Hoping to share the love, joy, and grace I have received in my own life.

A Day for Women

on May 8, 2016

Mother’s Day is nearly here.  I can feel it now…the skipping heartbeat, lump in my throat, and the feeling that something is just not right…yes, I remember these feelings from the last four Mother’s Days.  Since this is the fifth one since Trevor died, couldn’t I just allow myself the grace to experience the day for what it is?  Last year at this time, I worked with women at the church to plan a special “Mother’s Day Brunch.”  The goal was to celebrate women of the church, all women, really, not only mothers.  The event had the name though…”Mother’s Day Brunch.” I had looked forward to it and wrote the prayer that I was asked to share before the meal.  A month prior to the event, it sounded like a good idea.  A month prior to the event, I didn’t consider how I would feel as the day drew nearer.  Believe me, I understand that people think I should be able to enjoy this day “by now.”  I know people think my time to grieve should be done or that I should at least be able to celebrate Mother’s Day.  I want to celebrate Mother’s Day.  I really do.  In my head, I was ready this year…until this week.  Then my heart said, “Whoa!  Let me rip this wound back open so you know you aren’t a typical mom!”  I recently read that the pain of childbirth cannot compare to the pain of burying a child.  Boy, is that the truth!  I know that many struggle with Mother’s Day…people who have lost their mothers, women who have not been blessed to have a child, people that may not have a good relationship with their mom…the list goes on and on.  I am not alone.  I am not a typical mom, but I am a mom.  I have two beautiful daughters that remind me every day how blessed I am in this life that I continue to live.  They love me.  They want to celebrate me on Sunday. I know that, but then other feelings creep in, ugly feelings.  I should not be celebrated.  I failed.  My son…the beautiful, intelligent, faithful, talented and loving young man that was a light in my life ended his own.  My heart is heavy.  That is not just an expression.  When I think too much about Mother’s Day, I feel a huge weight on my chest…the opening of that wound.  Will it always be this way?  A friend of mine posted a video last year  depicting the historical facts regarding this special day. Did you know that the first official Mother’s Day celebration took place at a Methodist church in 1908?  It’s true.  In the mid-late 1860’s, Ann Jarvis started mothers clubs, educating women about the importance of hydration for fevered babies, sanitation, and nutrition.  When the Civil War began, Ann recruited nurses for military hospitals and when the war was over, she created friendship clubs to promote reconciliation between the two sides.  Harriet Olson, Chief Executive of the United Methodist Women said, ” Ann Jarvis was convinced that mothers, women, but especially mothers, had to work for peace because they could see the ravages of war in their husbands and sons, in a way that was so focused and so clear that their voices would be powerful.  And that’s what’s at the genesis of the current Mother’s Day.”   Though Ann died in 1905, before Mother’s Day had become an official holiday, her daughter, Anna, continued in her mother’s efforts and got Woodrow Wilson to sign the petition in 1914 to make it official.  Anna Jarvis was never a mother herself, but she was lead by her mother to celebrate this special day.  Anna was angered when Hallmark began selling cards and making money off of the holiday.  That was not why it was created.  She is quoted as saying, ” How lazy can you be to buy somebody else’s sentiments for your mother?  One day out of the year, sit down and tell your mother what you really think of her.”  This is the kind of Mother’s Day I can celebrate.  Much like Ann Jarvis wanted to work for peace after seeing the ravages of war in her husband’s face, I have seen another tragedy in my own life and struggle each day to find some peace in this life.  Mother’s Day wasn’t meant to be a flashy holiday.  It was created to celebrate mothers subtly…in church, with a handwritten note or words spoken by those that appreciate the labor and love given by women in their lives.  Mother’s Day can be a day to honor our mothers or women in general that have helped shape us into the people we are today.  It is a day of gratitude.  No sparkly gifts needed.  Mother’s Day is a day to reflect on the mothers in our lives.  My daughters continually remind me that they appreciate me, that I am a good mom.  I can see myself in them and am blessed to have them love me with all of my flaws.  I am going to celebrate Mother’s Day this year.  I am going to celebrate my mom, my grandma, my aunts, my friends that are always there for me…supporting me, loving me, guiding me through this life.  I hope that you, too, can allow this day to be what it was created to be and not let the ads for jewelry and flowers cheapen the true meaning of what the special women in and throughout your life mean to you.  Peace, Dana


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