Happy Mother’s Day to all. How you sacrificed for your children. How you learned amazing unconditional love. Just a twinge of knowing how God loves us unconditionally. As our children grew, we learned with both laughter and tears how to love unconditionally. Our children taught us so so much. As they grew, we did too. We had to.
We celebrate mothers on Mother’s Day. My mother, Vivian, died 17 months ago. I miss her this Mother’s Day. No calls, no cards, no visits. And more mothers are not on the earth this year: both Grandmother’s Katerina and Angeliki are in heaven as is mother in law Adele.
Most of all, I want to celebrate the living on Sunday. My stepmother, Helen, once so vibrant and caring, is now living with dementia. I have wonderful memories of each woman. Cape Cod trips with my mom, long chats with Helen and special girl-chats with Adele. Summertime stay-overs and Sunday visits with YiaYia, Katerina. I can’t recall YiaYia Angeliki since she died when I was just a toddler.
Being a mother myself had its bittersweet moments. My first-born son Tony died in 2003. He was the traditional one who called, sent cards and celebrated all occasions with flair. My second and third born sons, Tony and Demetri, live many miles away in Colorado. They remembered me this year with a gift of an organic fruit basket. How thoughtful.
My grandchildren, Suki and Caylani, live in Colorado also, so there is much to miss. I choose, though, to take the lead from my son, Nick, who celebrates me and wishes me Happy “Birthing Day” whenever his birthday rolls around. Instead of sadness and longing, I choose gratitude and joy. I choose to celebrate “mothering” on Mother’s Day.
Being a mother means wonderful memories of so many exciting times with my children. Demetri and Nick showing me plays and puppet shows they created to be staged behind the living room couch. Mom, mom, come and watch our show, they would shout. They would run behind the couch once they got my attention, pop up and perform heartily for their audience of one--Me, Mom, Mother.
Tony, my firstborn, who used to share everything with his younger brothers, who learned everything so quickly (climbing, walking, running, talking, reading, riding a bike)
Many times, I comforted my sons in the hospital operating room while they got stitches.
The highs and lows of motherhood, landmark after landmark. As Rev. Jesse Duplantis would say, my grands, Suki and Caylani, made me “grand.” How grand is that? The special times baking Greek cookies with my grands, Sukilove and Caylanilove. At months old, I brought Suki in a carriage to her first art museum in Colorado Springs. Art appreciation must have rubbed off that day, because now she is an accomplished artist.
Suki made me grand but Caylani made me grander! Sweet memories of Caylanilove and her hugs, kisses and tears in greetings and good-byes on my visits to Colorado. when I came and left from visits to Colorado.
The privilege of part time mothering foster children--to name only a few, Miya, Darin, Kendra, Aisha, and Joseph. The prayers, bedtime reading, beach times, the adventures and holidays shared.
Teaching and my precious students in college and high, middle and elementary grades. Sunday school children and treasured memories of tiny preschoolers in a circle praying so fervently for pets, grandparents, parents, teachers and friends. The VISTA children In Greenfield, MA as they did arts and crafts, hit the piñata they made, laughed, skipped, jumped rope, and ran on the playground. I have to leave out so many memories due to time constraints.
On this Mother’s Day, I am missing so much as a mom, yet I am grateful a major part of my life journey entails motherhood. I celebrate the privilege to see each son bright-eyed at the moment of birth. Each contraction a labor of love, intense work and anticipation, but no pain as I breathed and relaxed between contractions—all worth it for the ecstasy at the miracle of their birth.
Now that I watered my mind with gratitude and wonderful memories, my sadness wilts and joy grows. Happy Mother’s Day!