One of the great things about being active in social media is seeing how other people use things like Facebook and Twitter to mark holidays. Certain holidays (say Easter or Veterans Day) compel people to post a few words to note their recognition of the observance. Others (Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day) lead themselves to pictures to prove people know how to celebrate. But Mother’s Day is special because it often gives me a window into how other people value the mothers in their lives.
It can be something simple like “click share if your mother is the biggest blessing in your life.” Sometimes it’s a mother sharing a cute story about the gift her kids put together or people my age detailing what they plan to do to celebrate with their mothers. There are those who note with sadness the number of years their mothers have been gone and a few who know how difficult Mother’s Day is for mothers who have lost their children, as well as those who feel called to motherhood but have not been blessed with the opportunity. One college classmate (a fellow writer) wrote the following:
“A large number of my Facebook friends are moms, and I'm proud to know every single one. Whether you're diapering a newborn or preparing your daughter for college or watching your grandchildren grow up well, I salute all the hard (and often underappreciated) work you do every day. The next generation is in excellent hands.”
As I write this, I have framed in the windows of my computer a picture Kristie took just the other night of me and all the boys in front of the house. And while I prefer pictures with all five of us, knowing she was behind the lens for this particular moment somehow speaks to me, as all four of us, so inextricably bonded to each other, are all looking at the most important woman in the world to us, the one without whom we would be utterly lost. The unifying force — the one who gave me love, who gave them life, who gave herself fully into becoming a wife and a mother and never looked back.
She is a gift and I love her dearly. I could write to no end about the other mothers in my life — my own, my wonderful mother-in-law and my dad’s mother, as well as those no longer with us. I think today of two of my younger cousins whose mothers are gone, whose losses were terribly sad, and I feel immense sadness, that nothing anyone can do can give them the kind of fullness I feel today. That emptiness must be devastating.
I guess the best I can say is that if you love a mother, any mother, you owe it to them to say so, today and every day. And my wife, whom I met far before her gaze was focused on parenthood and who now is the kind of mother I prayed to be partnered with, most certainly deserves to know what a difference she makes to so many people.
Psalm 117A prayer for May 13:
Praise the Lord, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord.
Lord, I thank you for mothers. I thank you for my mother, who loves me as much as anything on this planet and who continues to be a daily presence in my life. I thank you for my mother-in-law, who from the first day accepted me and made me feel as if I were her own son. I thank you for my grandmother, who spoiled me rotten and always let me know she was proud of me. I thank you for those no longer with us and the love they shared when we were together. And I thank you for my wife, my angel, my all, my very self. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Amen.