(a second post for Mother's Day week)
For all the mothers, everywhere in the world,
For the mother of twelve and the mother of one,
For the mother up to her ears in preschoolers and the mother waiting for a call from her grown children,
For the girl seeing the second line appear on the pregnancy test and wondering how her life will change,
For the woman alone in a nursing home wishing for a chance to see her grandchildren,
For the mother treasuring the memory of a few precious days of pregnancy before her miscarriage,
For the mother realizing her disabled child will never live on his own,
For the mother pacing the floor with a newborn in the middle of the night, wishing for sleep or a little company,
For the infertile woman who weeps at the picture of a newborn, but opens her motherly heart to nieces, nephews, and neighbor children,
For the mother superior of a monastery who lies awake at night worrying about her spiritual daughters,
For the mother of a priest, who lives in awe of her son's vocation, but wishes he would come home more often,
For the single woman who becomes a teacher, a nurse, or a social worker to share her motherly love with those in need,
For the mother who homeschools her six children without a complaint, but secretly wishes someone would offer to lend a hand,
For the single mother who faces each day knowing her children have no one to rely on for food or clothing or shelter or love but her,
For the adoptive mother who opens her arms to a child she doesn't know, and in a heartbeat becomes his mother,
For the mother raising her children on her own while her husband lives far away,
For the mother facing a second deployment away from her toddler, fearing he will not remember her when she comes home,
For the mother waiting up nights in the ICU, praying for good news and fearing the worst,
For the mother who has had to bury her only child, and still can't answer the question "Do you have any children?"
For my mother, and your mother, and Hitler's mother, and Jesus' mother,
All of my thanks, my love, my prayers.
Mothers make the world go round. They wipe noses, listen to heartbreaks, check breathing, kiss wounds. They make sure the homework has been done and that the teenager is eating enough. They are privy to a kind of love that doesn't happen to anyone else, a love that makes you cry and gives you the strength to do a million tiny things, or a single big thing. Even when they are discouraged, complaining, overwhelmed, slacking, daydreaming of something different, they are loving with all their hearts. When the job is easy and pure joy, they are there; but when it's day after day of grinding difficulty, without a sick day or a day off, they are there too.
All of us exist because of a mother bore us; all of us are whole because a mother (biological or otherwise) raised us and taught us how to be alive.
Thank you, every mother who has raised me. My mom, my grandmas, my aunts, my friends' mothers, the women who ministered to me at boarding school, my godmother, my choir friends who took me into their homes, the parents of my students who brought me cookies and listened to me, the office ladies at work, the nurses at the hospital, the nuns at the monastery, my teachers, my babysitters, my friends.
The love of mothers, that love which sacrifices itself and knows no bounds, allows us to live, and to find life worth living. God bless you, mothers everywhere.