published in Grief, Mothering Matters by Maryanne | May 10, 2012

 A Special Message for Mother’s Day 

 By Maryanne Pope

“Gentleness is everywhere in daily life, a sign that faith rules through ordinary things: through cooking and small talk, through storytelling, making love, fishing, tending animals and sweetcorn and flowers, through sports, music and books, and raising kids – all the places where the gravy soaks in and the grace shines through.”

— Garrison Keillor

Sunday May 13th, 2012

I know it’s not a Monday (the day of the week the Mothering Matters blog goes out) but we couldn’t let Mother’s Day slip by without a mention!

For me, today is a special day because it would’ve been my husband John’s 44th birthday. So I reckon I have two choices on how to view today:

1)      As a double-loss. John is no longer here to wish Happy Birthday to. Nor do I have a child to celebrate Mother’s Day with – partly by choice and partly by circumstance, as the result of being widowed at 32.

Or

2)      With gratitude for all that I do have – and have had – in my life.

In reality, I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum over the past few days. I had a good cry the other night and allowed myself to acknowledge how much I still miss him – and to mourn the loss of the life we might have had together.

So, as per the advice in Mitch Albom’s beautiful book, Tuesday’s with Morrie, I stopped and turned to face my feelings. I chose to honour the hurt by letting it make its way to the surface.

I felt it. I expressed it through my tears. Then I let it go…and got back to the regularly scheduled program of viewing my life with gratitude for all that I have — versus dwelling on what I don’t.

For many women, Mother’s Day isn’t a celebration; it’s a minefield…a day to simply try and make it through with a minimum number of meltdowns.

Today, I send out a special prayer to John’s mom — a double-whammy for her — and to all women who have lost a child… or wanted children but didn’t have the opportunity to have them in their life.

I’m also thinking today of all the women whose own mom’s are no longer here.

My mom is 86 now and, I’m pleased to report, finally transforming from a sharp-tongued tiger into a sweet little old lady!

For all those moms out there – traditional and otherwise – we wish you a wonderful day! Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing and whoever you’re with, may the gravy soak in and the grace shine through.

As for me, I’ll be spending the day with my fluffy four-legged friend, Soda, and my Victoria adopted-family 🙂

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the Board Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund and the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc. Mothering Matters is a bi-weekly blog series that explores a variety of motherhood and mothering-related topics, issues and perspectives. Please click here to subscribe. 

2 Comments

  1. Nancy on May 13th, 2012 at 2:51 pm:

    LOVE this post Maryanne! Thanks for sharing your beautiful perspective, that we are powerful when we make choices for ourselves and that Mother’s Day is for everyone who mothers – the planet and the people – and that some of the best motherers I know are actually men. Sending John happy birthday wishes too, he knows that we’ll be toasting with some sherry in his honour tonight.

  2. Maryanne on May 15th, 2012 at 1:14 pm:

    This came in from Kathleen:

    Happy Mother’s Day – Mother Hen! Loved your Little Fluffy Chick story – very thoughtful! – and shed some tears on your Mother’s Day message. You are pretty amazing! Hope you have the best day that you can! Make it happen!! All good wishes from Kathleen

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