Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Our church focuses a lot on families and this can be hard for people who aren't part of an "ideal" family.  A few years ago, there was a talk about why the focus on ideal families when there are so many people in different situations.  I liked it.  You can read it here.

Mother's Day is a bit hard for me.  I carefully created a game plan this year so I wouldn't be depressed all day, and I was doing great until the hardest part of the day...going to church.  All those kids.  Visitors who came with their parents.  Kids singing a special song for the moms.  I knew it would be hard though and only came for the most important part - the sacrament.  A friend thoughtfully asked me to sit with her and I managed to keep the tears under wraps for the 20 minutes I was there.  Other friends supported me this weekend via email, chocolate, and a long-stemmed rose.  Thank you.

Part of my game plan was to tell a few moms how awesome they are - including my mom and Nathan's mom.  As I did this, I started thinking of how hard Mother's Day can be for so many people.  I personally know people who struggle with infertility, who haven't found someone to have kids with, who have lost children, who don't know where their children are, who don't have a loving mom, who don't have a mom on this earth, or who don't feel they are good moms.  Wow - what a lot of painful emotions to deal with on Mother's Day.

Even so, I don't think we should discontinue Mother's Day.  Let's be honest, any holiday can be hard for people for all of the above reasons and more.  Christmas, birthdays, etc.  I think we should just support each other, focus on the positive, and know our limits.  It really helped me today to think of others, to be thought of by others, and to be grateful for the moms and mother-hearts in my life.

Rosalinda was one of my second moms.  I spent a great deal of time with her family.  I babysat her kids, went on vacation with them, and learned a lot from her.  I wish I did a better job of keeping her in my life now.

My mom is one of the most amazing women I know.  She homeschooled us, canned, obtained free fruit from everywhere, planted an amazing garden, hung clothes on the line, cooked from scratch, lived as a good Christian woman should, and involved us in every step of that process.  The older I get, the more I turn into a carbon copy of my mom, and the more I realize that's a good thing.


Pat was another second mom.  She and my mom worked together on a lot of church projects and I also spent a lot of time at Pat's house.  She and her husband welcomed foster children into their home, which wasn't always easy, and eventually adopted one of the most difficult ones.  She knew how to have fun right along with us, but wasn't afraid to lay down the law.  She was also a great example of being a homemaker.  When I got married, she gave me my canner and gave me the confidence to try canning meat.

Pam was another second mom.  She was my boyfriend's mom but became my friend too.  It took me a second to recall her name, because I called her "Mommy" just like my boyfriend did when I met him.  Her first husband died way too young, leaving her with four kids, and she remarried.  She worked long hours with her second husband and loved to escape on cruises as often as they could save up for them. She collected cookbooks and I inherited a lot of Tupperware, cookbooks, and children's books when she died.  These are the only two pictures I have of her.  She died before even turning 50 and it was one of the hardest deaths I've ever dealt with.  I miss her dearly.  When we go to visit my parents, I try to stop by her grave and talk to her for a few minutes.

Now that I'm grown and married, I have another mom.  I'm grateful for Nathan's mom.  She is a good example to me in so many ways.  She has always maintained strong family traditions and I love participating in Hanukkah, Christmas caroling at the nursing home, and banging on pans for New Year's.


Happy Mother's Day!

4 comments:

Golda said...

My older sister is dealing with infertility also. She told me earlier this week that she always skips church on mother's day because it's too hard for her.

Rebecca H. Jamison said...

I'm so proud of you for going to sacrament meeting. I know a lot of people skip it, and I don't blame them.

A couple years ago, when the kids were up singing at church for Mother's Day, I heard the people behind me criticizing my kids for their behavior and me for not going up there to get them. I figured it would be even worse if I went up there too. Ever since then, I really don't enjoy it when my kids are up front singing because I think of their comments. I guess I need to get over that, huh?

Amy said...

Cherish,

You just made my day - you are an answer to a prayer I hadn't even prayed yet. I am supposed to give a talk in two weeks on the sacred calling of husband and wife but knew that can be a difficult topic for those who don't have the blessing of being a husband or wife but desperately want it. I remembered this talk about how we strive for the ideal and follow the pattern the Lord gives us, even if we can't reach that ideal. But I hadn't looked for it yet. And I read your blog today and there it is! Thank you.

Thank you also for talking about all the wonderful women/mothers in your life. It made me really stop and think about the women that most influenced me and who I have become. There are so many, really, when you stop to think about it. And so many still - I think we all just try and emulate the wonderful things that the women around us do. I know that I have learned many wonderful things from so many others that I come in contact with - some much older and wiser than me and some younger and more valiant than me. You are one of the wonderful women that I count myself blessed to know. I have learned many great things from you.

Thank you for being the great woman that you are.

Jaime said...

Good for you for going to church. What a blessing to have so many wonderful, different women to inspire us.