Today is Mother’s Day and like so many others, I too will spend time with my family to celebrate a day that honors mothers in a million different ways. I have always celebrated Mother’s Day honoring the special women in my life and now with my own family as a mother. With that being said, the meaning of Mother’s Day and all that it represents has shifted and changed for me over the years and as I laid awake during the night I could not ignore how important and vast the meaning of Mother’s Day truly is.
I have read articles in recent years that have placed a shroud of negativity in and around celebrating Mother’s Day and when reading those articles, I felt a bit sad. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but compassion and empathy for how difficult Mother’s Day can be (not unlike Father’s Day) for so many people out there and in truth I can relate to some of what is universally shared with losing people I loved, several miscarriages and my two oldest daughters losing their dad when they were little. Mother’s Day can be incredibly painful and it can open an all too familiar wound every year for those that have lost a mother or someone that they loved. The celebration of MOM can serve as yet another reminder of all we have lost and just how much we miss one of the most important people in our lives leaving people feeling heartbroken and thinking about the huge hole in our hearts never to be replaced because it can’t. Mother’s Day can also be tough for those that so badly wanted to have children of their own but for what can be so many reasons were unable to and what about for those mother’s that have lost a child? And of course, there are those lives impacted by divorce or a parent leaving. Any one of these can leave us feeling hurt, abandoned, empty, sad, empty and in pain.
There are many reasons why the celebration of Mother’s Day can be difficult but I also believe that like so many things in this journey, there are so many reasons why it is important to celebrate and to search for the positives that exist in each of our lives. Mother’s Day is not just about one person nor does it need to be. Mother’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate so many different individuals that have touched our hearts in some big or small way. It is not unique to gender. It is not unique to age. It is not unique to blood. It is not unique to an address or dwelling. It is not unique to the color of one’s skin. It is not unique to time and yes, even in death and the loss of someone we loved so very much, we can celebrate that person and honor ALL that they were and still are in our hearts.
For me, there are so many people that have touched my life over the years and that I celebrate on this day whether they are still here with me or sadly have moved on to what I believe is a better place. I think it is important to remember that there is hopefully someone or perhaps several someone’s that have helped you, loved you, blessed you, shared with you, listened to you, gave to you, laughed with you, helped to raise you, taught you and cared about you. Yes, a mother’s love is unconditional, special and unique and a mother can never completely be replaced but there are so many different definitions of what a mother type figure can represent.
So today I honor all of those that have loved children whether it is their own or another’s special child along the way. I celebrate all of the single parents out there that must try to somehow fill the role of both a mom and a dad. I celebrate the many step-mom’s out there that try so hard to love another’s children as they would their own. I celebrate the grandmothers, aunts, sisters, friends, teachers, coaches and so many more that have played an important and critical role in raising a child, loving a child and helping a child regardless of how old.
This day means many things to many different people and no one can tell you how to feel or what you should feel. It is impossible to completely understand without walking in another’s shoes. For me and even in losing a step-mom and grandmother that I loved so very much, I choose to celebrate today and to honor my mom and countless others that have touched my life over the years in some way.
Cheers to ALL of the wonderful people out there that have touched each of our lives as children and as adults. And…remember, each one of us has the opportunity to do the same for others each and every day. Whether you are a mom or not, you can love others, help others, be kind to others and be a blessing to others moving forward.