Mothers Day: A Mixed Message

Image: A bamboo candle and a small pink blossom (sonja_paetow / Pixabay)

To all those for whom Mother’s Day is a good day, may you get every bit of sweetness out of it! May you be present to those you love, may you connect with them in profound ways, may you make good memories you will keep for many years. May your mother and child reunion be joyful.

To all those for whom this holiday is painful because of a broken connection with your own mother or child, know that you are not alone. Do what you need to do to keep yourself safe: go to a movie, ignore the day, go for a run, do whatever will hold your soul together. It is hard, but know that the day will pass.

To all those who want children and do not have any, I know this day is especially painful. Seek out the friends that understand, if you are fortunate enough to have them. Do what you need to do to live with the pain. Write it out, exercise, anesthetize with a book or a movie, or pray: give God a piece of your mind. It’s OK to be angry; it isn’t fair.

To all those who have lost their mother, and who find this day excruciating in grief: I see you. May you be comforted among the mourners of this world, comforted in the arms of those who are still here to hug you. May your memories be at least as sweet as they are sad.

To mothers whose children have been taken from them, be it to death or to divorce or to some other awful loss, I see you. I know that this is a wound that cannot be healed; I know that there is a hole forever in your heart.

This is a day that is very important to some, and very difficult for others. If we have things we can be grateful for, may we be grateful. If we encounter someone who is in a very different mood than ours, may we be kind.

Shammai used to say: make your Torah study a fixed practice; speak little, but do much; and receive everyone with a pleasant face.

Avot 1:15
Advertisements

On Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day

Have mercy on Mother’s Day
for not everyone has a Hallmark life:

Some want with all their hearts to have a child to hold
and they can’t, just can’t.

Some yearn for the child who is gone
and their heart breaks over and over like clockwork every day.

Some ache for the children taken from them by politics
or murder, or a drunk driver, or bad luck.

Some gave a child up – it was “for the best” –
and now they wonder every day: where is she? What’s she doing?

Have mercy on Mother’s Day
because not everyone had a Hallmark life:

Their mom was sick or selfish
or she went missing one dark night and never came back
or she lived on her own private planet
perhaps some kind of hell.
Or it hurts even to be in the room with her
because she bites, like an injured mother cat
all claws and teeth.

Perhaps their mom was a child herself
Perhaps we’ll never know
They’ll never tell

Have mercy on Mother’s Day
Have mercy on all the mothers
All the children
Have mercy.