Friday, May 14, 2010

Mother's Day Missing a Son

Mother's Day was a whole lot harder for me than I anticipated.  Several people had told me ahead of time that they would be praying for me, and I thought to myself, "I think I'll be ok.  I don't think it will be too bad."  Turns out they were more right than I was.

I woke up sad.  Really sad.  And the morning was downright painful.  We had actually decided ahead of time to celebrate Mother's Day later in the week because a lot of family was in town for my cousin's college graduation from UGA, and Bryan was working on Sunday.  So, I woke up with Bryan already at work and feeling very blue.  I went to get the boys up, and Joel was a booger as he often is these days.  (The threes are a tricky age when kids try hard to declare their independence and therefore push boundaries at every turn.)  By breakfast Joel had had at least 3 timeouts.

I felt teary and fragile all morning.  By the time we got to church, I was on the brink of tears.  After delivering Caleb and Joel to their rooms, I sat down alone in the auditorium, way before the service was ready to start.  I started praying and thinking about Mother's Day and how it's hard for a lot of people.  I've heard stories of people who struggle with infertility and dread Mother's Day, who dread the "Will all the mothers take a moment to stand so we can applaud you" announcement at the start of church service.  I thought about moms who might be estranged from their children, of moms who have a child off at war, of would-be moms who have miscarried.  And then I thought about me.  And about other moms whose child has died.  It feels so wrong.  A day focused on me as a mother feels so painful, so broken, because the picture of me as a mom is so incomplete.

By the time Bryan got to church, sat down next to me, and put his arm around me, my tears were spilling over uncontrollably.  I wiped at my cheeks frantically in an effort to erase all evidence of my tears, but they just kept coming.  I couldn't stop them from brimming over.  It took a good way into the service before I finally felt peaceful inside and wasn't trying to master my emotions.

The rest of the day we spent with my extended family, and I kept telling myself, "it's not Mother's Day.  It's not Mother's Day."  I wanted to be able to enjoy my relatives and not spend the day in a funk, especially considering I don't get to see some of them more than a couple of times a year.  At the end of the day as we were heading home, my aunt Jeanne gave me a hug and told me that she was sure it had been a hard day, that I had been missing Samuel terribly, and that she was so sorry.  Those kind words of course made me cry again, but I was so grateful for her willingness to broach a difficult subject and for her compassion.  It was a bright moment in a hard day.

On Wednesday we celebrated Mother's Day as a family, and it was a blessed day.  I was able to enjoy my two sons here with me and to love our day together.  It wasn't so fraught with pain and heartbreak.  I missed Samuel when I came out to cards from Caleb and Joel, and I missed him when they gave me their presents, and I missed him as they said, "No, no, no, no!  You can't do any work today, Momma!" and I missed him as we went out to dinner, but mostly I felt gratitude in my heart for how God has blessed me with my children, for how I get to me called "Momma" everyday by two little boys, for how I get to kiss away booboos and cuddle away fears, for how God has made me a mother to three precious and amazing sons.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  And I continue to trust God with my story.  He has written it this way, and this, exactly this, is the story I want to be living.  Whatever chapters He pens ahead, I want to live those too -- even if they're not the way I envision them and hope they will be.  Again I pick up my sorrows and joys and say, "Lord, I am Yours.  I trust You.  I will follow where You lead.  After You, my King."  I pray He gives me the grace and faithfulness to do that afresh every day of my life yet ahead.  And for the chance to be a mother, I cannot begin to thank God enough.  It is the greatest privilege of my life.


  1. I did think of you on Mother's Day and I was still dreading that day as I usually do as the pain and frustration will always be there and with my friends who are still dealing with it. I love my 2 girls and wouldn't trade them for the world but there is a part of me that will always want to pull away from celebrating that day. I am sorry you had to be so sad and be missing Samuel so badly that day. As I said before, you crossed my mind several times that day! Love you! Beth

  2. kathryn...i thought of you & prayed several times throughout the day on sunday. i even weep for you now in reading how hard the day was. so glad that you had wednesday to feel celebrated & loved & hopefully it helped (albeit perhaps just a little) bring some healing to your very broken heart.