Mother's Day...It's Complicated
May 10, 2018
Its been 13 years since my mom passed away. 13 years...
My children ask about her and I scrape to try and find ways to describe her simply, in a way they would understand.
She was funny, had a great laugh, could encourage like no one else. She had a way of making you feel like what you were saying was the most important thing in the world. If "life coach" was even a thing back then, that is what I would call her. No one could untangle the mess in my mind like she could. I still really miss those conversations.
Before you think I would declare her a saint, I will also include that she was depressed at times and trapped inside some real anxiety and fear. As far as moms go though, she was a great one.
If you know me at all, you know, her passing was one of the most significant moments in my life. It is one of those million dollar experiences that I would not pay a nickel to go through again.
So, when Mother's Day rolls around, it is complicated. Not because I am currently sad or grieving. She just left a gaping hole where a beautiful soul used to be. She will never meet my kids and she barely knew Shawn before she was gone. I am living the second half and the most beautiful days of my life without her.
That still feels strange to me. She was a person who was so influential in my life but until heaven, I will never speak to her again.
On the other side of the mom coin, becoming a mom was quite an ordeal for me. But a mom I am and it is the most glorious title I have ever been granted.
I won't go through the whole story since I have written about the journey before. But if you don't know, the road to getting our family was long and difficult: 6 years of infertility, at least one miscarriage, an adoption that didn't go through... but after all of it, we have four children in our family and we couldn't be more grateful.
Have I mentioned that I love being a mom? The truth is, I can hardly remember what life was like before these little faces were in it.
Things are so settled and so happy now it is almost easy to forget that there were many, many difficult years.
Until Mother's Day rolls around.
Mothers Day is an inventory day for me. It is a day to remember I did not always have the sound of little feet that I so desperately wanted in my house. I also remember so clearly dreading Mothers Day, knowing it would bring up all sorts of difficult feelings. I hated the feeling of not having a mom and not being a mom. I wanted to skip the whole thing altogether.
I only say this to encourage you if that is where you are as we approach this weekend.
So many women (and let's not forget the men), have lost babies, or have had a really rough year begging God for a child.
No one wants to take away the much deserved celebration of the moms in our lives. I admit I look forward to being celebrated with dandelion bouquets and cute pictures of me drawn by my little artists. It is such a special day.
But if this day is complicated for you, I am with you.
Maybe you have always had a tumultuous relationship with your mom or you have, like me, lost your mom.
Maybe you just found out that you miscarried your little one.
Maybe you are waiting to find the right person and having kids feels like a dream that is 1,000 miles away.
Maybe things aren't great with your kids and you face this day alone.
Maybe you will cry on Sunday, then put on your brave face to go to church or hang out with people.
I get it.
I can also say that good days will come.
Your heart will heal.
God willing, soon, you will hold those treasures in your arms as tears stream down your face.
Or, bonus moms will adopt you, lending their ears and wisdom to you. Women like this are special treasures to me. I have a collection of ladies, my mother in law, my dad's wife, and other women who have taken me under their wing and have come to mean so much to me.
I believe this with all my heart: women are at their best when they flex those nurturing muscles and take care of those around them. Sometimes we need it, sometimes we give it.
That is what it is to be in the company of women.
For those of you who are actively in the mom season or grandma season, we know this job is not all sunshine and dancing through the daisies. You deserve to enjoy this day of celebration. May you not touch a pan, a scrap of laundry or any dirty diapers. I pray you will bask in the love your family has for you.
We are all in this together and moms of all sorts, we salute you.
Even if it is complicated...