Mother’s Day: A Memory Mosaic

So many Mother’s Day memories . . . Some happy. Some sad. Some poignant. Some hilariously funny.

Mother’s Day evokes a host of memories, doesn’t it?

I have always loved Mother’s Day. No, that’s not true. Ever since I became a mom, I have loved Mother’s Day. Before that there were a number of years when Mother’s Day was hard for me. Very, very hard. Especially the year I had just had a miscarriage. And the years before that when I wondered if I would ever become a mom. I dreaded Mother’s Day some of those years.

I’ll bet some of you have memories of Mother’s Days like that, too. Years when you wondered if you’d ever be a mom—or had just lost a baby. Memories of days like that are part of my Mother’s Day memory mosaic—good reason to sit in church on Mother’s Day praying for women who may be sitting there desperately wishing they were mothers.

But then there came the year—the glorious year—when I became a mom. And ever since then I have loved Mother’s Day. When my kids were young, I loved the sticky cards and struggling plants and homemade gifts. I loved the early Mother’s Day morning flurry of activity in the kitchen—even though I hardly dared to think what damage might be done by three kids and a dad whose only excursion into the kitchen was Mother’s Day (Hey, it really wasn’t that hard getting egg whites or whipped cream off the kitchen ceiling—it was worth it!) I loved the procession up the stairs, when they would sing “Happy Mother’s Day to You” and carry a tray with a breakfast for me which they would enthusiastically devour themselves whenever possible. (I used to consider renting my kids out as some kind of a diet plan!) I especially loved the Mother’s Day breakfast menu cards Woody would make, complete with pictures of the kids as well as poignant or funny cards laminated on them. One of my favorite ones pictured The Three Stooges (a favorite with Lars) with flowers. I’ve kept every one of those cards!

As our kids got older, I looked forward to the hilarious cards they would pick out themselves. And the Mother’s Day brunches Woody would plan at a Boston restaurant. Now that our sons are married and have sons themselves, I love to hear about ways they honor their wives on Mother’s Day. Knowing what great mothers my two daughters-in-law are, they deserve pretty special treatment!

I’ve been a mother long enough now—nearly 32 years!—to have a host of Mother’s Day memories for my memory mosaic. And most of those memories form a pattern: a pattern of overwhelming gratitude. Gratitude for the gift of children. For the gift of my children’s spouses. For the gift of my grandsons. For the gift of my own wonderful mom.

Which brings me to a new part of my memory mosaic. Mother’s Day week for me this year has been extra-hard. I find myself missing my mom ferociously. I just so desperately want to call and talk to her. Just one more time . . . ??? Once again, sadness is a part of my Mother’s Day memories. Sadness because this year I don’t have my mom to send a card to. To pick out a gift for. To call on Sunday. I know she is so much better off than she has been any other Mother’s Day. What could be better than spending it with Jesus?!! But still, I miss her. With all the Mother’s Day ads and emails and catalogues, this feels like a long week.

Yet the mosaic still has the same theme, even with the sadness pieced in. The theme is gratitude. Not only am I thankful for my children and grandchildren, I am thankful for my mother. She was my prayer warrior. My best-friend-next-to-Woody. My most patient listener and most enthusiastic cheerleader. A mother who passed on to me a deep love for God and a deep faith. Not everyone has a mother like that—another reason to pray for other women sitting next to you in church this Sunday!
But those of us who do have a great deal to be thankful for on Mother’s Day.

So what does your Mother’s Day memory mosaic look like? For some of you reading this, it may be your first year as a mom. Some of you may have some pre-mom memories like mine. Some of you may be missing your mom as I am. And I’ll bet a lot of you have some pretty funny Mother’s Day memories to share! Please write in and tell us about them. We’d love to laugh—or even cry—along with you.

And while I’m asking for your response, may I remind you that I’m still looking for some stories of Mom To Mom end-of-year activities your groups may have done—or be doing. It’s never too late to tell us about those.

Happy Mother’s Day!