Welcome ...

you are amongst
friends here!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Melissa’s Thoughts on Mother’s Day

So here we are again. Another May, another Mother’s Day. What a delightful, and yet complicated holiday it is. For many, it is simply a chance to celebrate our mothers or be celebrated by our families. For others it comes with so many tangled up emotions.

Oh, the many breakfasts in bed I was served over the years. Some of them even left a mark. Like the year my son made me an omelet “Texas style” – that thing had so much hot sauce in it I thought my tongue was going to quit and leave my face forever. But I ate it. I loved so much that he made it for me and was so proud of himself. I was proud of him…and, honestly, it was pretty delicious but oof…my poor digestive tract!

Reflecting on it now though, there is so much more to Mother’s Day than breakfast in bed or a cute card or gift. Just like there is so much more to mothers themselves. Mothers, as we know, come in all shapes and sizes and colors but mothers also come in different guises too. There are stepmothers, grandmothers, surrogate mothers, mother figures and birth mothers to name a few.

Mother’s Day can also be a very triggering and difficult for some. In particular, mothers who have suffered the loss of a child, whether by a pregnancy loss, or an inability to conceive or the death of a child or children. Having watched my best friend experience the loss of her first-born son at age sixteen, I can tell you, firsthand, that the loss of a child is the singular most devastating grief any human can experience. The cliché is true – we are not supposed to outlive our children.

For these mothers, Mother’s Day can often serve as a heartbreaking reminder of that loss. Just as it can be for mothers who have suffered all the other kinds of losses.

Then there are the mothers who suffer on Mother’s Day because of the loss of their own mother or mother-figure.

That is why I feel that maybe we should stop and look at Mother’s Day through a different kind of lens. This holiday is more than just cards and flowers and necklaces made out of noodles. Don’t get me wrong, those things are the beautiful traditional touches we all adore but, now that I have had 34 Mothers Days as a mother and 59 Mothers Days as daughter under my belt, I think it is time for us all to take a look at what Mother’s Day means to each of us and what we each want for that day. 

Maybe it is the traditional or maybe it is a day alone. Maybe it is a girl’s trip. Maybe a spa day. Maybe a museum trip. Maybe a mental health day. Maybe a walk in the park or forest or by the water somewhere. Maybe it’s a concert or a play or ballet or a movie. Whatever it is, I think we should express those desires to our loved ones. I’ll just bet also, that they will feel a sense of relief that they can give us exactly what we want without having to guess. 

I just think that if we are truly going to dedicate a day to mothers, that day should really be what those mothers want it to be. Self-care is not selfish, and it is an important to teach our children and grandchildren to self-care by example. Remember what they say about the oxygen masks before we fly…. put yours on first so you CAN help others. 

Self-care is our oxygen mask.

Mother’s Day for me has always been complex. Primarily because I was not great at self-care when my kids were younger. Everything was for and about them. Even on a day that was supposed to be for me. Seemed like it should be for them. I was happy doing things that way and it filled my heart up to see them so proud of their wonderful Mother’s Day celebrations for me. I avoided real self-care so much that I would only stop going, going, going, when I got horrifically ill. Like pneumonia or needed some sort of surgery. Honestly, being bed ridden was like a vacation at times and I could safely tell myself, “Well it’s doctors’ orders”, to justify it. In hindsight I see how wildly unhealthy that is.

So, my message to you is to just be mindful of what you need as we approach this and future Mother’s Days. What is best for your loved ones to do to give you that day to regroup and recharge?

I will also tell you this; some years, Mother’s Day for me can be really really sad. 

In 1989, I found out the true circumstances of my adoption. I had just become a mother myself and when I saw my first-born son’s face, it was the first time in my life that I saw someone who really, truly looked like me. I felt the strongest urge to find the rest of the people who looked like us and so I hired a company and did a real search. I found my birth family and I learned the story of how I came to be.

My birth parents, David and Kathy, each had three children and were married to others when they fell in love and then conceived me on a motorcycle trip through the desert. They did get married and moved all six children into their home. I was number seven. Lucky number seven and David and Kathy knew that they just couldn’t raise me the way they thought I deserved. So, they put me up for adoption.

It is bringing tears to my eyes as I type this, to think of how much they and especially Kathy, must have loved me. So much so, that she was willing, after knowing the joy of childbirth and child-rearing, to give me up. To let someone take me from her arms and give me to someone she would never know.

I think of my Kathy-Mom on every Mother’s Day since then. I think of the incredible sacrifice she made for me. ..for love…boundless, selfless love and it fills my heart to bursting.

I never met my Kathy-mom. She passed away in 1980. Nine years before I searched for her. So, I never had the chance to tell her how grateful I am and that she made the right choice and that My mother, Barbara and father, Paul were wonderful parents. That I have had the fullest and most beautiful life because of her sacrifice.

So, on this Mother’s Day, I want to send her a message.

Dear Kathy-mom,
Thank you so much for giving me this life. For giving me from your loving arms to the loving arms of my mom and dad.
Because of you, my life has been truly extraordinary. I cannot wait until we meet again, and I can see you and hold you and tell you how much I have always loved you.

Happy Mother’s Day.
I love you.

Your daughter,
Baby Girl Darlington