was thinking of my mom tonight as I was browning the meat in her old electric frying pan, making my favorite meal – her recipe – Swiss Steak. My mom usually made it for our Christmas dinner. The kids are okay with it, but are not thrilled with all the veggies in it. They don’t usually complain when I make it on Mother’s Day or my birthday. 🙂 As I was making it tonight though, I missed her. I wished I could call her, and tell her I was making her Swiss Steak just like she did, and could tell her about our kids and tell her how proud of them I am and the anticipation our first grandbaby. I miss the relationship we never really had. And I whispered a prayer that God would tell her and I imagine her proud because God knows my heart.
And I think of my birthmom that gave me life despite the life challenges she was going through. And I remain forever grateful.
I think of how our dinner table will be different tomorrow, from when I first wrote this article. I still see the gaps in our family. Gaps where yes, even though we have ten living children, I see empty spaces. Some of the spaces have questions . . . would that have been a boy or a girl. With my miscarried babies (three total), I may not have had the baby that followed, but there are still the gaps: the missing of an irreplaceable, individual child here on earth. And then two children we held, a daughter born still at 36 weeks and a son who abruptly left for heaven at 16 1/2 years old. I still miss.
How will it be different this Mother’s Day? I have a different comprehension of adoption now, as we have added a daughter-in-law and two son-in-laws to our family. There’s new joys. New laughter. New anticipations. Yes, I will always miss until we are reunited in heaven, but joy does come again, and the scar from that grief pain does not ooze nearly as much.
Yet others grieve deeply this Mother’s Day. Tomorrow as you greet moms on Mother’s Day, make it a point to reach out to a mom or two that has that grief pain, even if they do have living children. Moms who have buried children do not forget them, ever. Especially remember the moms who this may be their first Mother’s Day without one of their children. This first Mother’s Day after a loss is particularly hard and is not a “happy” Mother’s Day. Tell her you are thinking of their child, by name.
Remember moms who have lost children in the armed services, even if decades ago. Make a phone call to a mom who did not dare go to church on Mother’s Day because she longs to be a mom, and yet, another pregnancy test is negative or the mom of a prodigal child whose heart keeps shattering more. And though it may seem in the right order, remember those whose mom is now in heaven. And if you have a friend who may be a birthmother, and gave the gift of life to another mom, remember with her.
What mom will you reach out to on this Mother’s Day?
And then hug your children extra tight and thank Jesus for the extended loan we are granted each day we can hold our children.
This article was originally written for Mother’s Day 2002, just a few years after our baby girl was born still at 36 weeks. In years following it has been printed in three different local newspapers. Every year or so, I reprint it, with changes with new things on my heart to fit where we are now, but the message is the same. I hope it continues to be an encouragement to bereaved moms and those that love them.
- I Miss You Mom
- Grief and Mother’s Day: National Grief Expert’s 10 Tips to Remember Mom with Peace (prweb.com)
- When Mother’s Day is Hard: For Those Who Have Lost Their Mother or Child | O’Connor Mortuary (myeulogy.tumblr.com)
- Celebrate Nat’l Birth Mother’s Day: Saturday, May 11, 2013 (ccofdallasblog.org)