Even though I live across the country and I haven’t seen my mom since Christmas, I still know the feeling of her soft hands. I can imagine leaning my head on her shoulder. Her touch, her voice, her fast-paced strides across the house are all so familiar and comforting to me. She’s the first person I ever knew. She knows me so well. We are connected in ways I don’t even understand.
That’s why I couldn’t keep the secret when Daniel and I found out I was pregnant with Ginny. I tried for a couple days. When I spoke to my mom during that time, I felt like a liar for keeping it from her. Somehow she was going to just know. I was convinced her motherly instincts would just know, and then I would have to tell her by answering her questions instead of a sweet surprise. We caved and told family after a couple days. haha I don’t know for sure that she would’ve sensed it, but I bet she would have.
She was the first person I called after we found out Ginny had died. Then I called Daniel’s mom. They were the only two family members who held Ginny’s body. Their hearts broke because they missed their granddaughter, but also their hearts broke for us – their children whom they carried in their wombs. They were broken because we were broken.
A bond between a mother and a child is powerful. It’s fueled by the mother’s love. I’ve always noticed a certain desperation that appears in a woman’s eyes once she becomes a mother. It’s like she is bearing something so valuable and is so afraid of losing it. She has so much love to bear. I’ve felt that desperation. But the truth is you can never lose the love for a child. You can lose the child, but the love stays with you forever. That’s what makes someone a mother – that love.
You don’t have to have a child in your arms to feel that love. You don’t have to have given birth or been pregnant to feel that love. You don’t have to have someone call you “mom” to feel that love.
Mother’s Day was hard last year. I knew I was a mother. I wanted to celebrate and honor that fact, but it just wasn’t obvious to the world. I had no baby. But if anyone could see inside my heart, they would see the love I had for Ginny. They could see my motherhood. So last year, I dressed up and went to church, knowing the Mother’s Day service might be painful. During the part of the service where we greet each other and “pass the peace”, another mother who knew my story came up to me from across the room. She hugged me so hard. She told me that I am a mother, a wonderful mother and that she was so proud of me. Tears started flowing down my face. That’s what I needed to hear. I needed someone to acknowledge my motherhood.
Daniel took me out to a nice lunch afterward, and I received a sweet bouquet of tulips from a friend back in Oklahoma. I was blessed, and I was proud of myself for not hiding away.
This year my motherhood is more obvious because of my bulging belly. I love that.
Daniel and I were on a walk the other day. We passed by a cute family with 5 young children on scooters and strollers. The mom looked at me and said, “Hang in there. You’re almost there, Mama!” It took me a second to realize she was talking to me. I couldn’t stop smiling for ten minutes after that. It felt so good for another mother to not only acknowledge my motherhood, but also give me encouraging words to help get through these last couple months of pregnancy. People have no idea how impactful their simple words are.
If you are a mother without a child this Mother’s Day, know you are a mother. Know that you deserve to be celebrated and that your love is still so powerful. Know that the bond with your child is real and unbroken. Happy Mother’s Day!
I’m so grateful for my mom, mother-in-law, and grandmothers this Mother’s Day. They encourage me everyday, and I feel their love always.
For those of you who are missing your mother or have a strained relationship with your mother or your children, I’m so sorry. God loves you with the power of a mother’s love and much more.
“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13