It’s Sunday and it’s Mother’s day.
Like most holidays, this one is loaded. It’s funny how that works. Holidays, while fun and novel, carry emotions that feel more stark than other days.
My 3 siblings and our spouses sat together via Zoom today to honor our mom. We fought the discomfort of cheesy, mushy feels to share how we appreciate our mom. My mom has been playing superheroes (she is often a villain or a big mean rhino or some other subpar character) non stop with my kids the last 3 weeks of quarantine. She has been patient and imaginative and endlessly loving to them. I am so grateful for her presence.
Today I am also thinking of my mother in law, Deb. I am remembering the smells of her house. The earthy tones and rich blues that were in every room. I’m picturing a version of reality in which she was here and I could sit with her over a cup of reheated, day old coffee and talk about the world.
She had insights about the world that I used to take offense to. Things like believing technology was stealing our creativity and time. Like questioning the man-made structures that have seeped in and out of the Christian church and the Bible itself. Like advocating for people’s right to love who they love.
She wasn’t afraid to share her thoughts and to prove her points. I was afraid to listen – at the time, I thought I was just being unafraid to share my thoughts and prove my points… but really, I was terrible at listening to multiple perspectives. I was awful at removing my personal feelings from another person’s story and allowing discomfort to feel like offense and offense to feel like righteousness.
Funny enough, I am aligned with her now on all of those mentioned beliefs and more. I wish we could be together. I wish my kids could be experiencing her cooking and her 24/7 radio playing, and her deep laugh. I wish my kids got to know both grandmas – so different and so full of endless love.
I am grateful for the good and the bad that comes with holidays. Grateful for the reminders on these days to raise our awareness of self and others. It is powerful to celebrate people while simultaneously making room for grief in the many forms it presents itself on these days.
I celebrate this motherhood journey, and I grieve for my friend recovering from two miscarriages while another friend persists in waiting for that positive test month after month, year after year.
I celebrate my mother and the richness of life together, while I grieve for my mother in law who passed away 2 years ago.
I celebrate and I grieve. In it all, I am grateful. For the stories I have the privilege of holding, sharing, knowing, hearing.
Tell your story, especially on the days that feel so jarringly stark with emotion.