I remember mother's day as a young child. I would have a small handmade gift from school that I was to give to my mom. I remember there was always a tag and I would stare at the blank space where I was supposed to fill it with words of appreciation. I never knew what to write in that space... everything seemed too simple or too cliche. I wanted to write something big and beautiful that would fully express the love that was in my little heart but the words could never come out right.

I feel that same burden as I look at this blank space... with all that has been said of moms and mothers - it will never be enough for my mom.

My mom is not perfect - I don't want to pretend that she is because now I am a mom and I hate when that sentiment is said. I prefer this sentiment:

My mom is a good mom. She mothered in a way that was uniquely hers. She raised 8 kids, married them off, welcomed 31 grandchildren into her heart, and now has the impossibly hard task of being a constant source of love for my brother David's children. Her role as mother has morphed and changed but she never shrinks from the tasks at hand - no matter how hard the road.

When people ask me how I am doing regarding my brother's death - I feel selfish in my responses. My grief pales in comparison to his children who lost their mother and father and my parents who lost a son. That seems to be what I keep coming back to on this mother's day...

That mothering is such a long-haul, soul-stretching, heartbreaking work. It is an ungrateful labor that requires you to love something far more than you love yourself. It is daily and ordinary and oh so very messy - physically and emotionally. It causes doubts and fears and overwhelming feelings of inadequacy.

Yet with all it's shortcomings, just like my 9-year-old self, it's beauty can leave you at a loss of words.

So since it doesn't get better than this:

Happy Mother's Day!


Jana Weaver said...

Perfectly written! Happy mother's day!

AndersonGR8 said...

Nice tribute to the Mom I call sweetheart. Thank you Cyndi.