When I was a child, we wore rose corsages for Mother’s Day. If your mother was alive, you wore red roses; if your mother had died, you wore a white rose. I learned the rules the Mother’s Day after my Nana died. Up until that time, it was just special to wear a flower. When my Daddy gave my Mama a white rose, a bit of emotion surfaced. I thought she got the special colour because she’s the Mama; then the reason was explained.
Then my eight year old mind understood that Mother’s Day wasn’t just a happy day.
Fast forward to my young adulthood. After a couple of miscarriages, motherhood looked uncertain in my future. Then I understood how painfully angsty the day can be. During this season I read something about how Eve’s name meant life-giver, and I decided that I wanted to be life-giving in my relationships of all kinds. Internally, I adjusted Mother’s Day as a day to honour my mother and a day to prayerfully be life-giving to others.
Now my house runneth over with children, but I’ve not forgotten the painful Mother’s Days.
Today was the second anniversary of my godson’s death; grief. As I recontemplated this loss, it started Mother’s Day as a tender day. A Mother’s Day is painful kind of day.
Then in worship I was reminded of a blessing I’ve never noticed in being a mother – proximity to miracles. Since miracle awareness requires closeness, parenthood allows a front row seat to the amazing, quiet, powerful, unheralded activity of God in my children’s lives. Today’s awareness came when a child did something that once upon a time seemed it might be impossible. Then the congregation sang a song that hoped my husband and me when it seemed our youngest child might not ever make it home. At this point, my mind was on the trajectory of remembering/seeing the pattern of God’s activity, and I recalled other ways the Lord has powerfully changed, acted, helped our family, things only He could have done.