Mother's Day is a beautiful holiday. I've always thought so. Mother's deserve to be flooded with gifts of appreciation for all they do, especially wonderful, supportive, loving mothers like my own.
What about the mother whose heart aches on this holiday? As I sit here with my coffee and laptop my mind continuously goes back to that mother.
The single mother who works many jobs and endless hours to give her children the best she can provide, but doesn't have someone there to acknowledge her hard work and stable home. No one prompts her loving children to create handmade cards out of macaroni and glitter. How can her children celebrate her, when they don't even know such a holiday began as the sun rose?
The foster mother who long ago said "goodbye" to the child she raised from birth. Rocking him slowly every night and dreaming for him a family that will love him for his entire life and beyond. The woman who sang to him at breakfast and watched him pull himself up for the first time. The woman that spoon-fed him cereal and kissed his cheeks every night, knowing he was not hers to keep. Knowing that there was a chance she would never see him again.
The birth mother that no one knows is a mother as she goes about today thinking of the child she let go. The people she meets on the street have no idea that a part of her heart is out there walking around with another family, on another continent, speaking another language. Her sadness on this day is a lonely one, because who can she share this story with? Who can she tell about her selflessness and aching? This mother is among the bravest of mothers, because she goes through it alone; unable to show her sadness. She is perhaps dreaming that someday she can see this baby that has her eyes - her soul, but knowing that he could be anywhere in the world. He could be doing anything. She may never know. To have a piece of your heart so far and so disconnected from you...a mother who no one knows is a mother.
The mother who is not yet a mother. To hear the word "mama" uttered, to feel the tiny fingers wrap around her own is all she can think about. These are the things she has been dreaming of for years. The mother whose heartache seems invisible to others who ask her when "she'll have one of her own." The mother who walks past the empty rooms of her house and wishes for laughter and cooing - even cries in the night. The mother who travels to doctors and smiles with tears in her eyes she plans baby showers for friends and watch as their own belly swell with life. All the while, wishing that this simplest of requests might be soon met.
The mother who longs to hold the baby she lost. The empty cradle that sits in the next room that she can't bear to put away. The memory of what today was supposed to be for her; flower arrangements and breakfast in bed. Instead it shapes into tears dripping on the oversized t-shirt she wraps around herself on the couch. The fear of walking out her front door, because the reminder of her broken heart is just a storefront away. The pain is too much. Today was meant to be her day, but is instead just a reminder of what aches inside of her; an unbearable pain that rocks her chest.
Or the mother who feels as though she can't relate to this title of "mother." She loves her children, but depression fills her stomach like bile. She's unable to be what she wants to be, because she can't gain control of the sadness that is gripping her. She feels undeserving and angry. She wanted this, but can't remember why. She wants to remember why.
So on this day I'll remember how lucky I am to have my mother, and how lucky I am to be a mother. And I'll pray for these mothers, because they are no less mothers than me. They are the bravest of mothers, some of them, the strongest.
To all mothers out there that are trying their best....You Are Loved, and Deserving, and Worthy of Acclaim.