Encouragement, Grief

When Mother’s Day Brings Joy and Sorrow

I don’t remember celebrating Mother’s Day when I was growing up. I’m sure we did. I just can’t recall how we honored my mom. It wasn’t until my mom passed away 11 years ago that I suddenly became aware of Mother’s Day.

When we were struggling with infertility, it felt as if Mother’s Day was mocking me. I no longer got to enjoy my mother here on earth, and now I was unable to be a mother myself. I found myself retreating to my darkened family room on Mother’s Day, trying to escape reality.

Once I adopted my son, the sting of Mother’s Day lessened. I could celebrate being a mother as well as honor my mother-in-law. She always insisted that I have a good Mother’s Day once I became a mom. She went out of her way to plan a day that we could both enjoy. We would have a BBQ at her lake house and then go for a boat ride. Every year we would buy hanging plants for my mother in-law to say thank you for all that she did for us.

Since the passing of my mom, I started taking time for a walk by myself on Mother’s Day. I would take time to reflect and remember all that she gave me for the first 27 years of my life. It gave me space to grieve and honor her before I took time to celebrate with my in-laws. Though I always missed my mom on Mother’s Day, I slowly got into a new rhythm of celebrating with my in-laws and my growing family.

My mother in-law died suddenly last August. This year I find myself celebrating Mother’s Day without a mother. And yet again, I feel like retreating and hiding until Sunday is over.

But then I’m reminded of what I do have. I have two wonderful children that get to call me mom. Two wonderful women called me daughter and loved me unconditionally. And though I can no longer celebrate Mother’s Day with them, I can still take time to remember and honor them.

This year I plan to take a walk and take time to remember both of my moms. I want to talk to them and allow time for God to speak to my broken heart. My husband and I decided to continue with tradition and buy hanging plants for our family for Mother’s Day to remember what was and to celebrate what we still have.

Perhaps like me you are dreading Mother’s Day because it’s a blatant reminder of what you don’t have. I want to encourage you to celebrate what you do have this Sunday. Celebrate your mom and/or mother in-law, celebrate the children that call you mom, and celebrate your husband and/or friends especially if you are not yet a mom. As you acknowledge and give thanks for what you do have, you are able to see the beauty in what God has given you.

He sees your heart, your loss, and your unfulfilled dreams. He wants to come alongside you and love you through your pain. I pray that you will allow God to wrap His loving arms around you this Mother’s Day.

For the Motherless: A Love Letter from God

I see you sitting there wishing you had your mother to hold you close and wipe away your tears.

I see you grabbing the phone ready to call your mom realizing that she is no longer on the other end.

I see you planning your wedding wishing you had your mom to stand alongside you.

I see you holding your newborn child wishing you could share this moment with the person that gave you life.

I see you wanting to share your recent success with your biggest fan.

I see you crying over what you have lost.

I see you and I want you to know that I LOVE you.

I am now calling you to rise up and become like the mother you once loved.

Become a mother to the orphaned and to the hurting.

Love the children I place in your life, so that you too can leave a legacy that brings Me glory.

On this Mother’s Day, let me love you through your pain so that you can love those in pain.

6 thoughts on “When Mother’s Day Brings Joy and Sorrow

  1. Wow, how beautiful. Thank you. The sadness of losing a mom never goes away but it is also a place of many happy memories. There is a poem I really like ” I never think of her without a smile” and how true is that. We all have so many beautiful memories and now we are making memories for our children and grandchildren. We sure want those to be happy ones not sad ones. Thanks for sharing Sue. Love to you and your family.

  2. Lost my mom 2 months ago…..this is sad but knowing I have treasure in heaven …my Son & my MOm …will help me get through the day!?

    1. Barbara, I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your mom and your son. I will be praying for your heart as you process through your grief.

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