Happy (Mother’s) Day

Bing images - I love mummyFor every mother, there’s another.  Another woman who, for one reason or another, is not or has not.  Mother’s Day is not flowers and pretty cards and adorable handmade gifts for everyone.  Some of us are still grieving the loss of our mother or the loss of a pregnancy or having lost custody of our children.  Some of us are still coming to terms with our life choices, whether they be career, lifestyle, or perhaps even addiction having brought us through circumstances where motherhood was never a viable option.  And some of us have been abused or have never had children and harbor a certain amount of resentment that society and Hallmark persist in holding up motherhood as the ideal and norm for all women.

Every Mother’s Day, my father (who was every bit a scoundrel the other 364 days of the year) would plant geraniums for my mom.  Red ones.  Buckets of them.  I don’t have any recollection of there ever being any tenderness between them.  This annual gift of flowers and planting was a ritual carried out as obligation and received with near indifference.  But still, all these years later, after both my parents have long since passed, geraniums continue to represent Mother’s Day to me.  So, when I was at Home Depot last week picking out flowers for the pots on and around my deck, I had to purchase one red geranium to include among the impatiens, petunias, marigolds, and other pretty plants I do not know the names of.  That single geranium is a hardy little bugger and even has a few new red buds.  A sign of some sorts, perhaps.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

I never had children.  Never married, either.  I once thought about having a kid anyway, but it was only a fleeting notion.  My biological clock was winding down and I remember thinking it was going to have to be then or never.  I opted for never.  I wouldn’t have made a good mother.  Just wasn’t cut out for it.  I wouldn’t have made a particularly good wife, either.  Years of alcoholism aside, I’ve always been too self-willed, perhaps too selfish, to bend and accommodate the needs and expectations of another.  Not that I was the sort of woman who was turning down proposals left and right.  No one ever asked.  But then, I never settled into a relationship long enough for the question to come up.  Those choices don’t make me any less of a woman, though.  I’m still whole and complete and (now in sobriety) pretty darn happy.  But they are still choices that, for better or worse, are underscored by all the Mother’s Day hoopla.

It seems I am in good company.  A woman by the name of Anne Jarvis is acknowledged as the official founder of Mother’s Day.  Although mother’s had been getting together to mourn fallen soldiers and support various efforts since Civil War times, Ms. Jarvis organized  what has since been recognized as the first Mother’s Day at her church.  It was her way of honoring the memory of her own mother who had passed some years earlier.  She went on to campaign to have Mother’s Day recognized nationally, only to later become vehemently opposed to the resulting commercialization and actively fight to have the day stricken from the U.S. calendar.  Jarvis, herself, never married nor had children.  For her, Mother’s Day was the setting aside of a day of remembrance, a day to honor the memory of mothers lost.  Had Anne Jarvis’ intent been preserved, I would be on board with Mother’s Day 100%.  As it is, though, I am left with mixed emotions.

I know, before this day is over, some well-intentioned stranger or two or three will wish me a Happy Mother’s Day.  They will look at me, certain I am most probably a mother and a grandmother, and be sincere in their well wishes.  Such greetings neither annoy nor disturb me, but they do make my heart ache for the women whose hearts will break in two if they even hear those words a single time.  For the mothers out there, I wish you a happy Mother’s Day crammed full of love and hugs and blessings.  But if you are another, one of the other nearly 45% of the female population in the U.S., I reach out my arms and my prayers in solidarity and affection.   Our lives matter, too.  As for me, I’m going to spend some time out on my deck watching a red geranium grow and remembering my mom.  I’m hoping for a day of blessings, too; a day of blessings for all women everywhere.  It is Spring, the sun is going to shine, and life is oh, so good!  Happy Day!  Happy Day!Bing images - geranium

24 thoughts on “Happy (Mother’s) Day

  1. What a beautiful and poignant post. I’ve always thought about that sitting in church on Mother’s/Father’s Day listening to sermons about how wonderful they can be. But what about all the folks who have been abused or abandoned by mothers/fathers? It’s always been a tug-of-war for me. I look at motherhood with a different perspective. I think a mother is any woman who comes alongside you in your life and makes a difference, a contribution to help you grow into your future. There’s a lot of ways to interpret that. School teachers, nurses, ladies next door, librarians who take the time to fan your passion for reading…pastors. I have a feeling that in some sense you are a mother to many by virtue of the joy and happiness I heard in between the lines when you talked about doing the wedding and communion a few posts ago. Perhaps, my friend, you sell yourself short? Spiritual mothers can often be the very best of all. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. As always, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I agree; relationships with other women can be tremendous sources of encouragement, inspiration, and comfort. I have been blessed by having a few precious and wonderful women in my life. I pray God has and will continue to enable me to be a blessing to others.


  2. I love this! My own relationship with my mother is complicated. It’s hard every year to find a neutral card that just says “happy Mother’s Day,” and I know mine looks forlorn next to the flowering ones from my siblings declaring her the best mother in the universe, which is how she sees herself. I am a mother to two amazing young adults. I’ve always eschewed these Hallmark card holidays. I love knowing the history of this day. Enjoy your red geranium. I am going to start another try at sobriety today. Say a prayer for me, please.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for posting this. Mother’s day can be a tricky one for me as I’ve struggled with my own fertility and choices around this. I didn’t know the history of the day. Interesting!
    Blessings to you on this day and all days! xo

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This resonates with me so much. Being the only woman in my family who is NOT a mother, I too have mixed feelings about the day. You’re quite right… I somehow get this nagging feeling that my life doesn’t matter quite as much because I haven’t brought another person into the world. But that’s not true, and I’m pretty sure that it’s just my own insecurity coming out and playing tricks with my mind. It truly warms me to see that there are plenty of women out there who don’t have children, and yet still have fulfilling and rich lives. Thank you for sharing :).

    Liked by 3 people

      1. aleena: Voin kuvitella että tauko on paikallaan jos joulukinkkua eri muodoissa söi pitkään! 🙂 Mulla on vähän niin että en pysty kovin montaa päivää syömään ylipäätään mitään samaa raaka-ainetta, niin joulustakaan ei jäänyt kinkkua kohtaan mitään traumoja 🙂 Ollaan itseasiassa syöty tasaisesti possua eri muodossa jo joulun jälkeenkin silloin tällöin. No, johtuu isosti siitäkin, ettei meillä itsellä ollut kinkkua, vaan olimme muiden joulupöydissä kyläilemässä.. ei jäänyt sitten nurkkiin isoa palaa kinkkua mille keksiä käyttötarkoituksia jälkikäteen 🙂


      2. i never been happy about my life because life is really complicated to me. I’m a middle class 21y old women. i want to reach the highest my life take. i believe that every one has good things in life like a family to be happy,.. I’m happy of my family but things are very complicated to do but i still have hope XD


  5. Thanks for writing this post. I had many of the same thoughts this day, but could not make myself be still with them long enough to form a cohesive sentence. Our commonalities, and my appreciation for you, grow with each post.

    Ella (mother to 3 black cats)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is fantastic & I definitely relate to the 45% of the US population. I have been grieving the loss of my mother my entire life (up until healing through working the steps) but the ironic part is that my mother is still alive. She lives over 3,000 miles away from me & I haven’t seen her for 13 years due to the fact that she is an active methamphetamine user. Thank you for this lovely post & for understanding that Mother’s Day is a difficult day for some

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for your personal Mother’s Day thoughts. I especially love the image of the red geranium sitting on your deck and the meaning it has for you. Mother’s Day is difficult for me when I reflect that I did not give my children all the life gifts I wanted them to have. My mother gave us everything she could and set a example of self-giving. Yet she, too, missed her mark. Culture the world over sets a very high bar for mothers. I like the idea of “the good-enough mother” which provides a broad tent for women to mother other people in all sorts of situations. ❤


  8. Cor!uatnlationsg! How exciting for you – my niece turns one this coming Wednesday and I’ve loved every second with her (and can’t wait for my own), so I’ll definitely check back and read more! Thanks for stopping by my blog, and happy Saturday SITS Sharefest!.-= Jennifer – Somewhere In Between´s last blog .. =-.


  9. Hip-Hop, pop, mainstream music… Whatever you call the style.That antares auto-tune ish has to be taken far away from Kanye, seriously.He can, for exemple, sell the licence and get some singing lessons instead.He’s almost reaching the ear bleeding level of ghostface singing skill.I’ve forgiven him buying elton john’s sunglasses but I won’t let that autotune singing pass !


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