This is the week our calendar reminds us to think about our moms - and we all have one.
It was once noted that Mother's Day is one of the busiest days for churches, for florists, for restaurants... because nothing can play on our heart strings like a mom...
After all, it was her heart-beat that was our first symphony...and the safe place she carried us was our first home.
It is a week I miss my mom, now in heaven almost four years. And as I attend many bedsides, where death is imminent, where children of all ages say good-bye, those are sacred moments. There is something primal about saying good-bye to a mom - a final separation of the emotional umbilical cord. It is hard to explain, but the feelings can be intense, and even physical.
Everyone has a biological mom... but not all get to know her. I also think this week of those who never got to know their mom - through death or separation.
I think of those who grieve... and I've joined those ranks. Remembering a mom in heaven!
We need to also remember adoptive moms... brave and courageous, often sacrificing much to have a child of the heart. We need to listen to their stories. I admire them greatly.
And others who released their children to be loved by others, bearing wounds and holding stories not told. Some, deeply troubled, some addicted.... we need to listen, to show compassion.
And there those who cannot be mothers but long to be... and the travail of the heart for those whose womb is silent. Others choose to share their love through fostering or being a loving auntie or neighbour, or surrogate grandma.
I also want to remember mothers who grieve... and the children who have died; children they will carry forever in their hearts. And there is the disfranchised grief... those who mother those in trouble... children on drugs, or in trouble with the law. Their grief is silent. We need to acknowledge their pain.
Then there are the mothers of those with great needs... and their children will always need a caregiver. Sometimes the care is around the clock, and exhausting. They need our support and care!
I've been grateful for spiritual mothers in my life... those who mentored me, prayed for me, listened with unconditional love and open hearts. These are precious women I am thankful for. And I pray I can also be that kind of "mother"... heart open wide to love those who need extra encouragement.
I've heard it said the greatest joy... and the greatest sorrow... lay in the heart of a mother. We've just celebrated Easter and we think of the heart of Mary, blessed and chosen to be the mother of Jesus, yet her heart broke for him as she watched him suffer. A mother's heart is a fragile thing...
Emotions are stirred when we think of our moms... they can drive us crazy, and as we have pushed their buttons, we can be triggered by them too! Moms are human beings, flawed, needy, while they are generous and caring. The older I get, I see the human side of my mother... striving, yearning, loving, giving, serving. She longed for peace in her family, she wanted to know how everyone was, and she cared deeply for each one.
I am also called to remember that we are not defined by the labels we wear... although there is great significance in them. We are human, we are loved, we are flawed, we are created in the image of God, (both mother and father) we have purpose, we are blessed. And we are grateful that God created moms - the path to life here on earth.