Mother's Day 2015

I woke this morning, smiling at all the happy pictures of Facebook friends with their mothers:  mothers holding them as babies; black-and-white photos of their glamorous mothers of yesteryear; wizened crones holding infants. Friends wished me well, wished that spa certificates were coming my way--all that.  Then I saw a post that really gave me pause. It was a shout-out not to all the accomplished moms of the world, but rather to all the people who lost a mother, who lost a child, who longed to be a mother. I thought of my friends who lost children to cancer, to bad custody battles.  I thought of all the motherless children I know, who even as adults still longed for their mothers.  And I remembered myself, for ten long years waiting to have a child, and how every Mother's Day during that decade, I felt so left out. I felt like a failure. Two of my miscarriages occurred within a week or two of Mother's Day, and I remember my mother telling me, and my aunt Betty telling me, and even the nurse in the hospital in Limerick, Ireland telling me, "You're a mother too!  Your babies are up in heaven praying for you right now."

I got lucky somehow, because I woke up this morning to catch my 8-year-old daughter in the act of making me a smoothie. She handed me a beautiful book of illustrated poems,and she gave me a big hug. I know that it all worked on in the end for me (so far, so good), and I also know that it doesn't always work out for others, and I wish to honor the longing and the loneliness this day can create for people. And if they feel like celebrating when Monday comes, I don't blame them a bit.