The joys and sorrows of Mother’s Day

By From the Heart | Geralyn Nathe-Evans | Together We Journey

May 13

I have the date marked on my calendar.  Not that I need a reminder as the retail businesses and restaurants have been reminding me of Mother’s Day approaching.  And yes, it is the opening weekend of fishing!

Today is Mother’s Day. The day set aside to honor and recognize mothers. On this day we recognize, show our gratitude and bless all the mothers everywhere. The women, who give us life, birth us, raise us and support us in our lives. The women who grace us with the model of sacrifice and care for life, who place their children’s needs before theirs and without limits care for us. We honor those women who support us in our mothering vocation, those aunts and friends who (many without children of their own) support our vocational call to raise our children.

This day of remembrance has taken on many more layers for me in my years.  Mother’s Day can be a challenging day of celebration for some women who have experienced the death of an unborn child, an infant or child or a mom.

I recall many Sundays of Mother’s Day in which “all those who are mothers” were asked to stand for a blessing at Mass.  I recall those years of striving to conceive despite a diagnosis of infertility and the pain of sitting and enduring that blessing to mothers in church.   I recall the first year I too, stood to that invitation, expecting our first child, and yet was so aware of those not standing.

In recent years, I am increasingly mindful of all those moms whose mothers are no longer living in our earthly home and the mixed emotions they have, standing and yet so aware their mother is no longer living on earth.

I recognize that I cannot solve or, “ fix” the pain of these emotions; but I can and will be present in some small way as I am able this year.  The pain of mothers who have lost their child is a place I will recognize and honor, and yet have not known personally.  I just completed mailing cards for Mothers Day.  I have included in my list a few women who I wish to remember and show a bit of compassion and kindness to this year.  I do believe that a mothers love for their deceased or hoped for child never ends.  I will let as many of these moms as I can know that I am thinking of them.   I will use their child’s name when possible to honor the life that was often so anticipated and loved and so very much missed.

This day is part of our society and for the most part, it is a good day.  It also is a good day for me to be mindful of others and aware of the gift of care and compassion to others.  The simplest of acts and words that we offer during this time may be the most loving and supportive moments of many women’s days. I will use this time to reach out and show some care and compassion to those, for whom this day may not be filled with feelings of joy. I know that I cannot fix or take away the negative emotions of this day, but I can be present.  I can reach out with a card or call.   I do not know the pain of losing a burying a child, but I know my heart aches to walk with those that do know this journey.

Just as Jesus did not take away all pain, Jesus modeled for us the gift of presence.  To simply and yet profoundly be with another.  I may not use words but rather my time and presence to support and care for others.  After all, there are times where there are no words but the profound gift of being present with another that may speak volumes.

For all who will joyfully celebrate this Mother’s Day, I wish you joy and gratitude, love and peace. Thank you to those women who have “mothered,” myself and so many others. Thank you to all who support mothers.

May you be blessed and feel the profound gift you are to your children, your grandchildren, your church and our world.

Geralyn Nathe-Evans has been called to the vocations of wife, mom, Lay Ecclesial Minister, nurse and friend. Read more about Geralyn on our Meet Our Bloggers page.

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