The celebration of Mother’s day is usually a wonderful occasion. This year, it happens to fall on the day after my wedding anniversary, just like it did on my actual wedding day. At our wedding reception in 2005, we honored my mom, my mother-in-law and also the first lady of our church, who we affectionately referred to as our “first mother” kinda like the first lady with a twist. Almost two years after our wedding, I also became a mother, making this time of year even more special and memorable for me. The following year was the last year that I was able to celebrate mother’s day with my mom. She died in December of 2008.
Since then, Mother’s Day has never been quite the same. In fact, this time of year has been very bitter sweet. I feel so blessed that I have a wonderful husband who I’ve grown to love more and more with each passing year. Celebrating our anniversary during this time definitely helps to ease the longing I feel for her. Having our amazingly loving children shower me with Mother’s Day wishes, love and kind deeds make my heart swell with joy. But while I celebrate and cherish the wonderful memories of my mother, sometimes a part of me is burdened with a feeling of emptiness and a yearning desire for her.
Yesterday was one of those days. I sat almost in tears feeling sad because I missed her. Right in the middle of my despair, my mind recalled a conversation I had just a week ago with a friend who lost her daughter. I see her from time to time and have heard her story about losing her daughter to cancer. But this particular day was a very difficult one for her. She was sobbing. As I listened to her, I felt such sorrow and compassion and remembered a few other friends who’ve lost a child. Then she said through her tears “I don’t even know what to call myself. People ask me do I have children and I don’t know what to say. Am I even a mother anymore?” I couldn’t begin to imaging the pain that she was feeling, but I remembered a term that I’ve heard another mom who lost her child use and I said to her ” Of course you’re still a mother, you’re now a mother of an angel”. She paused for a second as she wiped her tears and looked up at me. She said (somberly) ” Hmm…I’ve never thought of it like that… Thank you…thank you so much.”
Recalling this interaction in the middle of me feeling down actually comforted me also. It shifted my thoughts on the mother’s out there who won’t get a call, a card or a facebook shout out this weekend. I pray that they will also find comfort and peace during this season.
Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the mothers, soon to be mothers, mothers in memory and MOTHERS OF AN ANGEL.
Whether you’re a Mom or a mother figure, you make life that much more special for those whose lives you touch and impact everyday. Happy Mother’s Day!
My husband and I were having a conversation about our mothers. I jokingly teased him about him still calling his mother “Mama”. I teased that only babies when they’re first learning to speak say “Ma-ma”, not grown men. We had a good laugh, but not before he teased me about calling my mother “Mummy”, which is a term used when preserving the dead.
What was even more intriguing was that both our mothers called their moms “Mumma” (pronounced moo-mah). Who would’ve thought. (I guess it’s pretty popular in Jamaica 😉 )
When I was younger, I thought that I would outgrow calling my mother Mummy, that maybe I’d change it to Mom like many of my teenage and college friends. But as I became an adult, I love the nostalgia that Mummy evokes. It reminds me of the love and the sacrifices that she made. Last year I wrote a special Mother’s Day tribute to her. The conclusion is that no matter what we call her, “a mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take.”
With Mother’s Day approaching, I imagine that many of you will be making a special phone call to your mom. Here’s what I’d like to know: What do you call your mother? What influenced that name? Would you have rather called her something else? Is there ever a time that you outgrow calling her Mommy/Mummy/ or what ever you call her?
A few years ago, my mother and I had a very intimate and heart-felt conversation. Among other things, she thought it was important to let me know how proud she was of me. I was unaware that less than two years later, God would call her home. I could not have begun to understand the depth of love and the level of sacrifices my mother made for us until I became an adult. That understanding became even more profound when I had children of my own. My mother was a praying woman. When she prayed, I felt as though God bowed his head and leaned His ear specifically to hear and answer her prayers. Mom was a hard worker. She worked the night shift to make sure that she was home in the afternoon when we arrived from school. In addition to her job, she was a wife, a cook, a seamstress, a counselor, a bible scholar, a prayer warrior and a beautiful songstress; yet she managed to keep her seven children as her number one priority. It has been three years since my mom passed away. I miss her sorely. I miss her counsel and her embrace, but I’m thankful to God for the 35 years He allowed me to experience her unconditional love. I’m grateful for the cherished memories and the intimate conversations that I hold dear. I continue to build on the Christian foundation she laid in my life. I still draw from the values she instilled in me as guidelines when raising my own children.
The obligations of the father are distinct and imperative in a child’s life and should not be diminished. However, the role of a mother is a very special one. It is an opportunity given by God to truly love someone unconditionally. It is more than just a responsibility to care for and discipline a child. It is an extraordinary relationship fostered through nurturing, teaching and exemplifying Godly characteristics and conduct.
This Mother’s day, endeavor to pay special tribute to and appreciate the mother in your life. Even if your mother has been less than perfect, let’s make a greater effort to reach out and foster deeper, more fulfilling relationships.
This post is dedicated to my mother and all of the mothers who sacrifice daily for the love of their children. Whether you are an expectant mother, a biological mother, an adoptive mother, a surrogate mother, a foster mother, a spiritual mother, or a mother figure, the ability to love unconditionally and nurture a child is a gift from God.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [also], and he praiseth her. PROVERBS 31:28