I am honoring my mom this Mother’s Day. She died in March, and this creates a startling opportunity for me to reflect on all things mom. What an abiding presence, anchor, teacher, and light she was. I feel her absence every day. I have spoken with friends whose moms have been gone for a long time and they say they still feel her missing….aware on Saturday mornings when they used to speak each week that this Saturday they wouldn’t speak. There has been an outpouring of love and tenderness to lift me up as I let my grief flow. I had a phone call from a friend who said to me, “No matter how old you are, it is always too soon to lose your mom.” There is something about that that rings true for me. I had time to prepare myself, see her declining in health and capacity, and still I wasn’t prepared. I know it is still very fresh, and I imagine the power of my loss will recede some, but my mom was a dynamic part of my life. I hope I made it explicitly clear to my mom that she was a precious force for me.
I have long felt that, in general, we do not value mothers enough. I think we take mothers for granted. We have high expectations for moms; expectations that are long lasting. They vary some, but the universal idea is they (we) should be resourceful, independent, loving, generous, available, tireless, talented, good listeners, unmeddling, patient, creative, joyful, solid role models, willing to meet everyone’s needs, and assume responsibility for the household.
We strive to be that, and falter a great deal. Is there enough forgiveness for mom’s who are doing the best they can, sometimes under very difficult circumstances, sometimes lacking their own role models and no instruction about how to do the job.
My children are adults and still the responsibility I feel for their well-being is abiding and consuming. I have poured so much into my parenting. And always wonder whether it was enough or is enough. The role of a mother is so different than the role of a father. Even in modern times when more dads are active parents and engaged in the work of taking care of children. The cultural imagery and messaging about dads has evolved. But somehow that hasn’t diminished the role or expectations of moms.
So, this Mother’s Day, if you are lucky enough to have a mom, or know a mom, celebrate her!
The women we work with at the Domestic Violence Action Center who are moms are under enormous stress to get safe, get free, support their children, protect their children, meet the needs of their children, and forge a way forward. We are celebrating them and all the mothers in our community who are making their island families a beauty to behold!
Won’t you join us? The Beauty of It All
is dedicated to all the loving moms! Please click on this link
or the image above to find out more.