Originally Published: May 2011
I loathe Mother’s Day. I know that may seem peculiar since I am a mother myself, but I have not always been. I grew up without a mom and this day was a reminder every year that while everyone was celebrating their mommy’s, I was not. I was not the poor kid whose mom died or even the kid whose mom was in prison. Their moms had no control over their absence (okay maybe the mom in prison could have made better choices but that is beside the point). I was the kid whose mom abandoned her and no one really knew.
I sat in class every year making Mother’s Day cards and crafts. It was painstakingly brutal on my heart. Being the overachiever that I try to be, I made the best Mother’s Day paraphernalia I could! At home I tried to take away that same pain I was feeling from my brothers and sisters. I also tried to relieve that burden from dad. I never wanted him to feel like his love and care was not sufficient. Any one recognize the first-born, caregiver syndrome in me?
Every Mother’s Day we gave all our stuff to my dad and even to my aunt who helped take care of us. We put on skits and celebrated the day without even having our mom there. I think we gave more praise and recognition to my dad on Mother’s Day than we did on Father’s Day. Therefore, it hurt ten times as much the first Mother’s Day following his death.
I am very blessed to have children of my own and make a new of Mother’s Day, but when I hold my kid’s handmade school gifts in my hand, I am reminded of that emptiness I felt year after year. I praise God they know no such pain.
While I am no longer in school making crafts, I do get to log on to face book and see everyone’s profile picture changed to pictures of their mommy’s. Now I am not saying that they shouldn’t. On the contrary, those pictures should be displayed proudly and rightfully so. Still, I immediately return to that seven-year old little girl and I want to know, “Why?” Then I hear a sweet, heart healing, whisper say, ‘For I know the plans I have for you…”