I anticipate a pleasant, low-key Mother's Day this coming Sunday, and that's okay with me. My son Matt will call before he gets to his church because he can't very well tell every lady in his congregation "Happy Mother's Day" if he hasn't said those words to his own Momma first. Our oldest daughter will call sometime in the afternoon after she's been to Dairy Queen with her family and had a nice nap. The youngest daughter will probably remember in a few days to tell me "Happy Mother's Day," but she will spend the day being celebrated by her own 10 children and deserves to have the focus on herself for a change. Steve will take me somewhere nice on Saturday, and we'll avoid restaurants like the plague on Sunday. And, oh yeah, I'll be doing something I've never done before -- playing the piano for the morning service at St. John's Episcopal Church. I have a feeling this is NOT the place for me to break out with a rousing arrangement of "Standing on the Promises." :)
Pleasant and low-key is perfectly fine with me, because I remember two Mother's Day Sundays in particular that were absolutely horrible.
My first "most horrible" Mother's Day happened in 1986, about 3 1/2 months after my mother died suddenly at the age of 55, leaving her husband, children, and 5 grandchildren utterly devastated. She was our glue, our cheerleader, the one who (in the words of my youngest child) "always smelled good," the one who made sure our special occasions were truly special, who served us delicious meals, and loved us unconditionally. I could NOT walk into church that morning and watch everyone hugging their mommas. No way. We spent that day with my dad, mostly driving and talking and staying far away from the mention of Mother's Day. By the NEXT year, I knew that the very best way to honor my mother was to be in church, worshipping the Savior she was now seeing face to face. But the first one was rough.
(Please ignore the unfortunate photo of me, but trust me when I say I would give a fortune to have conversations with the 3 precious women in this photo with Laura and me -- my mother, my grandmother, and my great grandmother).
My second "most horrible" Mother's Day was in 2003 in Cuenca, Ecuador. In this heavily Catholic country and culture with a huge emphasis on Mary, the Mother of Jesus ("Madre de Dios"), Mother's Day was a HUGE deal. Flower arrangements covered every market. Families gathered in large numbers to celebrate their matriarch with gifts and a meal lasting for hours. Steve and I watched this all play out as we drove down the streets and watched from our apartment window. But I was more than 3000 miles away from any of our children or our only grandchild. To add to the misery, the phone lines were so busy, no calls could get through. I literally cried all day long because I missed them so badly.
Remembering those 2 days puts the Mother's Days I have now in great perspective. On any given day, I can drive no more than 30 minutes, 2 hours, or 3 hours in various directions and hug all my people. All three Pearson kids, their spouses, and our 15 grandchildren are living their best lives. They are in church and not just IN church but serving God and contributing to advancing His kingdom. I could not possibly be prouder of them. It is such a blessing and privilege to watch them thrive.
To you who are reading this today, I realize that not all of you ARE mothers, but you all HAVE (or had) a mother. There are dozens of scenarios being faced this weekend.
* If this is your first Mother's Day without your mom, I do so understand your pain. I hope you will find some ways to cope this year, and by next year, I believe you'll know what to do on Mother's Day to acknowledge, honor, and pay tribute to her.
* If you still have your momma, do MORE than you normally would to show your love for her. You'll be glad . . . one of these days.
* If your relationship with your mom is not what you wish it was, take a step in the direction of making things better. Even a baby step could produce big results.
* If you don't have kids or grandkids of your own, spend time noticing/praising/encouraging someone else's kids -- nieces, nephews, your friends' kids and grandkids, kids at church, kids in your neighborhood, kids in a children's home or orphanage. I bet some faces are coming to your mind.
* If you are fortunate enough to be surrounded by your children tomorrow, praise God for that amazing blessing.
(This photo was made 2 years ago. One grandchild was yet to be born. How I love these young people).
Proverbs 31: 28-31
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.