Today as my children wake me up with their buttery fingers and vegemite smeared faces, I will think of when you woke up to a quiet home and an empty womb, dreams of little fingers wrapped around yours seemingly far away.
Today as we head off to church dressed in our best, I will remember that you ran fleeing from your home, with your children tucked under your arm because of your beliefs.
Today as I open my present, purchased with gold coins given out by daddy at the school Mother’s day stall, I will remember the day when you watched your family walk to the market and never return because someone decided to strap a bomb to their chest.
Today as I laugh and snuggle my toddler and kick the ball freely with my son, I will remember the day that tears streamed down your face as you explained to your very sick child that the medicines that made them feel so very ill were actually going to help them.
Today as I enjoy a homemade scone with strawberry jam and a cup of tea, I will remember the days you spent with your mum as a little girl making scones and how much you wish you could sit with her for a cup of tea just one more time.
Today as I read the card with rough etchings of Dear Mummy, I love you written on it, I will remember the day when you were told you didn’t have the documents to come to Australia and that it didn’t matter that you had never been given a birth certificate – because you were born a girl.
Today as I call my children’s names as they play on the swings and slides, I will remember that your child doesn’t have a playground to play on, or toys for that matter.
Today as I kiss my precious babies, stroking their hair off their face and willing them a good night’s sleep, I will remember that you are separated from your sick newborn, your baby born too early and alone in a hospital far away.
Today as I give thanks for all that I have been blessed with, a comfortable home, a husband who supports us financially, a doctor to go to, food in my fridge, education and toys for my children…and yet ask God for more, I will remember that you are giving thanks for a roof over your head even though it leaks. For food in your children’s bellies, even though it is not enough. For a safe place to sleep, even though cockroaches and mice crawl over you. For the space your child has and what he is learning, even though he still doesn’t go to school and doesn’t have any toys. For the hope you have, even though it is fading fast.
I know that you, just like me, held your first born baby in your arms. You squeezed him tight, but not too tight because you didn’t want to hurt him, and you told him that all the hours of unbearable pain, the uncertainty and the fear of childbirth was all worth it because he was the most precious thing you had ever seen. And whether you said it out loud or in your heart, you knew you would do it all over again and that you would go to the ends of the earth to protect this tiny little baby, your baby, if you had to.
I wonder in that moment if you ever believed you would actually have to go to the ends of the earth? That you would take risks that you didn’t know existed for the sake of giving your child a life…not necessarily a better life, but a life.
Today, as I enjoy my day, I hope that we can appreciate the wide continuum of motherhood, the blessing that it is to be a mother, the women who have come before us and the mother’s that we are raising.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Here is a link to a poem I use at church on Mother’s Day.
Acknowledging the “wide continuum of motherhood”
To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.
field leader WA