The pains of longing will never be forgotten. And I hope that the turmoil I’ve gone through can at some point in life give peace to another. Peace knowing that it can turn. Peace knowing that there is hope. Peace feeling the warmth of empathy from someone who understands. Completely. Peace in the companionship of shared grief. Peace in the shared light that now permeates my soul.
People often say that women are all mothers, that motherhood is the nurturing of another. I agree to a degree. I’ve always been the nurturing type, one who’s gravitated towards children and caring for them at a very young age. I was a natural; when I was still a child, I instinctively knew how to hold a baby, understanding how to care for their needs.
I don’t say that at all to boast. It was one of my gifts. I love children. Children can always sense and feel at ease in that. So yes, I’ve nurtured many children. I’m empathetic as a person and can say that my heart has been available also to nurture others, of all ages.
Yet throughout my life, any reminder that I was not yet, and perhaps would never be, a mother cut me deep. Over and over again. Mother’s Day was the worst. Siblings and friends celebrating on their own with their families. As they should. I tried my best to focus on my own extraordinary mother, celebrating her life and acts of tremendous kindness and giving. That didn’t aid in releasing the emotions that crashed down like ten meter waves. Tears behind closed doors.
In emptiness, I was left standing. Alone. Wondering if I’d ever have a child draw me a picture with I love you scribbles. Wondering if I’d ever have a family of my own to spend the holidays with when my parents were no longer with us. Wondering if I’d ever experience moments of family bonding, if there would ever be children jumping in my bed. Wondering if I’d grow old having no child to rejoice over, to go to the amusement park with, go on trips, attend graduations and soccer games, recitals, weddings and births of grandchildren. The thoughts made my mother heart ache. The emptiness echoed.
Regardless of the cause of childlessness – infertility, sexual orientation, life circumstances – the lows can be felt the same. Not having a child when it is all you wish for and would do anything to have, made me feel without purpose. Lost. Seeking fulfillment in every action and goal set with nothing but numbness remaining in the long term.
In a moment, it all changed. In my son, I am found. There is light. There is purpose. Love felt and given is reciprocated a hundredfold. Every day is a wonder. Family bonding is in every glance, touch and smile. Life has but begun for me. It’s a new day! It is indeed a HAPPY Mother’s Day. For the very first time.
To my own mother, you are amazing! You have created a home so full of love and creativity, and teaching all of us children what it means to serve our fellow man. Truly and genuinely serve. There is no other like you. With an endless passion for culture and travel, you’ve encouraged our world travels and taught us acceptance and respect for all of God’s children. Thank you for your divinely given example.
To those who yearn to be mothers but have yet to be blessed to be one, you are amazing. You are seeking to be that which is important above all. I feel your pain. I know of your struggles. I am with you and will never ever forget what was. I will be forever grateful and not ever take for granted the greatest gift of all. May God bless you with that which you long for most. And on this day more than any other day, may you find reasons to smile, a shoulder to cry on and have loving arms surround you.