Sunday, May 12, 2013

for the mamas with no child to hold.


For the mamas with no child to hold, a day devoted to all-things-motherly can be more than overwhelming.

I know because today, I feel it.

The stores are fully stocked with I-love-you-mom cards, the tear-jerking commercials have hijacked the television, and neighborhood kids flock the streets in their sunday best and with flowers in-hand to give to the mamas and grandmamas who have raised them.

Don't get me wrong -- I believe that days like today are beautiful and life-giving and necessary.  Honoring the mamas who have given us life {and given their lives up for us} is a powerful thing.  I am forever grateful for the ways God has loved me through my birth mama, the mamas I've gained through marriage, grand-mamas, and the spiritual mamas who have taught me so many valuable, heart lessons throughout my journey.  My life would be so different -- so empty -- without these precious women.

But for the mama whose arms are empty -- the mamas who have lost a child to tragedy, violence, drugs, illness, death, miscarriage -- we mamas wrestle with a different kind of grief on days like today. 

The kind of grief that reminds us {taunts us} of what could have been, what should have been, and even worse, what might never be again.

{ I should be rocking my few-week-old baby to sleep in our mustard-yellow nursery.  My neighbor's 20-something-year-old son should know life and freedom apart from drugs, and violence, and a prison sentence;  he should be celebrating with her at their brunch table today.  That pastor's wife in California should be having a tea-party with her little cancer-free girl, Daisy.  That grieving, tired, god-loving woman should just see those two-pink-lines already. }

Yet, for whatever reason -- some reason far {so far} above my earthly understanding -- these things are not.  These things simply cannot be.

And on this day -- while some mamas and even my dearest friends celebrate the beauty and blessing of motherhood {as they should}, I pray that we're all reminded of the other mamas -- the mamas in every church community and neighborhood and block who throw their hands in the air {or hide under the covers} on days like today, wondering how anything on this earth makes any kind of godly sense; those mamas whose flower vases, and dining tables, and spare bedrooms are empty, but whose hearts are filled with grief, and loss, and pain like-no-other.

Yes, even the mama with no child to hold is still a mama. 

Happy mama's day to all.

With love from east baltimore,

-me