If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thankyou, it will be enough.
– Meister Eckhart
Every year I struggle emotionally on Mother’s Day. Yes, I know it’s a fabricated holiday, created by Hallmark cards, and all that. But the sentimental ads, the tear-jerking commercials, well, they get to me. And it took me a whole week to get it together to even write this small blog entry.
Many of my friends on facebook gathered last week, as motherless daughters, to have lunch and celebrate each other on Mother’s Day. In a way, I envied them.
I, too, am a motherless daughter. Although my mother is alive and lives only 20 minutes away, she is not a part of my life. For years, I wanted so much for that to be different. I hoped beyond hope that we could mend the wounds of the past. When she wouldn’t join me in counseling, I went alone for years. But even my therapists told me to let go of the hope.
It’s like this: Sometimes we break a bone, and it can be broken clean in half, but with love and healing, the break can mend and the bone made whole again. Maybe not exactly the same as it was before, but healed no less. And then sometimes…sometimes it is just mangled, shattered and twisted to the point where there is no choice but to amputate, or die. And that, unfortunately, is how it was with us.
Even when I was little, I learned early on not to count on my mother, but thank God I had the good instincts to seek out healthy role models and look for other ways of being in the world. It took me a while to perfect that searching – I picked the wrong people quite a few times and got burned bad.
But I look at my life now and I marvel at all the people who helped me to grow up and become a whole person.
My husband, my children, and my new-found family surround me with so much love.
My friends, oh my god do I have the most amazing friends who inspire me and encourage me, who make me laugh, who sing with me, write with me, paint with me. Brilliant, brave strong women and men who just blow my mind with their gifts.
I remember years ago reading about the lotus blossom that only grows in the deepest sludge of the pond, and I hoped that would be me one day, learning to bloom in the muck. Even though I am now at mid-life, I feel like I’m just beginning to blossom in my heart, and all the ugliness and pain of the past got me here. That, and the love of those who surrounded me and pulled me into bloom.
So today, here is what I wanted to say on Mother’s Day, when there was no Hallmark card that said: thank you to all those who have nurtured my spirit and helped me to thrive.
Thank you Mother for giving me life when you were only 16 years old. You taught me to survive.
Thank you Father for working so hard to be a better man, after spending fifteen years in prison. You taught me never to give up, and that no one is ever beyond hope.
Thankyou my sweet husband for being the patient gardener of my spirit, tending me, watering the hostile ground, pulling out the choking weeds.
Thank you my precious children for needing me, so that my checking out of this world was never an option. Thank you for loving me to the moon and back, as I have loved you.
Thank you to my friends, my true blue always-there friends who have become my family.
To my new friends who have become the wind in my sails.
To my old childhood friends, found again, who have become as necessary to my life as breathing.
And thank you to my furry friends who lie beside me contentedly every morning as I write, purring, snoring, drooling…
What once was shattered has been pieced back together, becoming the mosaic that is my life, and every one of you is a beautiful shining piece in it.