Mother’s Day was one of my favorite “extra” holidays. Sure. I love Christmas and Thanksgiving, but Mother’s Day was special when I was growing up. As a child I had to be creative in trying to find a gift for my sweet Mom. She, I later discovered, kept all of the hand-made cards and pressed flowers, as well as the little poems I wrote. What a precious mom I have.
Then the day came about twenty-seven years ago when I became a mom. Oh the joy! No, of course I didn’t like the nights where I got no sleep because my cherub of a girl wasn’t comfortable. I didn’t like the times where I had to take my little boy (second child) to the emergency room because of an ear infection. Or when my baby girl was trying to get adjusted to life with a new family. I didn’t like the days when …well, you know what? I have forgotten most of those bad days. Why? Because as mothers, we tend to do that. We get overwhelmed by the negative, but in the long run, we tend to overlook those bad times and only remember the good times. The times when little “Jane” or “Johnny” goes to great lengths to make you smile when you are having a bad day. Or when he/she makes a macaroni necklace, or hands you a card with a big flower on it that he/she made “All by myself.” Yes, the joys certainly outweigh the dislikes.
You read correctly just a moment ago. I did say “was”, but not for the reason that my mom is no longer with me. It is because I no longer have my children. Mother’s Day no longer has the same meaning for me on two levels. Yes, I still have my sweet “mamalle” (that’s my nickname for her), however, the dynamics have changed for me, and they changed about five years ago.
Most of you know my story, so I won’t bore you with the details again. I no longer receive Mother’s Day cards from my three children. I no longer have to make room in my jewelry cabinet for my bead necklaces. I no longer have to find room to hang the poems from my refrigerator. I no longer get calls from my children letting me know how much they love me. And those of you who have been through similar experience know that we would give just about anything to have those simple things again, wouldn’t we?
And another reason it is no longer a “sweet” holiday for me is that I see the pain and hurt in my husband who no longer has his mom to celebrate with. This will be the second year he is without his mom, who passed away less than a week after our wedding. I see the struggle within him to want to have her here to to say “Happy Mother’s Day”, but at the same time not wanting her to leave her Savior’s presence.
Mother’s Day is a difficult day for our household. Each of the three of us struggles with that day. My new step-son and I have a tenuous relationship, and he deals with the decision on a daily basis of whether or not he wants me to be his mom. His birth mother deserted him as a young child, so he doesn’t really understand the “mother role.” My husband has no earthly mom anymore. And I am i the position where my children no longer recognize me as a mother. So the three of us generally stay home on Mother’s Day. We don’t go to church. We try not to make too much of a “deal” about Mother’s Day. My sweet man generally does something nice for me, but knows doing too much will hurt. My step-son remembers to get me a little something only if prompted to do so. And I generally spend the day in tears.
I don’t forget my own mom. She is my best friend and confidante. I love spending time with her as often as I can. But my heart breaks for all of those in this world that either do not have their moms with them anymore because of death or those who no longer have their children – whether by their choice or by death. I sometimes wish that there was a day on the calendar for those that cannot celebrate on this day.
Until next time,