My beautiful youngest daughter came home from work a few days ago, entering the house in her usual manner – flinging the door from the garage open and kicking it closed with a bang. Hearing me in our bedroom, she came straight back to our room and sprawled across our king-size bed, even snuggling under our covers. Goodness! But I love it!
After my usual huff of faux disappointment at her presumptuousness, she gave me a short run-down of her day. Then, a moment of silence. Her next words were more softly spoken, weighted with a sad burden of knowing no 22 year-old should be familiar with – “Sunday is Mother’s Day”. I thought she was probably saying it because a family our family dearly loves lost their wife and mother a few weeks ago, and this will be their first Mother’s Day without her. She remembers well how all of the “firsts” feel after sudden, tragic loss.
I was instantly taken aback, though, as I had completely forgotten that Mother’s Day was approaching. Actually, I had locked that holiday away in my “grief room”. No more Mother’s Days. This feeling always brings me up short; it takes my breath away. I had unknowingly decided that I would never recognize Mother’s Day again. I always have a moment of consternation when I have a sudden recognition of this “putting away” of feelings I can’t handle, like not wanting to celebrate Mother’s Day because one of my children is no longer here to celebrate it with us. It is a very odd feeling to realize something you used to enjoy, look forward to even, no longer matters one bit.
I have been blissfully in the time period that is like a cradle of comfort to me – the time between the holidays and my middle son’s birthday, and Mother’s Day and my birthday. The time that has nothing that will ignite a feeling of heaviness like nothing I’ve ever experienced before my son was tragically taken from us. After Easter and before Mother’s Day is a blessed time of nothing to celebrate. And it has lulled me into thinking I am fine; I’m through grieving; I made it back to “normalcy”. Not so much. In fact, probably not ever.
I learned last week that the Sunday before Mother’s Day is a day set aside to acknowledge bereaved mothers – it is called International Bereaved Mother’s Day. What an awful, though touching day. A day set aside to acknowledge that I am still the mother of a child who no longer lives here on this earth. I can never see, hear or touch a person I love with my entire being as long as I am still living and breathing on this earth. That is an earth-shattering, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking truth that is impossible to live with on a daily basis. So, I file this truth, and the pain that accompanies it, away in my “grief room”.
But some days I cannot do that. Days like Mother’s Day. It’s here, and I’m a bit of a mess.
I’m so sad.
But I’m also so very grateful.
I have the most wonderful husband in the entire universe. I have the most beautiful, amazing and loving children God ever gave a mother. (I know I’m being ridiculous, but that is how I see it!)
And I am so thankful.
God has been so very loving, kind and patient with me, not only for the past two and half years since my middle son passed away, but for my entire life. I love Him – always have and always will.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there – the ones celebrating joyfully pain-free, and the ones grieving through it.
God loves us all.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18