Mother's Day is a tough holiday for me personally. There are women like me in the world who appear to the world around us as childless but who have lost one or more children at some point in the stages of becoming/being a mother.
I didn't exactly have a miscarriage. My son died while still inside me and I went through the pain of waiting for my body to figure that out. When that didn't happen, labor was induced. "No heartbeat" still rings in my ears and stings my soul over 21 years later. This is not something that one "gets over." It is something that one "lives with."
The question "Do you have any children?" is an impossible one for me. At one point in my life, I answered "yes" and offered the explanation. Now I sometimes answer "no" because it is easier and less invasive. But the answer "no" pains me nonetheless. I feel like I am betraying something or someone.
There are several times each year that make me pause: January 16, when labor was induced; mid-July when he would have been born; the Christmas season; and Mother's Day. I think today is the toughest because I feel like it's on everyone's mind. But it is also the easiest because I know there are women who feel like I do, who feel left out, who harbor some dread even if they honor their own mothers.
Today is not a happy day for everyone. Please remember on this day several things:
1. That some people do not have good mothers. Women are not instantly good mothers because they had sex and fertile wombs. Motherhood is something that one has to practice and learn. So don't assume that everyone should honor their mother. Some mothers are not worth honoring and children who know that are often better people than the mother's who bore them.
2. That the children of some mothers are no longer with us and that this day might be hard for those mothers.
3. That even women who have no children can be good mothers. We can understand how we are expressions of Mother Earth and we can care for and nurture others, ensuring that their lives are fruitful, peaceful and fulfilling.
4. That men can be good mothers too. All creatures are capable of nurturing and caring. We are all mothers and fathers. We have both natures inside us. These words we construct with masculine and feminine meanings are mere reflections of the deeper capacity all human beings have to care and frankly, right now, this world could use a lot more caring.
5. The origin of this holiday is Mother's Day for Peace. Howe encouraged women to use their experiences of motherhood in the wider social world, to think of a world that is good for all children, including all children who have grown to adulthood. Today should be a call for charity, peace and freedom.
So I write this today as a way to transform my own experience of this day into something more than an annual reminder of personal loss. Today I choose to celebrate motherhood. Yes, I will call my mom, whom I do honor. But I will remember that this is just one expression of what this day could/should mean. Knowing that today should be a call for peace among us humans makes this day easier for me to take.
The events of the last week have weighed heavily on my soul. I long for peace and freedom. So I celebrate today as a reminder of that peace and freedom. I hope others will too.
Happy Mother's Day of Peace.
Robert and Elizabeth Garza
15 hours ago