Remember all mothers

May 8, 2018


May is full of reasons to celebrate. Gardens come to bloom, bringing life and color to a dismal landscape. Birds and other critters sing and chatter in the backyards as another season starts fresh and new.

It is a season budding with promise. Moms get breakfast in bed or treated to lunch. Weddings are held, graduations are planned, summer plans are hatched. Frowns and worries give way to smiles and lighter steps.

Yet under the all of the color and the gaiety, there is a shadow of sadness. Not every mom sees Mother’s Day the same way.

There is the mom who keeps a box tucked away in a closet or attic. Each piece has a specific memory: This is the hat that he wore when he came home from the hospital. This is the blanket that grandma made before she passed away. That is the onesie he wore when he took his last breath.

There is the mom who felt all through her pregnancy that she was not “mom” quality. When her daughter was born, she could not explain to anyone why she could not hold her newborn. Words like “crazy” and “mental” bounce around her head.

Whatever the reason, her house is quiet and only shadows of giggles hang on the walls. As she watches the neighborhood kids ride their bikes past her house, she remembers the skinned knees she had to patch.

Sometimes the kids come home from college or wherever their lives took them. When they do, she will sit at the kitchen table, listening and wondering who this stranger is that bears her child’s name. What happened to the child she knew, the one missing teeth and bubbling over with enthusiasm, telling her about school?

Mother’s Day is about memories, old and new. It is about honoring the world’s second oldest profession (Erma Bombeck’s definition). It is easy to honor the mom who is surrounded by her kids. Just don’t forget the one who has only ghosts to hold. She is still a mom, too.

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