This is dedicated to all those who didn’t watch their mommies become grand-mommies, to those who lost mothers in childhood, to whatever cause- be it illness, sudden death, or the loss of a mother who just couldn’t be around due to a reason only she can pay testimony to. I am writing to you who couldn’t ask your mother how her pregnancies were or how she labored or when she saw her first gray hair. I am writing to us who never watched young, smooth hands become freckly and wrinkled, to those who never got to help our mothers up the stairs and to those who felt the empty chain-link that came between us and our mourning grandmothers. This weekend you are all in my heart and I am sending you light.
Mother’s Day is a day filled with different emotions. Often there is beauty and grace, other times there is heartbreak, sometimes it’s hectic to juggle everyone’s needs and expectations. For those of us who have a break in the chain, it can be confusing. While the hugs and cuddles and love that come from our own children are a gift from God, for me, there is often an empty chair at which I sometimes glance. If she were here, which one of her granddaughters would be sitting on her lap, getting her hair stroked? What would she have taught my daughters? What would I have done for her on this day? When my mother’s mother was alive, I often saw her glance at the empty chair, wondering what her daughter would have done on this day. She loved her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, but the loss of a child is too painful to ever be able to give words to. The loss of a young mother is a tragedy to all. When my beloved Grandma passed, there were 2 empty chairs and I became the first link on the chain. The oldest mommy (on my maternal side) that my daughters would turn to- filling the shoes of my mom and grandma is not an easy task.
This week, I had the honor of supporting a truly miraculous birth. As the mom was in the last pangs of labor, I turned to her mother who had streams of tears running down her face and her hands up to her mouth. I smiled at her knowingly, as she whispered, “my baby is having a baby”. Then, she wiped my tears and the next sounds we heard were the sounds a healthy baby boy. I pray all mommies can watch their babies become mommies at the right time, in perfect health and with sheer joy. I wanted to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the people who step up when there are no mommies- the grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, nannies, friends, and siblings. I had many mothers. I was surrounded by a cocoon of love and kindness and for this I am grateful. I am grateful for daily reminders of the miracle of motherhood that unfold before me. Most of all, I am humbled by the strength of those who go on- show up, step up and hold space- that my friends, is motherhood at its truest essence.