Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mother's Day

A few weeks before Mother’s  Day arrived I buried myself with work. I could tell I was avoiding the calendar. With mixed feelings I have faced this passing year with the understanding that it can be difficult to go through each event or holiday for the first time without your loved one.  After finally getting in touch with myself I realized that Mother’s Day could potentially be really hard for me.

Last year at this time, Lindsey had been eating only raw food for a couple of months and was still taking her medication for seizures and swelling in the brain. She seemed good. However, we could tell that she was getting weaker. She was doing meditations and Qi Gong and several other healing modalities. Her spirit was glowing and she radiated life and love. She would text throughout the day and call and leave funny messages on our phones. She mostly stayed in bed and talked with Jen, who was her care giver while the rest of us were at work or school.

Last Mother’s Day I remember being so grateful she was still with us. She was happy, talking a lot and not in pain. She was sharing with us her joy for simple things. We would all celebrate when she came downstairs to eat with us or hang out in the kitchen/family area. We felt close to her and cherished  tender moments when she would look into someone’s eyes while they were talking and reach out and take their hand and smile.

She celebrated visitors and made everyone so happy when they came to see her. She loved taking the sacrament each week because the Deacons and Priests from our church brought it to our home. Little things made Lindsey happy. Josh took her for rides up the canyon during the weekends, sometimes they would have a fire with his family. She would be so excited to go, even though we all knew that she would be exhausted afterwards.

Sometimes when it wasn’t too hot or too cold, I would help her downstairs and onto the back patio and she would lay in the sun with a blanket and dreamily drift to sleep while I painted. There was a peaceful quiet while we were there together. She would rest and we would talk about simple things and the purpose of her suffering and she would talk of getting better.

As Mother’s Day approached last year I knew in my heart that the only thing I wanted was to have Lindsey come to church with me, but, I had been hesitant to ask because, it was hard for her to get around. I remember praying silently that she would have the energy that day to come to church even though she hadn’t been able to go for several weeks.

Saturday night we talked and she said she really wanted to come and so we made as many arrangements as we could the night before, getting her showered and prepared to come with us the next day. Sunday morning we gently slipped on her dress and worked with what little hair she had. She even put a little make up on and we were on our way.

I remember sitting by her and trying to pretend that we were a normal family going to church on Mother’s day. I wanted so badly for us to be attending church on that beautiful spring day under such different circumstances. However, I was so grateful she was there. I remember her singing the hymns with me and how beautiful her voice was. She blended her voice with mine and it was mother and daughter singing praises to God for our friendship and companionship and offering our hearts in gratitude for the time we still had with each other.

I don’t remember the talks or what was spoken but, I do remember sitting by my beautiful daughter on Mother’s Day 2011 and wondering to myself if it would be her last. Little did I know it would be her last and final Mother’s Day. It actually was her very last Sunday that she attended church.
I remember how desperately Lindsey wanted to be a mom and how she would never really celebrate a mother’s day as a mother. We had many conversations about being a mother and talking about motherhood. She cried and cried about not being able to fulfill that one dream and now, because of the condition of her body she never would be able to have children. I tried the best I could to comfort her and did not understand myself why this was happening to her. 

Mother’s day is often a bitter sweet day. As mother’s we may feel celebrated and honored on one hand, and yet at the same time we may feel forgotten and unappreciated, and even depleted with the huge responsibilities of being a mother. There is a powerlessness that comes when we cannot comfort our children and when we face our humanness and our inability to ease our children’s pain.

My gift last Mother’s Day was being able to be with Lindsey and be in her presence and celebrate our relationship together in this world. I remember how happy I was that day, because all my children were with me.

This current Mother’s Day, as I sat in church with my oldest daughter and her family, which includes my two granddaughters, I felt sad but blessed, I celebrated motherhood with all its joy and all its heart ache with one child missing. Motherhood is both the fullness of joy and the pain of our children. I reaffirmed my commitment to being a mother and I knew I would never trade it for anything else. It is and has been the most painful and yet the most rewarding journey of my life.  I hope and pray and that I can continue to honor my own motherhood, and the motherhood in others around me in all of its simplicity and its glory.

I am so happy to know that motherhood is not just for this life only but extends into the next. Lindsey you will be a mother and that opportunity cannot be denied you. That is the promise of motherhood and the God that I know keeps his promises. Happy Mother’s Day Lindsey.  

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