No, it isn’t the easiest day for me. In the past it has been almost unbearable, but as the years have rolled by I’ve learned to cope with this day. I allow myself to feel the melancholy that inevitably comes with this day to a limited extent, but in turn I also count my blessings.
Some people minimize the holiday by justifying that it was a holiday brought forth by the greeting card companies to generate more sales. They’re probably right, but in America it’s a big deal. I mean, where would we be without our mothers?
I know some folks lost their mothers early in life. Some folks had a mother who for whatever reason…either by choice or not…couldn’t be good mother. While this day is supposed to be a joyous celebration of the wonderfulness of motherhood I can only imagine the pain it brings to those whose mothers were the opposite of a June Cleaver type of mother. There are people whose birth mother chose adoption. Even if that person ended up in a wonderful home he or she probably always wonders on this day “what if?” and where their birth mother is today. I also think of thousands of children in foster care.
There are also the many out there who have lost their mothers. I cannot imagine what that must be like as my mom is still with me. My mom’s mother died at age 57 of a brain tumor. The illness had been quite unexpected as she was a very vibrant, healthy woman up until that point. The effects of the tumor, the surgery to remove it, and of a subsequent stroke were quite devastating. For 18 months she lingered in a very debilitated state until God finally took her home to be with Him. My mother misses her to this day, and every year on Mother’s Day I see her shed a few (or many) tears.
My dad lost his mother in 2007 after about a 3-year period of declining health due to a blood disorder. My dad is the stoic sort, but since his mother has passed I can tell it has affected him greatly. I’ve seen him shed tears intermittently in the last couple of years…most recently while watching the movie Marley and Me. I can’t remember ever seeing my dad cry at all before his mother passed with the exception of my wedding day when I could see a little mist in his eyes when he walked into the bride’s room and saw me moments before he gave me away.
Then there are us who have never been able to have children. Even if we are new or old to this condition we always feel a little…or a lot…out of place on this day. This yearly reminder of what we cannot be is a mile marker we’d like to bypass, but the truth is we cannot. We can only do what we can do to make this day a little more bearable. I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself this day. If I feel like attending church I do, but if I don’t, I don’t. I believe God is near to the heart of the childless woman. The story of Hannah is a great example that God felt it necessary to include the plight of a childless woman in the Bible (and don’t forget Sarah and Abraham).
So, I take it easy on myself on this day. If I feel like crying I do, but I try not to wallow. I do something nice for myself, and try to remember that:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
No matter what situation you find yourself in on this Mother’s Day try to concentrate on that!