Best wishes to all moms reading this. I realize that for some, this is a very difficult day. Perhaps your mother has passed away and you miss her terribly. Perhaps your relationship with her is strained, and this day brings mixed emotions and unmet longings. Still others reading this are wondering if this is the last Mother's Day your mom will live to see. Mother's Day can also be difficult for women who have miscarried, lost children, or who haven't been able to conceive. Maybe you have also struggled with guilt and depression in your mothering that this day is one you wish to pull back from or just skip altogether. May I tell you that you are on my heart?
I personally have not always enjoyed Mother's Day. I have experienced much of what I wrote above, but this year has been different, by God's grace.
My mom is still alive and I thank God she is. She is not in the best of health, but she is my dad's lifelong love and together they shepherd a small Messianic congregation near here. I wanted to have lunch out with Mama today, but she says that she and Daddy aren't much fun to eat with anymore since they are on such a restricted diet. (My dad was just diagnosed with diabetes, so they both have it.) She says she would much prefer to have the grandkids over for snacks and game playing when their finals are over. (I noticed she didn't say, "I'd like to have my children here..." --no, she goes straight for the grandkids!)
My mom is a wiz at Monopoly and my fiercest competitor in Balderdash. She taught Joel to love Upwords and beats my dad every time at Scrabble. My children are probably among the few Jewish-by-heritage-Protestant-by-upbringing kids out there nowadays and they can play a mean game of dreidel at Hanukkah, courtesy of Ima (which is what my mom goes by; it means "mother" in Hebrew, a term she liked better than the word for grandmother).
She also loves to watch children perform, not just her own, but others, and has a knack for encouraging children in their God-given bents. At the school musical this past Friday, she and Daddy attended the dress rehearsal. The musical was called "Kings, Dreams, and Schemes," about the faith of Daniel. Our little Joel had two parts: a "Wise Guy" whose only line was, "I don't want to read it!" (the handwriting on the wall) and a lion in the den. He was adorable in both parts. (Pictures coming.) The title role was played by one of my students. Mama leaned over during the play and said of him, "That kid has a future in acting." I whispered back,"He wants to be a professional actor when he grows up. He's already told me so." I had the opportunity later to tell the boy what my mom said. He beamed and jumped off the ground. "Really?! Me?! That's so cool. Thanks!" She also stopped in to the debriefing afterwards where the director was coaching the cast on what went well and what needed improving for the evening show. My mom came in and said, "Excuse me, I'd just like to tell all of you that you did a WONderful job. I'm Joel's grandma and I'm so proud of all of you!" I think the kids appreciated having a "real" audience member (i.e. from the outside) giving them kudoes. She was a very good acting coach when I played the part of Amaryllis in community theatre when I was eleven. Her encouragement gave me the boost I needed to face huge crowds and to be more comfortable than awkward in public speaking situations. I think it helped these young thespians as well.
God made this a lovely day for me. In the past, I've stayed home from church some years, my depression was that bad. But this year, I was quite happy, so take it from me: there is hope for you. Someday the cloud will lift. This morning I showered and then came to the breakfast table. Potted stargazer lilies--my favorite-- welcomed me, along with a greeting card organizer tied with a MOM balloon, a Beth Moore book, and lots of lovely cards, made and bought. Joel could barely contain his excitement over what he made for me in school--a huge card with the acrostic "MOTHER" written on it and the things he loves about me. (The best part of the day was Joel's hug; for the first time in years I have a waist that he can put his arms all the way around!! Paul had fixed a yummy batch of egg and sausage burritos. (Mother's Day food doesn't have points, right?) And after church, I got to ride in the convertible on this gorgeous sunny afternoon and they took me out for Chinese. (Again, no points to track, huh?) Came home, took a snooze, and here I am. Rested and happy and thanking God for his goodness and mercy to me as a mother, wife, and daughter.