I have celebrated many Mother’s Days. There those childhood ones where we made breakfast and served it to mom in bed. There were the exciting ones as a missionary where I got to call home, one of only two opportunities to do so each year. There was the newlywed Mother’s Day when Brian got me an “I love my geek” shirt and we taught Primary together. And the Mother’s Day we spent in Italy where the members at church were blissfully unaware of the fact that Mother’s Day even existed and no one even tried to give me a potted plant. (It should be pointed out that Italians celebrate Mother’s Day a month earlier. – Brian)
There were hard Mother’s Days when we were trying to conceive. Many of those were dreaded and tear-filled and I felt it took all my courage just to set foot outside my house. There was the Mother’s Day spent in Montana for Brian’s grandfather’s funeral where children and grandchildren surrounded a beloved mother in her time of need.
I’ll never forget the mother’s day of the fifty-cent dress. That was the Mother’s Day that I gave up feeling sorry for myself. I found a spectacular green dress the week before Mother’s Day, added a pair of impractical, wonderful shoes to match, and stood tall that day for under $10. I was happy with who I was.
The next year, I was surprised to find myself a mother. It had all come so quickly, and so differently than I’d ever imagined, that I was both thrilled and stunned that day. I was still in awe of the tiny little baby boy who slept snuggled in my arms that day.
I couldn’t help to think, though, that day that while my arms were full, his birth mother’s weren’t. I could remember those sad, empty-armed mother’s days in my own past, and prayed that she would find comfort.
Another year passed, and I spent mother’s day in the hospital. This was a day without frills and another day when no one even tried to bring me a flower at church. But I was grateful simply that Patrick was able to get dressed up and go with us to the hospital’s church services. We’d nearly lost him earlier in the year to Candida, and he’d just survived another battle with it. I knew I had a treasure that year.
And now, this year, here we are again on Mother’s Day. This year Patrick’s been blessed with better health, and as a result, he’s growing into quite the amazing little boy. I am even more amazed this year than every by the miracle he is, and the awesome priviledge of being his mother. I love spending my days with him.
Today, I woke up at 6 a.m. to sneak into his room and start a dose of IV antibiotics. I got his belly drain flowing again, gave him a pacifier, and tucked him into bed. I am tired from sleep sacrificed to take care of his medical needs. My body aches and I am sunburned after a day spent wandering around downtown Salt Lake with him yesterday.
I’ve never been so happy to be so tired and so achy.
I know this kind of Mother’s Day is a rare and precious gift. My previous mother’s days and the experiences of these past 3 years have made me realize that far too many women are aching in other ways today.
Some mothers have lost children. Some worry their children are lost. Some wonder if they’ll ever have children. Some have children, but ache that they can’t have more. Some are missing their own mothers. Some are tired single moms. Many, many women feel the ache of dreams unfulfilled today. That ache is a sign of a mother’s heart.
And I know that today I am lucky to spend the day chasing a toddler and doing my best to pamper my mother and husband’s mother.
And like the Sunday of the fifty-cent dress, I will stand tall, aching limbs and tired eyes… in gratitude for the gift of another Mother’s Day.