But, that's the thing. Not many recognize me as a mother on this day. Not many remember me on this day. Not many remember Lily on this day. Not many realize what a hard day it is for me. A day of sorrow, joy, longing, aching...
I am a mother, yes. Yet, I mother a grave. I mother a legacy. How does one learn to do this well? How does one navigate this world of loss and learning to honor and remember on these days that are supposed to be only full of happiness?
I have beautiful white lilies sitting on my dresser, sent to me as a surprise from a dear Ellerslie sister. Lilies that would not be there if it weren't for my own Lily. Lilies that say I am a mother.
This is already my third Mother's Day. Third. Without her. Time keeps marching on. Funny thing, isn't it? For the first two, I was out of town. That seemed to distract me some from the pain. This time though, I am home. In the time since the last Mother's Day, I forgot just how much it hurts. I am bombarded with happy ads and cards galore.
...My own little girl will never give me a card on Mother's Day with messy writing scrawled across the page, I love you, Mommy. I will never hear her call me mama, mommy, mom, mother. I will never whisper in her ear, I love you, too, sweet Lily girl.
Who knows if I'll ever be recognized as a mother on this day, in the "traditional" fashion. I don't know what God's plan for my life is. It hurts not knowing when and if I'll get to raise a child on earth, rather than just loving one in Heaven.
Maybe one day I will have another child, or maybe more...and they will probably get me a card and some flowers. And it will bring me such joy and contentment. Yet, their will always be that missing piece. That missing little girl that was mine. Is mine. And will forever be mine. The little girl that made me a mother.
Despite all these questions and hurts, I have inexplicable peace. Peace that passes all understanding. Peace that only my Jesus gives. Thank You, my King. Thank You for holding me in Your hands and being my Great Comforter. Thank You for loving my girl. Thank You that she's Your girl. Thank You for giving Your life so that she and I may live forever with You. Thank You for showing me that my love, my mother love, is small in comparison to how You love her. Thank You for Lily. Thank You for changing my life with hers. Thank You for the most precious gift I could ever receive, in her.
Lily girl, I celebrate you today.
To you, dear reader...
"Happy Mother's Day to all mother's, traditional and non-traditional, of children present and accounted for, lost and grieved over, of children born and not-yet born; your daily choice to be a mother makes you more of a mother every day, whether it feels like you thought it would or not." ~quote from a blog my friend, Bex, showed me
Whether you have a child or mother here on earth or in Heaven. Whether you made the selfless choice to place your child for adoption. Whatever your circumstances. Whatever your hurt, I pray that your day would be filled with the peace and beauty of Jesus!
Last Sunday was International Bereaved Mother's Day. And I want to make note that just because I "celebrated" that day does not make me any less a mother on Mother's Day. I truly appreciate my friends that have also lost children giving support last week, which is why I acknowledge the day. Because I know other people "get" what a difficult time this is and acknowledge me as a mom when so many others don't. However, as my friend Morgan said of her son, I want to be celebrated as a mother with a daughter, not a mother with a dead daughter. I am still just as much a mother as anyone else with their living child. Just to be clear. My amazing friend Bex said something today that I really love. She said, "You chose to be a mommy to Lily...you chose to love her. That is what a mother does." Just because Lily is not here today doesn't make her any less real and doesn't make me as her mommy any less real. May we not forget why Mother's Day was started in the first place. It was founded by a woman named Anna Jarvis to honor her mother who experienced the death of seven of her children. These days, card companies make money, while bereaved mothers are completely forgotten.
If you know someone who has lost a child, at any age, recognize that they are still a mother and always will be. Click here to visit a website to see what grieving moms want for Mother's Day. As a grieving mother myself, I can tell you first and foremost, it brings me such joy just to hear Lily's name. Just for someone to say, "I know it's a hard day for you. I know you're missing your daughter, but you are on my heart. Happy Mother's Day."
"The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes, but it never fails to bring music to my ears." ~Author Unknown