So much pressure
It seems like Mother’s Day carries a lot of pressure
Pressure on the husbands to get it right
Pressure on the kids to communicate it right
Pressure on adoptive moms to acknowledge the birth moms
Pressure on kids who are adopted to hide their thoughts about their birth moms
Pressure on birth moms to not sink into despair
Pressure on friends to acknowledge the friends who can’t conceive
Pressure to not be too happy because people are in pain over lost moms and lost children and dreams unfulfilled
Pressure to not be too sad because moms are wonderful and it’s their day to be celebrated
So much pressure
There are truly wonderful things about Mother’s Day and truly painful things.
We all have moms. Some have 2 or 3 depending on their life story. But we all have someone in our life who carried us for 9 months and gave birth to us. We have that in common, all of us. And from there, every story is different.
My mom died 20 years ago – February 29, 2000 – yep Leap Day, so it could be argued it was only 5 years ago, but it does seem like a life time ago. I was 39, pretty young to have your mom die. She had ALS for 10 years and basically couldn’t move at all for about 7 of those last years. One of the saddest things about my mom dying that young is that my kids didn’t get the full grandma experience. She loved being a grandma and she was good at it. Even now I often tell Jaylen: “Oh how I wish your great-grandma was around, she would love you”. And I look Kylie and DJ and I wish she could see them now, she loved them the best she could in her unmovable state. I wish she could have known Austin she would have loved him and would be so excited for him and Moriah and their upcoming marriage. Her oldest grandchild just got married for the first time at age 45. I missed her that day, wishing she could be there to join in all the joy of that long-awaited day. So much loss and dreams left unrealized.
My mom grew up in Little Falls, MN where her dad owned a gas station, and she danced with the solders from Camp Ripley at the local hall. At some point they moved to Cambridge where she met my dad and he told her about the saving love of Jesus and that began the legacy of our family.
That’s just one part of one woman’s story and only a small part of her family’s story. At her grave side I was overwhelmed with grief at all the loss and all the things undone and unsaid. Her disease changed our family and wore my dad out. When he was unable to take care of her anymore, they moved in with Scott and I when our kids were young for about a year and half. When they moved in, it was as if my dad was able to let go of the burden of caring for her and he quickly sank into Alzheimers. As my sisters and I navigated that decade+ of taking care of our parents there was a lot of demons brought to the light. A lot of baggage, hurt and pain along with love and laughter. We are so thankful that we came out stronger together and more unified through those excruciating years. Again, part of one woman’s story.
There are always jokes about needing therapy because of your mother – I’m sure my kids will need it and I did too during those years. But the thing is – being a mom is complicated. A mother is supposed to love her kids completely and unconditionally knowing that they will be the one to take the blame for all the hard things in their kid’s life… because they are the safest and because they… love completely and unconditionally. And all the while knowing they are raising their kids to leave.
There is a song called Gracefully Broken sung by Tasha Cobbs. It’s a powerful song with powerful words. Here are some of them:
God will break you to position you, break you to promote you, and break you to put you in your right place
But when He breaks you He doesn’t hurt you, He doesn’t, when He breaks you He doesn’t destroy you, He does it with; grace
Anybody been gracefully broken?
I surrender. Y’all throw your hands up and sing I surrender, All that I am, I surrender
Have Your way, use me Lord, I surrender, do Your will, it’s all Your way, I surrender
Use my life for Your glory, say I surrender all, you want to tell Him right where you are I surrender