“And it occurs to me that maybe the reason my mother was so exhausted all the time wasn’t because she was doing so much, but because she was feeling so much.” ~Kelly Corrigan, Glitter and Glue
Mothers are bad ass. I look at the delicate feminine symbols of Mother’s Day with a cynical eye. Pale pink and porcelain tea cups simply do not equal or approximate what I now know is the fierce, dedicated, ordained vocation of motherhood. Mother’s Day cards should have battle scars on them, streaks of blood and dirt; they should shine with a supernatural fury. Mothers don’t quit. As I looked out at my church community this morning and consider all of the mothers I am privileged to know, I see mothers who have faced enormous challenges and keep going, day after day. The care and concern of a mother transforms itself daily into action, worry, planning, prayers, and it is relentless. Mothers go to bed and they wake up thinking of their children, what they need, who they are, where they’re going. Our children are our hearts living out there in the world and we experience their struggles, strive for their hopes, and dream their dreams. Nothing makes a mother happier than her child’s happiness, nothing makes her prouder than her child’s pride. In a very real way, our connection and bond never ends, through the terrible twos and terrible teens, through college, challenges, illness, and even death itself. Mothers don’t quit.
I have developed a new appreciation for and new relationship with Mary since my own mother passed. Previously, she was a nice lady on a statue, and I had a hard time getting her to come down to my level. Church hymns didn’t help; lyrics full of words like “fair”, “gentle”, “quiet”…emphasis on her purity…these betray what must certainly be her true nature which is unflinchingly strong. She watched her child suffer and struggle and she did not ever turn away. I see her now with her foot on the serpent’s head and a determined look on her face and her arms wide open and think, yes, I recognize that look. She’s a Mom. It’s a kind of love we all need more of in our lives…someone who will defend and lead us no matter what, and who will love us more than we love ourselves. I saw that same kind of supernatural, self-sacrificing love in my mother, and I see it in so many of my Mom (and Dad) friends every single day.
So here’s to you, Moms. You’re co-creating life on a daily basis, and it’s a very, very big deal. Thank you for putting yourself last, doing the dirty work, never giving up. You’re the heroes, the ones the world simply cannot do without. I hope some fraction of the love you give comes back to you today, because you certainly deserve it. God bless you and your dear ones!