How can one be a mother yet not a mother at the same time? How can one be a daughter yet an orphan all at once at never at all? How can we walk that line of in-between and straddle both worlds of decadent joy and pure loss?
Mother’s Day is complicated and almost every single person, on this day, can both celebrate while also grieve. For some the loss is more than others, and for some there is nothing to grieve at all – but one day there will be. That is what is eventual. One day there will be. For we are all born into this world from our mothers. Every last one of us has one. Some lost her before our first breaths could be inhaled and others not until their skin had grown wrinkled and worn themselves. Some of us have had more than one mother in our lives and others have had only one. What is unending, undying, and ever true is this one fact – we all exist because we have a mother. It matters not if she is present today, yesterday, or in the future.
Once a year we partake in a celebration, appreciation, and honor of our mothers and foremothers. For many of us we feel ostracized during this national celebration, while thinking of what was or what could have been. It is for these mothers, these daughters, and these sons that I write for today.
I ask you to remember them.
I ask you to be aware of them.
I ask you to take a moment of silence for them.
You may not even realize you know one of them. It may be something they’ve never mentioned. But, chances are, you do. We are everywhere. The world is broken, it is full of broken people and broken pieces of broken lives. For some that brokenness wins. It eats them alive with its insatiable hunger. But if we’re lucky we come together, especially on days like Mother’s Day, and we take all of our broken pieces of our broken selves, and our uplifting words to each other become the glue that puts us back together. The pieces don’t match, there’s some from this person glued to that person, but somehow it makes our mosaic that much more vivid, that much more eye-catching. It makes us stronger, even in our brokenness. We may be orphaned or lost, we may be grieving, we may have empty arms with a mother’s heart, but we are intertwined with each other and we do not have to be alone.
It’s Mother’s Day weekend and I have no doubt that many are grieving and thinking of mothers lost, children lost, motherhood lost. I stand in remembrance of us. In honor of us, in silence for us.
This will be the first Mother’s Day I get to spend with my relinquished daughter and I am so thankful for that but, at the same time, I am mourning all the days lost. Reunion doesn’t fix it. It brings it to the forefront and demands attention.