Birds chirp outside on this beautiful Sunday morning. I am sipping my sugared espresso my husband crafted for me, with foamed up half and half (and a scoop of hand-whipped cream for good measure.) Katie Rusby is playing on Pandora, her country-Irish style gently filling the spaces in our home.
I awoke this morning to my 6-year-old kissing me and telling me Happy Mother’s Day.
My other kids were apparently with my husband. He got up and took them all to the store to get everything to make me pancakes. Breakfast was complete with strawberries & cream, and a bouquet of flowers. The children are all playing in Maddy’s room — their laughter every so often replaced by screams or cries. But mostly laughter.
This has all the perfect makings of a perfect Mother’s Day.
And yet part of my heart is just suspended.
It wants to relish, to celebrate, to feel loved and be loved. It wants to rest in the moment of a peaceful, messy-ish home, cluttered from the makings of children’s hands and pattering feet. It longs to say that all is right in this world.
But half of my heart feels taken up today in sadness.
It is part longing for my children I didn’t get to meet.
It is part longing for heaven.
It is in part with my friend Bethany — whose daughter Mya was stillborn 3 years ago. Beautiful baby girl, who brought so much joy to her parents. Since Mya, there have been no other children. No one to mother, but a mother she is.
It is holding its breath for my friend K. Her unborn baby has a fatal diagnosis. Her life is caught up in an unfair limbo — life and death, carried in her womb together. There is not one without the other. How must she be feeling today?
It is far away with a mom I haven’t met. Whose 3-month-old died from SIDS, after several pregnancy losses. Linnea and Bridget — I’m thinking of you today and wishing with all my heart God provides comfort.
It is with Cat, who is celebrating her second Mother’s Day without Preston.
It is with Lindsay, Jasmine, Katherine, Brittany, Brittany, Alex, Kristin, Emily, Jeanne, Summer, Meredith, Amanda, Deanna, Molly, Crystal, Brittany C, Melanie, Joanna, Christine, Laura, Hollie, Cara, Tiffany, Kristin, Stacy, Sarah, Carly, Becky, Hannah, Jeni, Kelly, Melissa, Syndi, Abby, Nancy, Hope, Elizabeth, Emily, Kristen, Sara, Jenny, Sarah, Janice, Anna, Jennifer, Rochelle, Stephanie, Danielle, Jessica, Camlyn, Courtney, Jennene, Brittney, Jenny, Cheryl, Amanda, Karen, Kimberly, Tiffany, Cherie, Terrin, Bethany, Sheryle, Susan, Lindsey, Melissa, Kendra, Emily, Jill, Del, Amanda, Paula, Carilla, Theresa, Holly, Lindsey, Brandy, Sara, Elizabeth, Cally, Cheryl, Erica, Rebekah, Jessica, Kristi, Lisa, Beatrice, Andrea, Stevie, Kendra, Beckie, Lael, Bridget, Heather, Palei, Beth, Becky, Isablel, Rochelle, Julie, and Deborah . . . .
All of whom have their own stories to tell of much-wanted, much-loved children who went to heaven.
It is with Leyla’s bio mom — wherever in the world she is. Wondering if she misses Leyla today. Wondering if she is alive and OK.
It is with Z’s bio mom — wondering if she has room in her heart today to miss and love Z, now that she has a new baby to love on.
It is with my friends who want to have a family, but are single.
It is with my friends who have had abortions, but keep their motherhood a secret.
It is with my own parents who are missing their moms today. Grandma Fulner & Grandma Enyeart — we all love you and miss you so much.
It is with the dads out there who are missing their wives on this day.
It is with Becky, and my other single mom friends, who do so very much to mother their children.
It is with the women who I love so dearly, and wish I could give them babies — but are childless for now.
It is with the moms who have no living children.
It is with my friends who no longer have a relationship with their moms.
It is with my friends, like Ashton, who are mothers to waiting children overseas. The adoption process can’t get over fast enough.
On this day, I do not forget that I am blessed. I’ve been given the gift of mothering 3 on earth, 4 in heaven, for however long God sees fit. I also do not forget the pain of Mother’s Days past. I do not forget the pain of my friends above.
To all of you, whether you got roses and strawberries and cream — or no one acknowledged you as a mom today — I hope that in your heart you find love, find comfort, find some measure of joy. I hope that today is more than a day of pain, but a day to find some happy memories of the children we have been blessed to know — no matter how long. I hope that there is some healing and restoration today.
I wish you all a very gentle Mother’s Day.