Mother’s Day has always been the most important day of the year to me. Nothing in my life is more important than being a Mom. Nothing ever has or ever will be. That is who I am. I am a Mom.
One thing Mother’s Day most certainly is, is an emotional day for everyone who is a Mom, has stepped up to be the Mom, is a Grandmother or aunt who stepped up to fill the Mom roll, is a son or daughter who grieves for the Mom who has passed away or the son or daughter whose Mom simply walked away one day and never returned, who is struggling with a severe addiction or mental illness and is just not able to be a presence in your life.
You may be the Mom whose child for reasons you may never understand, choose to walk away. Is not in your life.
You may be the Mom whose son or daughter is struggling with the horrific disease of addiction and you are praying you will hear from him or her today. At least you will know, this person you love so completely is still alive and there is still hope that change will happen.
You may be that Mom who is sitting by your child’s bedside in the ER because of an overdose last night, or visiting at a correctional institution because that is where your teen or adult child currently is.
You may be that Mom whose adult children are hundreds or thousands of miles away.
You may be that Mom who has tragically lost the child they so deeply love to drug or alcohol abuse. Or to suicide because they could see no other way out.
Mother’s Day can bring the joy it was meant to bring – celebrating your Mom and being celebrated as someone’s Mom.
Sadly Mother’s Day is not a happy day for far to many people.
Mother’s Day can bring up memories you sometimes wish you could forget. But memories don’t work that way. That is why we call them memories. The person grappling with the feelings of having been abandoned. “If she loved me why didn’t she just quit using heroin”? “She cared more about the next fix than she cared about me”.
Sometimes we get another chance to make things right. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes tomorrow is a good day and for far to many tomorrow just doesn’t come. And when you have a loved one who is in the depth of their addiction, that is always your greatest fear.
But one thing I know for sure, in spite of all the fears, all the kayos, all the drama, all the pain and all the heartbreak, the broken promises, the years and years of crying ourselves to sleep at night, one thing is certain: of all the hats we wear, the most important one of all is the Mom hat.
Nothing and no one will ever be able to remove that hat. That is who I am. That is who you are. We are Moms. Those old wedding vows, “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to death do us part”, I think that should be the “Mom vow”.
As painful as a divorce can be, we can and do walk away. I have. But I would never, will never, ever walk away from my children. Our children may for whatever reason make that choice, but I know that as Moms, nothing is more important than our children and their well-being.
To all the amazing women out there, the Moms, the Moms by choice, all those women who reach out and touch the lives of others, to my eldest daughter Kare, who I swear was my Mom in another life because she has always looked out for me and had my back, even if she didn’t always agree with me, she has always been “My Person”. I could not “do life” without her. To my daughters JJ and Bean who are Moms themselves, to my Mom who passed on to her next chapter on Boxing Day 1996 after struggling with ALS for two years. I wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day.
To all the Moms whose children continue the struggle with the disease of addiction and to those Moms who have so tragically lost their children to his horrific disease, I hope you are somehow able to find a peaceful place to go if even for awhile.
Last evening my youngest son Michael took me out for dinner. He jokingly called me his “MAD” Mom And Dad. Because for many of us Moms we have been in this struggle alone. To all those Moms who do the impossible every single day I celebrate you. And to those men who have become the “MAD” to their children – “Happy MAD Day” to you as well. Sadly you are too frequently the exception not the norm. Thank you.
To those of you who may question their absentee mother’s reasons – just know it was never about you not being “good enough”. You were perfect. It was your Mom who was feeling broken and just unable to be there. Know that. Say it and remind yourself of that daily. You were perfect.
As women, as Mothers, together we are the change makers. We must never stop standing up and speaking out to change laws and end the stigma around drug addiction, alcohol addiction and mental illness.
To you all may your Mother’s Day be whatever you need it to be. Always remember, you are not alone. We Moms are in this together.