I am blessed to be a mother. I am blessed that my own mother is still living and I can call her, email her, text her, chat with her, etc. at any time. At the time of this writing, I still have two living grandmothers, though one is not doing well and is technically my dad’s second mother. I never met my mother-in-law, as she passed away eight years ago, just before I reconnected with my husband, mere months before we married.
A few years ago, Mother’s Day caused me overwhelming sadness. While I gladly celebrated my mother and grandmothers, I wondered when I would have my own family. I daily looked after the needs of the children of others – parents who willingly placed their children in a children’s home. I had difficulty being humble, believing I deserved to be blessed with a loving husband and family of my own because I would know how to treat them. Year after year passed before I learned both humility and the joy of my own family. I’ve since learned a little more about empathy and grace as well.
I know women who chose to bless their babies by giving them to parents who could provide a full life for them, a difficult and unselfish decision, yet one leaves a hole in their lives. Even if and when they move forward and create a family of their own, a person will always be missing from the family picture in their heart.
I thought about my friends that have a mother’s heart, but do not yet or cannot have children of their own. I thought of my friends who mother in other ways, through teaching or being a doting aunt. I thought of those I know who have experienced the loss of a child, either in miscarriage, stillbirth, or any other tragedy at any age. That pain stays with a mother, whether the child was 11 weeks along in the womb or 61 years old.
My dad’s first mother died when he was seven 7 years old. My college roommate lost her mother about that same age. My father has been blessed with a second mother. My former roommate had two doting, but strict, aunts that helped raise her.This is the second Mother’s Day my cousins will have without their mama. It’s also the second year for a friend of mine.
If I were my cousins or my friend, I might dread going to worship on Mother’s Day, with grief wounds still healing – maybe not so fresh the pain is ever present, but tender with just the right pressure, as in a day all about mothers. I thought the preacher this morning did a very good job tying the sermon to celebrating women in general, not only mothers. I already considered that direction for this writing before the sermon. Whether you are a mother to children on earth or children in heaven, whether your mom is living or waiting for you on the other side, whether you are married or single, childless by choice or not – Today, I celebrate you, dear lady. I celebrate you for making brave bold choices daily, even if the biggest hurdle you overcome is simply getting out of bed. I celebrate you for choosing life today and I encourage you to live it to the fullest. I celebrate you for who you are at this moment and for the woman you are striving to become.