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Sunday, May 13, 2018

for when Mother's Day is not a happy day

Hello you,
You dear sweet face on the other side of this screen. Hello from where I sit, here in the dark and (finally!) quiet of my desk. I wanted to say something to you, because Mother's Day (here in America) is right around the corner, and that annoying ad for the cell phones keeps playing and won't let me forget.

I wanted to remind you because this needs to be said - Mother's Day isn't always the happy cliche you see on the greeting card aisle or the ad on TV. Some of us need to be reminded that this day is not a happy day for quite a lot of people.

For the men and women who long for their family to begin - today is not a good day.
For those grieving the loss of a miscarriage - today is not a happy day.
For the grieving fathers and mothers who lost a child -  today is hard.
For the children who never knew their mother.
For the child who was abused.
For the child who has been abandoned by choice or by death.
For the son or daughter who just feels abandoned - today is something you just get through.
For the mom who is raising kids alone.
For the dad who wishes he could make breakfast in bed but that side of the bed is empty.
For the single woman who is just so ready to start the next chapter of life.
For the young mom who feels like today is only about Grandma and it just means more shuffling kids from place to place just to keep the peace.
For the mom & dad who feel like their marriage is just dangling by a thread.
Today is the opposite of happy.
Today is just plain super painful.
Please do not look away.

So please remember as you give your Mother's Day greetings or go about your weekend that there is a lot of pain in between the smiles and there are a lot of tears right there in the middle and all around of the joy. Please don't look away. Please remember.

Are you still with me? Good. Becuase I have something else to say too. Because chances are I didn't have to remind you of all that stuff above. You already know, boy do you know. You know, as you walk into church on Sunday with your little brood, you are fully aware of how blessed you are. But it is hard to celebrate in the middle of pain, yours or your friend's. It really is. But please listen to me: do it anyway. Because this is the world that we live in, where joy and pain share bunk beds and you rarely get one without the other. Embrace the joy of today in the middle of the pain because that is where true joy lives.

Please don't sit back, afraid to enjoy today in the face of all of that pain. Instead, reach down deep your pockets, and find that deep, true joy. Hold it in your hands and then let it turn to love in your hands.  Wrap it around the shoulders of the women to your left and to your right. Snuggle deep into folds of it and bring your children into it, breath it in. Pain does not exclude joy.

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