In 2009 Mother’s Day changed for me. It’s a behemoth of emotions. A beast of thanksgiving, appreciation, guilt and grief.
Thanksgiving because I am a mother. A mother to five unique, thriving, challenging, life-loving children that make me better. For that, I give thanks.
Appreciation for the mother I was given. An overwhelming realization that I had it so very good. The best of the best gave me my start. For my grandmother and her mother and the legacy passed on through their hearts and hands. For the mother that raised my husband in to a man. I am indebted.
Guilt because I had no choice in it. Chance…fate…call it what you will, but nothing I did or didn’t do gave me the privilege I was born in to. The country, the color of my skin, the education, the family of faith and hard workers…a family of love. Chance. A sour taste in my mouth that I can give them the life she couldn’t. A confusing mix of questions that wonders why me. A realization that there is no answer that comes but the responsibility that does. A guilt unnecessary and uncalled for but felt just the same.
Grief. Unhinged, uncontainable grief for a birth mom. A longing for a young mother that the system and this world completely failed. Her family failed her. The Church failed her. A young mom I met on a park bench that desired to keep her children safe and give them the opportunity for a different, healthy life. A young mom that knew she wasn’t capable of supplying that. A mom that chose life for her children but was unable to trust us after years of getting love and being used confused. My heart fractures a thousand times over remembering that day . A mourning for what could have been and a life untouched by real agony. An anguish I see my children struggle with in different ways at different stages. A loss so real and raw and unimaginable that I can never fully heal for them. An unnatural loss. A rip the flesh from your chest and leave a gaping pain type of loss. A hole that seems to heal and close over and with a sound or smell or a moment of happiness can erupt open to expose the wound deep inside.
Mother’s Day. A brutally beautiful day filled with the inexplicable emotions of a life fully lived. A life of big love and big loss and appreciation and grief and redemption. A day of remembering, celebrating, grieving, and praising. A day that has forever changed for me. A day for life moms and mom’s for life.