When Mother’s Day is Hard
It never occurred to me that on that special Sunday in church, the red roses handed out, that I would be one of the ones not standing, looking down at my hands, fighting back tears.
I never thought there would be no one to cook for me, or bring me eggs with the shells scrambled in, or color crayoned cards with triangle shaped heads.
It claws at your promise. There is death where there should be life.
I know what it is to take the hundredth negative pregnancy test and worse,
I know what it is to get the positive one and the fear in the pit of your stomach that follows because of all the loss.
I know the desperate Google searches late into the night, the countless blood tests, the new results from doctors, each layer more complex and more devastating.
I know how lonely that path is to walk alone with no one to guide you.
I want to say, I feel you, sister. And I’m sorry. It shouldn’t be this way.
I know you want to pull the curtains closed and crumple tissues up on your floor. I know you want to skip church, go for a hike, and eat a lot of ice cream. I give you permission to have days like that.
I usually skip church on Mother’s Day and head out to the wilderness, because it’s too painful. It’s too painful to not be honored, to have that secret pain ignored, or to be told platitudes like, “You just have to keep believing.” We need our churches to learn empathy, how to be with people in their pain, versus sympathy and “quick fixes.”
But what I’m learning is there’s beauty in the bittersweet here and now.
There are days when I take my journal out into the sun and sit on the splintered wooden bench and know this life is worth living. Those days I can feel God come near like an old friend and wrap His arms around me and I know we are getting closer too.
The deep ache in my soul can’t be satisfied with anything other than Him.
Faith is expanding in my chest with every breath I breathe in the truth of my promise.
There are days when another woman emails me about her struggle and I have a deep well of love and empathy for her that I know would otherwise not be there if I hadn’t gone through all of this.
There are nights where out under the stars I can talk with a friend who has lost a child and openly cry tears with her and hold her pain in the palm of my hands without flinching because I know what it is to lose.
There are mornings when I’m writing, the house settled and silent, and I’m grateful I’m not juggling a crying baby.
It’s not that I wouldn’t trade it all, but I’m keenly aware of the gifts of this time I may not get back.
I’m learning this journey is so intimate, so personal, and no one can tell you what’s right for them is right for you. Prayer, adoption, IVF, immunology, waiting. There are no black and white lines. (I’ll be writing more on this soon)
There are many different ways to be a mother and I honor you for yours.
There is only the courage of following your intuition.
These are treasures. They are pearls of great price.
Our life is happening now. It isn’t that it hasn’t started yet because we’re not the mothers of our own living children.
We’re in this together, lighting candles for one another, bravely hoping against the dark.
My prayer is that someone’s eyes are opened to see you, acknowledge your grief, and offer a hug, and that you are able to be that for someone else.
There is still so much love inside you to give away.
So please share, what do you do when Mother’s Day is hard for you?