Mother's Day. Not always a hallmark card, really. It seemed empty, lonely, and sad. It was also sweet with hugs and kisses, homemade cards, good deeds for Mommy, picnics, and family time. I'm not the only one out there that doesn't get to live out the ideal Mother's Day. I think Mother's Day is a sad, painful day for so many. It is often unmentioned that there are women who never got the privilege of being a mother even though they would have been the best mothers if they had been given the chance. Some mothers didn't deserve to be a mother...and their children have to live with their loss each Mother's day. So many mothers have to grieve over the absence of their own mother as they raise their children without a Grandma. There are mothers, like me, who have to face each day, including Mother's Day with one (or more) of our children missing.
There is a misunderstanding about Joy in the midst of pain. Joy never left. It is here, most every day, in one form or another. Joy is chained to deep sorrow and pain. They are rarely felt apart from each other. My mother's day was filled with joyful moments with my children. It was also filled with tears, and the pain of separation from my first born child that literally shook me. I do not desire a Mother's day without tears. My tears represent Ashley. I want them.
As I began my day, I pondered Mother's day. I imagined happy families blissfully celebrating motherhood. I imagined Mom's with "all" of their children. (Not that those things are not worthy celebrating!) Mine was broken. Empty. Lonely. The words of an old favorite song filled my mind..."You can have all this world.....Give me Jesus." Being a mother WAS part of this world. This world is broken and lost.
Later on, I took a drive by myself. It was a good time for me to give in to my pain. Tears rolled down my face and I shook as I tried to imagine my sweet child. I missed her deeply. I couldn't feel her as close anymore. I missed specific things about her. I missed my perfect Mother's Days. I wanted her hugs and kisses. Soon, the song began to play on the radio..."when I am alone, oh when I am alone, Give me Jesus..."
God wanted me to know that even being a mother belonged to Him. He entrusted that gift to me, but it belonged to Him. A particular verse in Luke made sense to me..."If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be my disciple." Even those good things are part of this world. I determined that God wanted me to know that I only need Him. I didn't need a perfect Mother's Day.
Ashley crowned me with motherhood. She shaped me into the mother I am today. As the oldest child, she conducted each day. Every one of my children bear her mark. For a very long time after Ashley died, it was hard for me to "see" my other children apart from her. I have been so blessed over the past few months, as I have begun to enjoy each one of my children for who they are apart from Ashley, and to also love them for their characteristics that mirror their sister. The hole is always there, every time I look at my children, one is missing, but I am not always focused on it. I see the hole as part of the WHOLE of my broken life.