A few months ago there was a motherhood challenge making its way through social media. Mothers posted a collage of pictures that make them happy to be a mom then tag and nominate other moms to do the same.
Although I was not nominated, I have decided to partake.
[Picture 1: Taken on Labor Day Week 2012 at Alki Beach. First picture as a mom with our dear friends, the Curriers. Picture 2: The day I became a godmother, October 2015. Picture 3: Mother’s Day 2014 after hiking, we visited a Marian garden. The plaque reads “In loving reflection of all unborn.” Picture 4: September 2014, blessing from our dear friend and newly ordained, Fr. Dean, while pregnant with Abigail]
Even though I recognize that I became a mother at the moment my first child, Casey, was conceived, I have struggled to accept the badge of honor that is mother.
I know and understand that my role as mother is different than most, but it does not make it any less true. I am especially thankful for my compassionate friends who acknowledge not only my grief but my motherhood. Yet despite this, I still struggle and feel forgotten at times.
In my own struggle, I have become more keenly aware for others who wrestle with Mother’s Day in their own way too. Some are like me and have saintly child(ren) in Heaven. Others may also have children on earth but that does not lessen the pain for those child(ren) they have in Heaven. Some despite years of praying and trying, have not conceived. Some have made the tough choice of placing their child for adoption. Some have estranged relationships with their mom and/or mother-in-law for various reasons. Some have feelings of regret or shame from having their child aborted.
For those of us for whom motherhood is still a painful experience, Mother’s Day magnifies our struggle and hurt. You dream and pray that one day soon you will finally get that positive test. You yearn to know what it is like to feel your baby kick within your womb. You would give anything to give birth to a live child. You wish your relationship with your mom was that of a Rory-and-Lorelai-Gilmore type. You think about what could have been, if things had turned out differently.
Despite all these dynamics, Mother’s Day comes and goes every year. Perhaps even while celebrating and honoring your own mother and/or mother-in-law, sisters, friends or even yourself, it is still a reminder that a part of your heart continues to ache and you feel forgotten. I know you feel it more now than any other time of year.
Draw close to the Blessed Mother. Ask her to intercede for you. Offer her your breaking heart.
Know that I love you, grieve with you and pray for you,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy” John 16:20