|Photo by Debi Stone.|
I slept in today and woke up to a hot pot of coffee and a warm mug waiting for me in the microwave. My husband served up my favorite bagel and cream cheese, my 10-year-old planned a scavenger hunt for me to find my Mother’s Day gift. My husband will give me all of today to do what I will, without guilt or worry; a grass-fed beef brisket is currently roasting over hot coals in the kettle grill, dinner is planned, he is playing with the three year old in the back yard.
This morning I started a Novena, dedicated to Beth, a mother who isn’t here to celebrate the day. My day is wonderful and beautiful and supported and I am surrounded by love; and yet, a tiny shadow hangs over my head.
Mother’s Day is a celebration of all the visible things we do for our children; the fact that we birthed them being most important of all. We’re recognized for the cookies we bake for class and the projects we help our children craft the night before a due date; the scratches we bandage, the monsters we chase away, the bed time stories we force ourselves to read when we can barely keep our eyes open. We tickle and we wrestle, we support and encourage, we wave when the school bus leaves and the car for college leaves and the Bride and Groom leave and the grandkids leave. We are always saying hello and goodbye.
But this Mother’s Day I’d like to celebrate the silent struggle of motherhood; the things that go unnoticed save for the spaces in our soul only we know about and rarely speak of, not even to our husbands and possibly not even to best friends. Today I’d like to celebrate that 10-year-old girl that lives within each of us; the one that still hurts when put down, the spirit that continues to dream, the child who’d like to make a wish and blow that fluffy dandelion before she knew that would create a hell-of-a-mess in the yard.
For the dreams you gave up or put aside to raise your children: this day is for you.
For the ways your heartbreaks for your children when they are picked upon, or put down, or picked last, or going through a divorce, or lose a child of their own, or struggle with addictions: this day is for you.
For the pain you fight through because your children still need a mother; the headaches, achy joints, cancer treatments, extreme fatigue, or depression, that can make getting up in the morning a chore you’d rather not perform, yet you do it anyway because someone needs to eat breakfast: this day is for you.
For the single mother who plays two roles, who is lonely and heartbroken and pushed to her max because she is the one holding it all together; for the desire for companionship and love she craves but doesn’t have time to find: this day is for you.
For the women who thought they’d be mothers and aren’t; whether by circumstance or inability to conceive; for the emptiness they feel and the coming-to-terms of a life without children: this day is for you.
For the mothers who feel hopeless; whose pain goes unrecognized until the horrible, awful happens; for the mothers who live in darkness and cannot see light nor hope, whose struggles envelope and suffocate them: this day is for you.
For the mothers who've lost a child, born or unborn; for the space inside of you that died that day, and the tiny ache that never quite goes away; for the tears you wept for your child and the emptiness you feel without them: this day is for you.
For the mothers who are unappreciated by their husbands or children; the ones who are abused or forgotten, and especially the ones who die at the hands of their family: this day is especially for you.
Today I celebrate me; the mom my children see, the girl who whispers within me, the woman I hope to become, my inner secrets, my quiet failings, my disappointments, my mediocrity. My joys. My gifts. My talents. My tears.
Today I celebrate you. I recognize YOU. I see you as you ARE.
Wholly imperfect and perfect.
You are beautiful.
I wish you all a blessed Mothers Day.