I am going to start this with a confession that Mother’s Day has never meant that much to me. Of course my kids did the “Brekkie in Bed”, handmade gifts and as they got older a few Brunches, cards and bouquets of flowers. My mother died a few years ago, but there were years where I didn’t even pick up the phone to say Happy Mother’s Day. I do remember her at the strangest times, usually when I am baking cookies or when glancing through old pictures. We didn’t have the best of relationships in her final years but she did the best she could with the life she was given. Since my kids were born, I think of them on this day. They are healthy and vibrant and I love being around them (most of the time!). Sorry about the next part of this post as it will be a bit sad but I need to get this off my chest.
My son got up this morning and with tears in his eyes tells me that two friends of his were killed yesterday in a car accident. They were both 18 years old. I hugged him because there were no words to say. My mind was racing, that here were two young souls whose mother’s were now in terrible pain. My son then said, he was going to get me some flowers (you know for Mother’s Day) but hadn’t and wanted to get to church early to be with his friends to grieve. Of course I said I didn’t care about flowers, I was just glad that he was still alive. As I stared out the window, I noticed my tulips in the front garden, so I grabbed my scissors and cut a bunch for the table. They look bright and cheery and I don’t need a bouquet bought from a store.
And since early this morning I have been struggling with seeing my son in pain and what we as mothers really are. It is more about always being there for them through the good times and the bad. To give out hugs unconditionally. Sort of like a marriage where we pledge for better or for worse, in sickness and health. It isn’t about the cards and flowers and gifts. We are there for our kids no matter what and would probably give up our life if a choice had to be made. Can anyone ever get over the loss of a child.
Years ago good friends of ours lost their 8 year old daughter. The little girl had gone to bed with a bad cold and didn’t wake up the next morning—she died sometime during the night. What made it even worse for this family is that her father was (and is) a doctor. They have two other amazing kids who they love deeply but on Mother’s Day, there must still be an ache for the lost daughter.
Another friend agonized over her daughters cocaine and alcohol addiction and paid a fortune to take her to rehab. Her daughter didn’t stay for the full time but is recovering. It really is a day at a time and so far so good. My friend also lives day by day because addiction is heartbreaking for the entire family. Again, a mother doing everything she can, even going into debt, for a child.
Another friend is coming to terms with her son and girlfriend having a baby out of wedlock. They are both 20, have very low paying jobs and it is a struggle. My friend agonizes over the fact that they didn't do it right—get a good job, get married, get a house, be secure, then have babies just like her. Life doesn't always come out the way we want. They got pregnant and it isn't the baby's fault. The baby is now 2 months old, sweet as a button and I hope my friend will be able to fully appreciate this new life.
Today, as I read a lot of blogs talking about mom’s, both those that are alive and those that have died, I realize it is in remembering our mom’s that makes the day special. And if you are a mom, it is also worrying over our kids because that is just part of the job. So I hope your day brings you some sunshine and some smiles. And cherish the funny little pencil holders, or hand prints, or homemade cards. I have my bouquet of tulips.