I have been trying to mentally prepare myself for Mother’s Day for weeks.
After enduring my fair share of “highest voltage on the rawest nerve” moments and “kicked swiftly in the gut out of nowhere” announcements… I have been gearing myself up for the unavoidable 24 hours of maternal appreciation, long speeches on the joy of children, and untried sermons on Hannah’s struggle, vow and answer to prayer. To be honest, I do not know how the day will go. Will it be one of the those “what was I so afraid of?”days, or will it be one of those times when you are left standing in a sea of people when emotion hits like a tidal wave and everyone around you sees the tears brimming and hears the sobs you desperately try to choke back?
Mother’s Day will hurt for a number of reasons. Mainly, that the children the majority of Mom’s are celebrating are living, tangible, breathing beings and mine is far away in another realm.
I understand fully the essence of Mother’s Day and the appreciation for mothers who give themselves selflessly for the children God has given them. It is something worthy of honor, that I have never experienced. I have never swept up a never ending supply of Cheerios, championed diaper duty or stayed up all night comforting a collicky baby… I’ve never sat by a child and watched them suffer, or sat up all night worrying about where my son was or toiled in prayer over my daughter’s choices. I appreciate moms. They have experienced trials and tribulations that make them wonderful… and I would never want to take away from the distinct honor they are due. I also have a great mom who I am thankful for this Mother’s Day who deserves loads of honor! Mothers are the champions that conquered us- some of the greatest challenges this world has ever known.
But I cannot deny that the day hurts… and the day scares me.
It’s not that I mind people knowing I am grieving. Most people get it. They understand that. They grasp that…
I just don’t like people seeing the unrefined hurt and sorrow being exposed against my will.
I would rather people see the other side of the public crumbling… the part after I have gone home, wept into my husband’s chest, planted Oliver in his bowl down in front of me, contemplated the unsearchable mysteries of God’s purpose and my life, walked over to my keyboard and plunked out Glory’s song while I squeaked out the lyrics, and spent time in prayer until I have been infused with the comfort of Christ in my moment of weakness.
After I have regained my bearings from the sudden onslaught of grief…. then you can know that I had a hard time one night… I will tell you when I stand up in church to testify that God is still on the throne, He is still faithful and loving, and we know He will be glorified through this storm.
You can have the “retrospect version”.
I don’t want you to see the emotional tidal wave that strikes at the sight of a newborn, or the speech of someone who is on their third “mistake” and how they wish they “had my problem,” or the jolt of the glorious news that yet another person is expecting. When I slip out because I can’t handle the next words, I don’t want you to stand around in little groups and shake your heads and pity me and interpret my sorrow amongst each other as “desperate for a child” or “jealous”, because while you may not understand my reaction… It has little to do with wanting a baby. I am not desperate for a baby… I am not crying because “they get one and I don’t…” I lost a baby. I lost a baby. That is why I cry. That is what is ripping through my mind like a cyclone when I excuse myself from the conversation to find a place I can release the unimaginable pangs of grief I feel in those moments.
Breaking down in front of the world before I have time to process whatever triggered the emotional tidal wave, where people can grossly miscalculate my hurt as something other than what it is… that is why I fear Mother’s Day.
I do however, want to take a moment today and acknowledge the many women that have experienced miscarriage, because while I do not know what it is to chase a toddler around or lie awake worrying about a teenager, I do know what it’s like to have sobbed and wept until I was sick at the loss of my child’s life. I’ve crumbled to my knees as ‘death’ became imminent for the child God promised. I’ve sung a song of surrender through tears as I “laid my Isaac down” as I sensed the end of my child’s life was on the horizon. I’ve wept as God gave me my own song in the night as we mourned the loss of our baby. I’ve watched most of the world forget there was ever a baby… when every day, I think of that baby.
And I know that today will hurt.
Mother’s Day will be a hard day. I walked through a packed Wal-Mart today with cards in the hands of every customer and flowers in every cart… and when I walked out my eyes burned with tears for that little one I never got to meet. She should have been 16 weeks along inside me at this point.
My comfort on this day? Your comfort on this day to those of you that have lost little babies? While you may never hear a single “Happy Mother’s Day,” we can proudly state something together that mothers of earthly children cannot say.
We can stand before everyone and say “I have a perfect child.”
If mothers of only living children said that to the mommies at their play group, they would get a good eye roll and private gag…. but we can say such a truth without shame… without batting an eye…
We belong to a class of mothers whose children have ABSOLUTELY, without a doubt, attained perfection.
I know because my child is with my Savior. My child is with my King and Creator and whatever ailment took her life so quickly away, I know that she is now in Heavenly places and she is absolutely perfect. She has no blemish, no faults, has never known an evil thought… she is perfect and she is beautiful.
What a BEAUTIFUL reminder on such a painful day. So… today, I would like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers of perfect children out there. You and your baby are every bit as important as the women and children celebrating all around you. You are a trooper… and your child is perfect.