I stood in the greeting card aisle this morning with all my fellow procrastinators,
wondering if Hallmark writers had better words to say for my mother, for myself and
the mom friends I know who are struggling on this celebratory day for mothers.
As I flipped through card after card of dripping sweet sentiments,
I realized one thing about holidays and Hallmark?
They both really suck when you're struggling.
There is a mom's brunch today.
With some of my favorite moms in this life.
But the thought of going is like a weight around my neck.
I'm afraid tears will come too easily and I won't be able to cover up my grief.
I'm worried my loss will overshadow the beauty of roses and tea and togetherness.
Life and holidays and greeting cards continue even though you may be struggling to get out of bed.
Every one's version of grief and struggle and pain are different.
And you will find no judgement on that here.
Maybe you lost someone this year like me and another holiday without them seems unbearable.
Perhaps your mom has been gone for years but the loss of not having her aches through your soul.
And days like today that ache burns even harder so.
Or you're a mom in your heart only who the dream of giggles and squishy toes is being attacked by infertility.
Or you're an adoptive mom who the weight of these new kids and issues are so much harder than you imagined, but you feel ungrateful if you confide the truth in anyone.
Maybe this day in May is impossible to fully enjoy, as you are filling the role of both parents because the other one is absent.
Maybe you're a widow a facing your first year or you fiftieth year without your love.
Or you're a mom somewhere on this globe that is missing your daughter, because
she's been taken from you.
Maybe you've lost your job, are going through a painful divorce or are estranged from your
family because of years of abuse.
Or perhaps you are like every other mom in this tiny globe and you are exhausted, overworked and wondering at the end of each day:
"Did I do it right today?"
Here are my flowers for you today.
Because you ARE doing it right today.
Doing this motherhood gig at all is doing it right.
And YES, I do count you as a mother if you are battling infertility or completing an adoption.
Doing life messy and with ragged, exhausted breaths is doing it great.
If I could give each of you something for mother's day it would be a card that says only three words.
It would be in your favorite color and made out of crayons, because that's all we mothers can seem to find to write with when the necessary time comes.
I'd pour glue over the letters and cover it with glitter so that it would be so shiny you can see it hanging on your fridge, visible across your laundry filled, back pack laden, toy museum of a living room.
Or hanging over the crib of the baby your heart aches for; or over the place where you grieve; whether it be a closet or a couch.
And on days when you are struggling to exhale without someone screaming your name or your house is so silent you feel mad from the lack of noise, you can look up and be reminded that this day,
"YOU'RE DOING GREAT!"
There is no handbook for grief.
They make no cards for loss or pain or for the struggle of a single parent's schedule.
Just know that I understand today can be a hard day.
Because today is another day in life and some of us just want the world to stop for a moment.
Whether it is for a period of years to let us grieve, or even for just a few more hours of precious sleep.
No matter what the world knows of your life from the outside.
No body has lived it from the inside like you.
But from one worn out battle wounded woman to you, this is encouragement to keep going.
Even if "going" looks like a snail's pace crawl.
I'm cheering you on today.
Happy Mother's Day all.