To My Wife, On This Mother’s Day

DSC_0037 BW
MOTHER & SON, ON THEIR FIRST FULL DAY.

Hi Honey,

Time is flying by and today is another Mother’s Day.  Today, Jacob and I celebrate our good fortune to have you in our lives.  You are so worth celebrating (both what you do and who you are) and the only regret that I have, on this day, is that I do not celebrate you enough the other 364 days of the year.  The fact that you never hold this oversight against me is just another reason why today is a happy day.

Although, I also remember that not too long ago, Mother’s Day was the hardest of days.  Of course I celebrate and give thanks for my own mother today (Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!), but this one is for you, Carita.

I remember how “motherhood” eluded you.  And, by extension, us.  I remember how you waited and how you despaired and how you prayed…I remember how brave you were.  But it always felt like the unwinnable prize, the unreachable goal. Motherhood was that inaccessible club that you couldn’t get into, like the United Club Lounge at Tokyo Narita that we enviously peeked into on the mid-point layover of that 24-hour-long trip to Asia.

I remember the doctors’ appointments.  I remember the heartbreaking calls inevitably following those doctors’ appointments.  I remember the needles and the injections.  I remember the surgeries.  I remember looking at our bank account statements and wondering if we’d just spent our savings on yet another fruitless pursuit.  I remember our unborn children.

And, when even your capacity for hope and faith was exhausted, I remember God’s grace carrying us – from those days to this day.

I want to still remember those days.  Especially today.  It’s not as if all of that just went away when you became a mother.  I know that Mother’s Day is a bittersweet day for you, as I know it must be for many others. We know others who are unable to have children and those who have lost children. We know those who have lost their mothers and those who never had someone to even call “mother.”  Today must be a complicated day for them, too.

It is the seeming lack of nuance surrounding Mother’s Day that prompts my thoughts today.  It never felt like there was room on Mother’s Day for both the bitter and the sweet.  As if, by acknowledging the sad and broken things, we couldn’t celebrate the joyous things anymore. Or, if by celebrating something joyous (for, indeed, Jacob’s presence in our family is joyous) it betrayed the memories and significance of harder times.  But it doesn’t have to be that way, at least not for us.  We can have room for both.

So, today, I celebrate with you and I celebrate you.  I celebrate the day that God made you a “mother” and each day since.  I also remember all of those prior days that made up the steps along your journey. Thank you for allowing me on the journey with you.  I love you.

Advertisements