so as mother's day approaches tomorrow i've been thinking. thinking about all those mothers out there that lack "proof" of their motherhood status. tomorrow is a day dedicated to mothers around the world and there are mothers out there who won't have children along with them when they go out to mother's day brunch. they won't have hand-painted "i love you mom" pictures or sweet kisses from those baby lips to greet them first thing in the morning. in fact, they may not be able to be around other mothers with children...it may just be too painful for them.
i know. that was me on mother's day last year.
my friend here in annapolis, who i've only know for a few months, and i were talking about mother's day. "oh, how fun! it will be your first mother's day!" she is so sweet and she does know about matthew, but she just said it without really thinking. i was going to let it slip but the handful of times i haven't acknowledged matthew, whether with a good friend or a stranger, it has made me feel very, very crappy and empty.
so, gently, i said to her, "well actually last year was my first mother's day." she looked at me with that look of horror i've gotten many times when people realize they didn't mean to say what they said. "i'm so sorry. i know it was your first mother's day last year."
that's all a mother can ask for.
of a life that you carried, birthed, held, and then gave back to Jesus.
some mothers out there got to have their children many years before they had to say goodbye. but the first time someone refers to them as having 3 children instead of 4 may cut right through their heart. they need acknowledgement. these moms need to know people have not forgotten their child.
last year i was a mom to a dead child and lacked proof of my motherhood badge. i had a few people acknowledge it was my first mother's day, but many people probably didn't know what to say so they didn't say anything.
i spent my mother's day exactly how i wanted to. away from all mothers and children that i knew in greece. my husband and i went out to this beautiful beach on the west side of crete and took a picnic lunch. you had to hike down to it and it was a beautiful view all the way down. i had read about a grief exercise on angie smith's blog, bring the rain, and thought i might try it. so i brought along a water pitcher and printed out her blog entry from that post. after lunch i told ken i had something i wanted to do before we left the beach. i read him angie's blog post and took out the pitcher. then we went over to a large flat rock in the sand, said an honest prayer to God about how sad and angry we were about losing matthew and told him that we were broken and needed him to pick up the pieces. then on the count of three, we threw down the pitcher and it broke into several pieces. releasing that pitcher felt like a huge weight had been lifted. the idea was that you then take the pieces of the pitcher and glue it back together. angie had read in a grief book that the glued-together water pitcher would symbolize who we were in christ after losing a child. though there were many cracks, God would put us back together again.
i have to admit while i have the pieces, i have never glued the pitcher back together. it actually broke in so many pieces that i'm not sure i can get it back to looking like a pitcher. but when i think about it, i really need to do it because even if it doesn't look like a pitcher, it's ok. after all, i'll never be that pitcher again. i will never look the same.
so i'm putting it out there in the blogosphere...hold me accountable to attempt to put my pitcher back together!
finally, i just want to acknowledge all the mothers out there who do not have traditional membership to the motherhood club. where most clubs require proof and even pictures, i know you are a mother. you don't have to be pushing a stroller around to convince me. whether you carried a child to full term or just a few weeks, you carried a life. you were a momma the minute that child was conceived. and while you have not yet had a chance to become a parent, my prayer for you is that you will be able to experience this miracle of parenthood soon. and if it's not possible, i pray that the Lord will heal your heart and you can find ways to fulfill this desire through adoption, or just being a wonderful auntie to other children in your life.
happy mother's day mommas!