Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Revisited

Mother's Day 2007

Why didn't anyone warn me? I guess, really, the onus is with me. I should have seen it coming, but I didn't.

It's not like I haven't realized that Mother's Day might be difficult for those whose mothers are no longer a part of their lives (for whatever reason). I taught grade school long enough that I learned to temper my words around this holiday: "Okay boys and girls, this gift we're making could be for your mother, as Mother's Day is coming, but you might also decide you'd like to give it to your grandmother or aunt or some other special woman you know."  My own family tree even includes the far-too-early passing of maternal grandmother while my mom was just a child. So, you'd think it might have dawned on me. Instead, I woke up this morning, not really sure what to do with today.

Whispers of, "She's awake." "No, she's not." "Yes, she is, one of her eyes is open." were quickly replaced with giggly children presenting hand-crafted gems (and the not without notice Yahoo's "Singing Baby Quartet" ecard). We had planned a lovely picnic after church. The day felt full of potential for lots of gushy mommy-moments. A few times today, however, my thoughts wandered into more serious territory as I wondered if the two newest additions to our family were--in all likelihood--trying to celebrate this happy family day while the specter of their first mother's death lurked nearby.
"What does it mean to sleep beneath the heart of another person, safe and warm, for almost a year? No scientist can truly say. But it must have some visceral power that we cannot really understand, only intuit."
The quote above is taken from an article published in Good Housekeeping magazine nearly 20 years ago. (And is unfortunately impossible to find online)  The author, Anna Quindlen, wrote "On Losing Your Mother," about her own mother's death. It is a very moving article and one which my own mom shared with a very dear friend of mine when she, too, lost her mother at a young age. It left me thinking about what we could do to make today a celebration of our newest daughter's  mothers (yes, I said motherS) America mom and Ethiopia mom. I'm thinking that we'll light a candle, pray a special prayer and see how that goes. But I'm left with a feeling that no matter what, it just won't be enough.

"There's just a hole in my heart," writes Ms. Quindlen, "and nothing to plug
it. The truth is that there is no one, ever, in your life like your mother."

And now, I find, there's a hole in my heart as well.

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