TBC: Are you having a good day, Mom?
Me: I think I’m as happy today as I’ve ever been in my whole life.
Don’t get me wrong. I still semi-hate Mothers’ Day and have ever since Mom died in 1988 after an eight year adventure with breast cancer. Those were some dark years, hidden well by my perky personality but any of my parishioners could tell you that I easily choked up in the years after her death. The sadness was barely below the surface.
My life’s narrative evolved into this:
I had a baby (FBC) and my mom died when FBC was eight weeks old. I had another baby (SBC) and my dad died when SBC was four months old. Then I had another baby (TBC) and nobody died (but we joked that my in-laws looked worried.) The truth is that I was sad for about ten years. Pathetically, cataclysmically, drooling-on-myself sad. And then one day I read this book and something clicked. I didn’t want to die anymore.
Being a mom is hard. Not being a mom is hard. Losing a mom is hard. Wishing your mom would get lost is hard.
The bottom line is that I – for some gracious reason – have been breathtakingly fortunate. Today, on the cusp of the end of 20 years of public primary, secondary, and higher education, our three kids are all employed and – best of all – alive. They like each others’ company. They are good human beings. They make a mother (and a father) proud. They know that God created them to make a difference.
Because I’m happy today, the world is different. Once I couldn’t think about mothers without weeping over the loss of my own. But there is hope. There is always hope.
So Happy Mothers’ Day. Or – even better: hang on if this has been a terrible day, especially if it had anything to do with being a mother or not being a mother or having a mother or not having a mother. The season is still Eastertide and resurrection is always a possibility. Always.
Peace to those who are sad today. And know that – while we are not promised happiness – it’s possible.