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Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day Thoughts

My mother died in 1993 at the age of 66. She was the youngest in her family, 13 years younger than the rest of her siblings, and they were all still living. I expected my mother to live as long as her siblings and have her another 20 years. But it was not to be.
I could accept God's timing but struggled with grief again every year at Mother's Day. Weeks in advance every advertisement screamed at me suggesting I could do this or that for my mother on Mother's Day. It just rubbed salt in the wound and I was always relieved when the day passed. It has taken me 20 years but I can finally live through the day without getting upset and resenting all the commercialization that goes with the day. Not that I don't miss my mother anymore or never wish I could talk to her again, but I've finally come to terms with the fact that she died 20 years sooner than I expected. She has had 20 years of perfect peace in God's presence and I would not wish her back to this earth for my own selfish reasons.
I am sure there are many other women who must struggle at Mother's Day for other reasons. Women who would love to be mothers and are not (for various reasons); women who have miscarried or had a child die young; women whose children have gotten into trouble and disappointed them. And then, on the other side of the coin, are irresponsible women who have borne children but did not want to care for them. They have children but are not mothers. To women who wanted children but did not have them, that seems terribly unfair. And children who were abused or abandoned must struggle with wishing they had a mother.
 It's nice to have a day to remember and honor our mothers but we ought to be more sensitive to the feelings of the women who are not mothers and have no mother living to spend the day with. We should not make them feel like being a mother is the only way for a woman to be successful in life. We can honor our mothers (living or not) every day in countless ways. It doesn't have to be with a gift or spending time with them. I honor my mother by cherishing her memory and living by the principles she taught me. And I know that's really all she ever wanted from me.
In loving memory of
Betty Burkholder

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