Hard because you want to be a mother, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Hard because you recently lost a child through miscarriage or stillbirth.
Hard because you’re healing from an abortion.
Hard because you have been waiting to adopt for a very long time.
Hard because you weren’t able to have as many children as you wanted.
Hard because your mother passed away, and you miss her terribly.
Hard because you wish you could spend more time with your children.
Hard because you’re a single father without a partner.
Hard because you’re a single mother, and you’re tired of doing it alone.
Hard because you’re unable to be with your husband or wife because of military, work, or other reasons.
Hard because your stepchildren reject you.
Hard because your mother struggled to give you the love you needed.
Hard because you struggle yourself to be the mother you want to be.
Hard because your mother was brutally abusive.
Hard because your mother committed suicide.
Hard because you gave your heart and soul to raising your kids, and now you never hear from them.
Hard because you long to know your Mother in Heaven.
It’s OK if you love Mother’s Day. It’s OK if you hate Mother’s Day. Your feelings about Mother’s Day are valid and real, and I want you to let yourself feel them. You don’t have to pretend. You don’t have to hide your tears. Because I believe Dr. Aletha Solter’s words about children are also true about adults:
No matter what the source of stress, children will not feel better until they have been allowed to cry and rage as much as needed (Tears and Tantrums, p. 12).
Sometimes we will cry and rage for years.
I can’t take away your pain. I won’t take away your pain. Your pain belongs to you. But I do want you to know that I celebrate you.
I have carried some heavy rocks in my backpack. One of the heaviest was labeled: no-will-to-live. It was so heavy that when it was gone I felt like I might float right up to cloud nine-hundred-and-nine from the relief of it. I never could have imagined how much joy and hope my future would hold. I thank God every day that I chose life. This Mother’s Day I have so much to celebrate.
These words quoted in our most recent General Conference are brutally true:
Each one of us experiences dark days when our loved ones pass away, painful times when our health is lost, feelings of being forsaken when those we love seem to have abandoned us. These and other trials present us with the real test of our ability to endure. –Thomas S. Monson
I know you have carried, are carrying, and will carry some of your own heavy rocks. You too have known indescribable sorrows. You have dragged yourself, bloody and bruised, over piercing paths and menacing mountains.
You are still here. You are still breathing. You have successfully endured. All of your days. And all of your nights. And you are still here.
That is why I celebrate you.
Yes, let’s celebrate mothers. Because there are some inspiring and remarkable mothers out there, and thank the Lord for those nurturing souls who heal humanity with their presence. Yes, let’s celebrate women. Because women give life in so many ways beyond what happens in the womb. But even if you don’t personally feel like celebrating anything on May 8th this year (and that is totally OK), I will still be celebrating you.
That’s what Mother’s Day will be for me this year… A celebration of the gift of life. A celebration of the ones who gave us this messy, brutal, exquisitely beautiful thing we’re living every day.
I will celebrate those who have had the courage to give life, and with an extra measure of compassion and awe I will also celebrate those who have had the courage to give life a chance. And to keep giving life a chance… day in and day out… even when those days are full of ache.
I am so glad your mother gave you the gift of life. I am so glad you exist. And every day that you choose to keep going is a gift to humanity and yourself.
On May 8th I’ll be holding you in my heart.