They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But today, as I look at my Mother’s Day picture (the one that everyone obliged to take cause it’s what we do), many more words and untold stories are hidden behind it. Mother’s Day used to be a day where I was the star of the show while also remembering my own Mother and today, the day is neither. I love this picture, don’t get me wrong, but just so there is no misunderstanding, today has held so much more.
What you don’t see in this picture is a little one who needed to be close. Many emotions come flooding in when there are two Mommies and one is not here. This child wanted to sit next to me at church, stayed with me after and we have had some gentle talks throughout the day. While I know this is normal and it’s good that I am trusted with these feelings, it still breaks my heart. I am a blessed woman to parent all my children, but I get the privilege when another woman doesn’t.
What you don’t see in this picture is a strained relationship with the one who raised me. Healthy boundaries come at a cost and it complicates things even more. While many post wonderful tributes, I am standing in solidarity with those who aren’t able to. There are no perfect mothers or daughters and we seem to have a picture of what we want this to look like. For some the picture and reality are two very different experiences.
What you don’t see in this picture is a family who is content but not complete. We are moving mountains, sometimes a pebble at a time to bring our daughter home and we think of her today. No child should be alone especially when fighting a scary medical diagnosis.
What you don’t see in this picture is a family that is grieving a new diagnosis while wanting to make the most of every day. A child who could stand steadily is now clumsy and weaker. Every lost skills and every stumble is a reminder of a syndrome taking away hard earned skills. The unfairness of it all can be all consuming and it takes intention to live in the moment. We are fighting for every memory and taking many more pictures.
I wish all the women who are mothering a happy Mother’s Day. Today is complicated in its blessings and its losses.