Mother’s Day is typically promoted as a happy day. Greeting cards and flowers are just two
ways advertisers encourage us to commemorate this special day. We celebrate our own mothers and are appreciated by our children. Why wouldn’t it be happy?
Well, what about those children who have lost their mothers? The day is a sad reminder about the giant hole in their lives. It doesn’t matter how old you are when you lose such a special person in your life. My mom, who was in her 50’s when my grandma passed, said she felt orphaned despite being middle aged herself. It remains a bittersweet day for her still.
What about those women who are still yearning to be a mother? Before our family dreams
became a reality, I recall passing by Mother’s Day cards that taunted me about my own sadness
while being disguised with happy pictures and greetings. I would feel the lump in my throat
and the sting of tears in my eyes as I scurried to another section of the store to avoid the big
What about birth moms who have placed their baby for adoption? Even if they think about this
child all year long, Mother’s Day can bring up a flurry of emotions that may be easier to suppress
on any other given day.
There are many other situations that can cause pain and grief on this day – illness,
estrangement and loss of a child to name just a few excruciatingly painful situations. Is it still
worthwhile to celebrate this day?
I vote yes. Despite the pain, we are reminded that there may be multiple women in our lives
who collectively fulfill the role of mother. In fact, one of the alternate definitions in the
dictionary states that mother means “maternal tenderness or affection” (Merriam-Webster).
Humans need this to thrive whether it originates from a mother (birth or adopted), another
relative, or any other significant person.
My challenge to us all is to reach out to those women who have nurtured us throughout our
lives. In particular, if you know and care about someone who may be grieving this coming
Sunday, I encourage you to let her know that she holds a special spot in your heart. It may be
just the message she needs to get through this Mother’s Day. Perhaps we could spare a lot of
heartache in the future if we simply rename this Sunday to “Maternal Tenderness or Affection