08 May 2011 ~ 6 Comments

Mother’s Day Dichotomy

My church planting coach was sharing with me last week that Mother’s Day is one of the most difficult Sundays of the year for him to juggle as a pastor.  At the same time that we rejoice in celebrating moms, there are so many other emotions that come with Mother’s Day.
There are those who wish to be moms.
Those who wish they weren’t moms.
Those who have recently miscarried.
Those who haven’t been able to get pregnant.
Those who grieve abortions.
Those who have given up children for adoption.
And a category I can fit into this year, those who have lost their moms over the past year.

I don’t (so far) see Mother’s Day as particularly tough, personally.  It wasn’t a huge day for us.  We were rarely together, and I’d send a card or something.  Not like Christmas, which was real tough because of how much she loved the holiday.
But it does bring my mom and the past year to the forefront of my mind.
It is another opportunity to remember her.
To honor her, even in death.
And to recognize one of the greatest gifts she gave us on the way out.

I shared in my first post about her passing that I was reading Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen on the airplane as I went to San Diego that day.
One of the things he talks about toward the end of the book is the opportunity we have to be “given” by God, of being a gift even in our deaths.
He writes this:

The deaths of those whom we love  and who love us open up the possibility of a new, more radical communion, a new intimacy, a new belonging to each other.  If love is, indeed, stronger than death, then death has the potential to deepen and strengthen the bonds of love.  It was only after Jesus had left his disciples that they were able to grasp what he truly meant to them.  But isn’t that true for all who die in love?

We often say we don’t know what we have until it’s gone.  In some ways it’s true.  This Mother’s Day I can look back on the life of my mom and be so thankful that God blessed me with her, and to continue to grasp what she truly meant to me.

But in addition, perhaps one of the greatest gift my mom left us, as she died in love, was the relationships we now have with each other in our family.  I’ve seen far too many examples of relationships torn apart by the death of a family member.  But  it has been a blessing to see it draw the rest of our family closer together than we ever have been before.  This is especially true in my life with my sister and my aunt, two other amazing moms to be honored today.  Even in the final days of my mom’s life I watched as my aunt and my sister supported each other, loved each other, and I watched the relationship between all three of them grow deeper in the last few months of my mom’s life.

So today I’m gonna kick back at home and spoil my wife for the amazing mother that she is.
And I also write this post as a way of remembering my own mom and expressing my gratitude for who she was and how she continues to bless our lives, even after moving on from this one.

Love and miss ya mom.

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