Saturday, May 09, 2015

Marked by Love

I’m thinking about Mother’s Day…or Mothers’ Day. So many articles out there this week prior to that day set aside by Hallmark to honor mothers. Living or dead, Facebook is full of poems and prose about how wonderful one mother or another is or was.

Mine is dead. But when she was alive, Mother’s Day belonged to her. It was never mine. She was my mother regardless of whether or not I had children.

In many ways, in fact, Mother’s Day continues to be about my mother regardless of the fact that she is no longer living.

I had a fairly great relationship with my mom…it grew into a mutual admiration relationship as adults built up from love from our lifetime together. I know that there are people who have not, do not have such a relationship with their mother. I am sympathetic to that problem. It is not this day with which I am concerned; rather, it is the relationship. I sorrow for that mother’s loss; for that child’s loss.

At one time, I wanted the day to be about me but since it rarely was about me other than for a few short minutes, after a while, the short minutes of hoopla became kind of silly. Don’t get me wrong…I love being thanked for all the things I have done and will continue to do…for all the unconditional love. It is nice.

And it means something.

However, I just cannot allow it to mean THAT much. Seriously. How can one day make up for a whole year…a lifetime? It cannot.

Am I less of a mother or more of a mother simply because or in spite of one day? Does it mean my children, born or adopted, by birth or by law, love me more because they give me a card or less because they forgot or didn’t have the dollars to do so or the desire or time to make one? Well, I hope not.

There are many women who have made an intentional choice to have no children. There are many women who have intentionally strived to have children to no avail. There are many women who have had children but were unable to raise them for whatever reason. That does not mean that there are no children who consider them important parts of their lives and love them accordingly.

And there are many women (and men) who have taken on the role of mother for a short time…or for a longer one…regardless of having chosen to do so.  

All mothers are not women; all women are not mothers.

Try as much as I would like, I cannot ignore this day. It is still about my mom. She loved me. She told me so on so many occasions. She showed me so in every look, even when it was the “hairy eyeball” look that meant I best change my evil ways. I especially remember the last time she showed me her love. There were no words because she was far passed being able to communicate through speech. But she communicated nonetheless. As she stared at me intently, her eyes told me how much she loved me.

I carry her love with me every day of my life. It is a banner; it is a shield.

I pray that I continue to let her love shine through me, marking me, reminding me of our time together.