Updated: May 5, 2021
I woke up this Mother’s Day to a cup of warm coffee placed in my hand. I snuggled on the couch with my daughter, who gave me a card that she made. On the card were two butterflies, Salem and Eleni. As soon as I heard her name, I was in tears. I never thought about this day being difficult.
It’s just another day, right?
And here I am, hours later, still in tears.
My little girl is not here.
She will never give me a Mother’s Day card, never draw me a picture, never call me up to congratulate me.
A lot of nevers.
My mind wanders to many other women out there who are also experiencing alot of nevers...
The woman who lost her mom as a frail teenager.
The woman who has never been able to be pregnant.
The woman who desires to be in a relationship and have a family.
The woman who just lost her mother this past year,
And the woman who gave her daughter up for adoption.
The woman who just found out her mother is having an affair.
The woman who is in the midst of a breakup.
The woman who is estranged from her children or her own mother,
Or the woman who doesn’t even know her mother.
Mother’s Day, contrary to common belief, often contains some difficulty for everyone. I know we always see the perfect family celebrating Mother’s Day, but I am sure that even that “perfect family” has, or will have, difficulty celebrating some years. It is easy tell myself the lie that I am the only one who is crying my eyes out this Mother’s Day.
But that is simply untrue.
Grieving all that could be or shouldn’t be is perfectly normal. But it should never be a substitute for the truth. Living through grief is an acceptable response to difficult situations, but living in grief, permanently wallowing there, is not.
We should soak in the memories, the difficulties, the hurt...we have to feel the pain to enable healing. But we should not live there. That is damaging and belittling to ourselves to think that our entire life is molded by that one experience. We are so much MORE than that. Believe me, I hurt. I’m crying as I write this. My arms ache to hold my little girl, but I am not only this little girl’s Mom–I am so much more. I have so many others that I can live fully for in the present. How about my Mama? I can bless her. How about the mother-like figures in my life that have poured into me? They need my affirmation. How about my daughter? She needs me to be WHOLE. My nieces and nephews who need my input in their life. Others who need me to be a mother to them…
In this season, wherever you are, I encourage you to
embrace your role as a Mother.
Whether you have children or not.
You are a mother.
You have a role in someone’s life to play.
Take up your role today, there is no better day to begin looking outside our own pain. But while you are at it, cry. Embrace the pain you are feeling, grieve what you have lost…the One who watched His own son die knows perfectly how you are feeling right now.
In the beautiful words of a woman who lost much, Elisabeth Elliot says,
“Of one thing I am perfectly sure, God’s story never ends with ashes.”
* This was written on my first Mother's Day without my little girl. As Mother's Day is approaching, may we have so much grace for those around who are hurting. I still vividly remember this day... receiving gracious messages, gifts and hugs from some who thought to MOTHER me in that moment–what I so desperately needed.