, but give yourself the gift of letting go. Be thankful for the life she produced, the life that has become YOU. Celebrate your strength. Remind yourself that as long as there is life, there is hope. Tell yourself that one day you could be reunited with your mother, but only if forgiveness and change are introduced into the relationship by both. All you have control over is your part in finding the solution.
For those on the outside of these relationships, unless you have walked the path as these people, you have no idea what caused people to make the choices they have made. Judgment is not what they need. Suggestions and solutions as to how to make such relationships better is also not useful. Trust me, choices such as ending communication with your parent is not easily made. You don’t wake up one morning and decide “I have had enough, I am done”. Accept each person where they are, allow them to talk, let them know that you may not understand the pain, but you validate their need for this distance. Put yourself in their shoes because many go through life believing if their own mother can’t love them, how can anyone else love them.
It seems that on holidays like this, we are swimming in motherly love, yet some of us know that not every family have the white picket fences. Remember that if you are lucky enough to have children, a loving mother and a wonderful family, you are very blessed. Not everyone is that lucky. Now is the time you can use empathy and reach out to those who are hurting. Trust me if you are dealing with the loss of a mother, through death or events, or you look at that empty crib, due to infertility or the loss of a child, Mother’s Day can be painful. What they need, more than a reminder of what they don’t have, is support and love and a reminder of what they do have. They need to know they are not lost in the midst of the celebration.
Now to my three blessings. Michael, Sarah, Faith……….you three human beings are not only a blessing to me, you are an answer to my prayers. You are my sun light, my strength and the love of my life. I am honored and I thank God each day that he let me be your mom. Thank you for forgiving me of my mistakes, loving me through my stumbles and laughing with me during the good times. Motherhood for me is the best job ever, but it reminds me daily of those who aren’t as lucky as I am. For those of you who dread Mother’s Day, I want you know you aren’t alone, people understand.