Mother's Day has often been a hard day for me. Without going into details better left private, I was sometimes sad on this day. Then, there was the fact that despite all the love I gave to children over the years (including some who told me I was very much a mother to them), it never "counted." This day typically celebrates those who have given birth but not all those who have mothered.
Now, as I await the birth of our-much loved and longed for child, I want to be so mindful that giving birth alone is not what makes someone a mother. There are so many women in the world who love and nurture and support the children they love without ever having given birth. I think of dear friends who have adopted and are defnitely Mothers in the truest sense of the word. I also think of those who while, technically, "childlesss" have loved and cared for children with amazingly open and loving hearts, including some of my teachers and my dear most recent supervisor and beloved friend, B. She - and all these women - definitely deserve to be celebrated on this day!
I am also thinking about the women who have carried a new life only to have to say goodbye heartbreakingly soon. I have close friends who have endured losses I cannot even imagine and have carried on and loved other children - whether those they birthed or those they encountered and whose lives they enriched - with grace and strength.
One of the most important women in my life has been my beloved Gram. As her oldest grandchild, we have shared a special bond. We have spent countless hours together, including a trip to Europe some 16 years ago and the 10+ years I lived with her. I would love for her to meet this Baby, but it seems that that might not be in the cards. And that's okay. I love her too much to demand she stay here suffering. As I told her last night, if she is not able to be here, I will be very sad, but it's okay. Even if she is not here when the Baby comes, I am sure she will be able to see him/her and we will feel her love with us. She has given me so much love, my whole life, that how can I selfishly ask her to continue suffering? She deserves peace and freedom from pain.
Being a mother is more than just giving birth, and I am blessed by all the wonderful women who have loved me over the years. Happy Mother's Day to every woman who has ever touched the life of a child.