To the Motherless Mom on Mother’s Day
As we get older and we have more “life” under our belts, we start to realize just how precious happy memories are.
They are precious because they become rare, and as we walk through the ups and downs of life, most of us will be touched by loss, illness, and various other trials. After enduring a trial, many of our experiences begin to reside in the category of bittersweet memories. How can a person feel overwhelming joy and deep sorrow at the exact same time? If you’ve lost someone dear to you, or you have a void in your heart because of separation or abandonment, then you know just how human the feeling of bittersweetness is.
I lost my mom to cancer the month before my 18th birthday, and I have lived almost half of my life without her. My wedding and the births of my three children were some of the happiest, and hardest, days of my life because she wasn’t there to live them with me. I have grieved her loss, and I have been blessed with so many memories since she died, but that void hits a small chord in my heart every Mother’s Day. If you too are motherless on Mother’s Day, I want you to know that you are not alone. As you celebrate this special day with your own children, living in that juxtaposition of your bittersweet emotions, I want to share something I wrote for all of us motherless mothers a few years ago:
“As you oooh and ahhh over your homemade cards, wildflowers, and macaroni necklaces, I know you also wistfully think about the one who won’t receive anything from you this year.
Whether you lost your mom, are estranged from your mom, or never knew your mom, the tender “I love yous” from your little ones echo deeply into a mom-shaped hole in your heart. As you scroll social media or catch a glimpse inside the local restaurants and see others hugging and thanking their mothers for being there for them, I know you are happy for those women, all the while blinking back uncontrollable tears.
Oh mama, although you feel her loss every day, and at random moments, on THIS day, the deep feelings seem to send shadows across your heart. I know.
And so, today …
I hope you will receive a warm hug from another motherly woman.
I hope you will have eyes to see a special blessing meant for only you.
I hope you will shed your tears, and then be able to set them aside, and find joy in the tight squeezes of your kids.
I hope you will understand that in this broken world, this sorrow is just part of your story, but it is not your whole story.
I hope you will allow your knowledge of loss make you a more understanding, thoughtful, and aware woman to those around you.
And I hope that as you give a mother’s love to your kids, without receiving it, you will find the unconditional love that only God can provide.”
So while you don’t have anyone to call today, dear one, you now have the blessing of being a mother to your own littles. I know you cherish this special gift, and I know you don’t take any moment with your own children for granted. I hope when your children call you “mom” today, their voices echo inside that hole in your heart and fill it right up.