Monday, May 8, 2017

A letter to my daughter...

My dear, dear Hannah,

Your first Mother's Day is coming soon. I remember how I felt when I experienced my first Mother's Day. I felt "official!" I was so excited to finally be a momma...after eleven years of miscarriages and cringing when that date rolled around every May. Did you know I actually skipped Mother's Day services at our church one year because I couldn't bear to be there?

Something you said to me the other day has stuck in my mind, and caused me to make it the subject of this blog posting. We were in the car, talking about what we'd be doing this Mother's Day and how we'd celebrate it. You mentioned that you wished it didn't have that title, because it eliminated the women who weren't mothers. You were sensitive that there are women who need to be celebrated - not because they are mothers - but that each woman's life is worth celebrating! I like that! I'm glad you have the kind of heart that causes you to think that way.

I remember the Mother's Day afternoon that your Aunt Vangie called me in tears because of something someone thoughtlessly said to her at church that morning. She'd held in her tears when it happened, but the flood came later when I answered her call. It seems that there were long-stemmed roses being handed to all the mothers as they walked into the service that morning. Women whose mothers were deceased received white roses, and the others who still had their moms on this earth were handed red roses. Your grandma and Aunt Van walked into the sanctuary together and Grandma Miller was handed a white rose. Aunt Vangie received a red one. Suddenly the woman took the red rose away from her, and laughingly said, "You're not a mother, you shouldn't get a rose!"

Aunt Vangie's voice kept breaking as she cried, telling me what happened. I'm sure that woman had no idea the impact her words had on my sister that morning. She probably didn't know that Vangie wanted to be a mother more than anything...that she had two babies in Heaven...and that she had the heart of a mother, loving every kid she knew!

From that day on, I asked your daddy that on Mothers' Day mornings at church, we would celebrate the moms as well as all the women in the church. After sharing what happened to Vangie, he has always been keenly aware of that on those Sunday mornings in May.

Maybe she is part of the reason you have that kind of heart I mentioned earlier. For whatever reason you feel this way, I'm thankful. You make me proud in so many ways, and this is just another reason!

But I still want you to enjoy your first Mother's Day for yourself! You easily delivered a most wonderful little girl last August! When I walked into the room after her birth, I went straight to you to make sure you were okay. And you were. You were tired and radiant that afternoon. You were a mother! My baby had a baby!!! Looking at Ophelia gave me new feelings I never knew I could have! And now, I've become the grandmother I used to joke about - being so crazy over a grandchild!

This is something I read on my radio shows around Mother's Day each year after I had you. After what happened to Aunt Vangie, I wrote these words:
"If a woman gave birth to you and was able to raise you, be thankful. If a woman gave you life but knew it’d better for you to be raised by another, be thankful for both of them. Maybe you carried a child but weren’t able to give birth, be assured your baby is in Heaven waiting for you…and if you chose not to be a mom, be blessed that you can love others’ children."

Your aunt had hundreds of kids and you were one of them. She wasn't able to carry but two babies under her heart...but she had hundreds that she carried in it!

So, since this blog is written to you, please allow me to say "Happy Mother's Day, Hannah!" I marvel at the grace you have as you care for your little girl. You're not nervous like I was - you do things with such ease. You definitely wear motherhood well. You're an awesome mom!

I love you a billion-trillion-up-to-the-sky!

And to all the women reading this posting, Happy Mother's Day to you, too...because you have the blessing to love all of God's children!

Remember this...if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count.