mothers day. 2014.

Eight.
Eight is how old I was when I spent my first Mother’s Day without my mother. She’d died four months before that, a short fifteen days after my birthday.

And so, it’s been eighteen years without my mom.

As we step into Mother’s Day this year, mixed emotions flood my heart as they often do on special occasions like these that make my imagination run wild with what could’ve, should’ve, would’ves.

On one hand, I remember the number eighteen.Ā  That is a big number for such a short life of how many Mother’s Days I have spent without her. I am filled with hollow gladness as I remember the eight years I had with her and often anger at how little it seems in such a big world.
On the other hand, I often use it to beat myself over the head for the ingratitude that can easily entangle and weigh me down on days like today.Ā  How dare I? Ā 
My mom died when I was eight years old.Ā  Eighteen years ago. An entire lifetime ago.Ā  And on that day, I lost a part of me I can only learn to know as I commune with my Father in Heaven.Ā  He knew her best after all.Ā  But over the last eighteen years, I have been given a gift that far outweighs the pain and loss that comes from losing your Mami at such a tender age.
I have been given the gift of many mothers.
I don’t need my mother to appreciate the gift of the many mothers my Precious Father in Heaven has given me.Ā  I have been blessed by the love, encouragement, counsel, sacrifice and guidance of so many mothers, that on this Mothers’ Day, my heart overflows…
I have been gifted with a friend who has called me her own, and stepped into those pivotal moments in life I feared and dreaded to walk alone in the most.Ā  Every day she has outdone herself in loving us and because of her, I never feel like I have missed out on the joys (and pain!) of having a mom.Ā  She has earned the place of Mom in my heart and in my life though our blood tests will tell you it’s not true.
I was gifted a grandmother who laid it all down for us in those seconds and lifetimes we thought we’d lost it all.Ā  She has loved, comforted, reminded and scolded us like a mother, all the while spoiling us like a grandmother…

I have been gifted a Mother who’d lost a daughter and through the pain and messiness of grief, we found each other and held on mighty tight. Through the darkest valleys of grief, she was my anchor, and I was hers… I have been gifted another Brenda who totally opposes my Brenda in personality and style… but she has been a silent, sweet God-send who prays with me, teaches me and demands nothing more than Jesus does from me…

I lost one mother, but I have gained many. I have lost my mother, but gained a heart to mothers others instead. ā€œTimeless truth I speak to you: Unless a grain of wheat falls and dies in the ground, it remains alone, but if it dies, it yields much fruit.ā€ (John 12:24)
I have not only been loved and mothered by amazing women, I have also walked alongside some of the bravest, most courageous mothers I know.Ā  I have walked alongside mothers who received death sentences over their babies, only to prove doctors wrong time and time again. I have seen Mommies kick autism in the face and walked along some who have placed their trust in the Lord while their babies are taken up to Heaven all too soon.Ā  I have walked with women who have given up every right they possess to ensure their children have nothing but the best of them, women who have given up their goals and desires to give to their children a better life than they every could have imagined. I have walked alongside Mommies who have fought for their right to become Mothers, despite the pressure to terminate and move on.Ā  I lost my Mommy, but I have gained an important role in this army of world changing women we call Mothers. If 2014 finds you without your Mommy, I pray you will find the joy in the gift of many mothers!

Mommy, Happy Mothers’ Day!
Tata, Happy Mothers’ Day!
Wherever you are Vickie, Happy Mothers’ Day!
Brenda Schepler, Happy Mothers’ Day!
To my outstanding Mommy friends, Happy Mothers’ Day!
To my Mommy, Happy Mothers’ Day!
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