Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Days of my childhood were dreaded occasions. I preferred the holiday to quickly pass as I kept my head down, eyes focused on the floor. I tried to ignore the vacant, hollow space in my life. The holiday highlighted the enormous difference between me and every other child I knew. I no longer had a mother. She had been dead for three months by the Mother's Day of my kindergarten year.

As each Mother's Day approached and projects were proudly or mindlessly completed by my classmates, I hoped for invisibility. I silently worked on my project to give to my grandma. My objective as I created my craft was to secure a facial expression void of my thoughts. I can't imagine I was good at the task then because I certainly can't pull it off now. My emotions tend to be as obvious and readable as the words on a giant, flashing billboard.

Years passed. I studied my friends' relationships with their mothers. I envied most of them and understood none of them. I continued to celebrate Mother's Days with my dear grandma.

Then came the Mother's Day when my belly swelled with the life of my son. A new meaning for the holiday--a never-experienced joyous celebration--was growing, soon to be born. My life as a mother about to unfold. Another first in my life I could not share with my own mother. My grandma lived to share the first year of my son's life with me. Three days after his first birthday, I lost her too.

I thank God for safely delivering my son to my arms and trusting me with his care, for the blessings he brings, for the life, laughter and love that has shined on my family for the last sixteen Mother's Days.

I miss my mom and my grandma; I am blessed with my son. It's the forever paradox of my Mother's Days.

I wish a beautiful Mother's Day to all of my readers. I know I am not the only one whose sadness is triggered by this holiday. Other daughters who miss their mothers understand my pain. Women who yearn to be mothers experience sorrow. Mothers who have lost a child mourn. My prayers are with all of you and I hope you have loved ones to offer you support today and always.