spirit flows thru -- Alison Rittger's spiritual reflections on finding the holy in the daily

Mother's Day


PictureHappy Mother's Day / aussiegall
Mother’s Day.  Forget Hallmark sentiments! The nitty gritty of Mother’s Day is far more poignant, replete as it is with loss and weariness as much as it is with gratitude.

Sunday, 6 a.m.

Personally, I am grateful that each of my three sons would Friend me on Facebook if that mattered to them and let me look in on their lives. By the end of the day, all three will have checked in with news and the always welcomed and reassuring, “I Love you, Mom.”

As for what will be in the hearts of others on this day of compulsory love, my guess is it’s mixed.

I know that one son and granddaughter have had a week of missing mom. My little one will have shed tears and had tantrums of wanting mother who, having died a year ago, won’t be there to ooh and aah over a crayoned card with lace made in the classroom just for her. This child will carry the loss of her mother throughout her life. And each Mother’s Day will be more and less than a card could convey. I hope she will love herself.

The wife of another son will probably receive cards from her preteen daughters. Her love for these girls can’t be questioned, yet it is work to be their mother as each girl struggles to take her place in the complicated family that the mother’s divorce and remarriage have created for them. Mother will be tired. On this day, I hope she can rest and feel gratitude. I hope she will love herself.

Sunday, 10:00 a.m.

My son in the Philippines says my grandson who lives in the East Bay has called him to say he is pleased with his life. Sometime during the day, this grandson may call me, as well. If he doesn’t, that is all right too. My son tells me my granddaughter who lives in the Philippines now has a pit bull she calls Kaito. This strikes me as good news.

Sunday, 6:00 p.m.

My former daughter-in-law took me to lunch today. Although she and her mother have a warm relationship and see each other often, today it is my turn. Two years ago when she was no longer married to my son, I promoted her to daughter and love her as my own. I hope that she can befriend her loneliness.

On this Mother’s Day I imagined myself again in a family’s sunny front room, sitting in the glider by the window, rocking their two month old, as if he were my own. I held him Saturday and will hold him again Monday.  The soft sprawl of the baby boy’s body in my arms, the dream breath that catches in his throat and comes out in tiny sounds and the dampness of our touching cheeks is a gift I have been given that makes every day I hold him another Mother’s Day. He lives in my heart as do his mother and father, as if I am mother to them all.

Sunday, 8:00 p.m.

It was Mother’s Day. And while I said to forget Hallmark sentiments, I did welcome the love expressed to me. I welcomed every moment when I, too, could express my love.  Mother’s Day has been one more day to encourage those I love and who love me “…to touch the place of oneness within our common heart.”* 

*Writer, peace activist, Danaan Parry

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