By Pamela Prime —
I awakened on Mother’s Day a few years ago with the awareness that I would be alone that day for the first time in thirty years. I recall lying in bed and feeling the loneliness that only my children could fill on that day, or so I thought. Although the sun was already shining and the birds chirping, I was reluctant to rise…what would I do to celebrate when none of my children were with me?
My daughter Katie was a mother now and her excitement was naturally with her own children. My son, Mark was busy at his restaurant, three hours away, preparing wonderful brunches and dinners for the moms who came to the Village Pub that Sunday, and my youngest daughter Annie, was living far away in New York City.
Mother’s Day had often been a very sad day since it brought memories of my time with two of my children, Sean and Maggie, who had died, but that sadness was now somehow bitter-sweet. It was bitter because they were no longer with me, and sweet because I was remembering them, remembering their smiles and their warmth. I will always miss them.
As I lay in bed, I prayed to God for solace. I remembered that although my children would not be with me that Sunday, we would be together soon and we would celebrate. I also knew that the two who had passed on to a new life were with me in Spirit. By God’s grace, I suddenly felt a new freedom and a wave of peace came over me. I sat up on the edge of my bed and, with some excitement, wondered aloud, “What shall I do today to celebrate Motherhood?”
It was that word…Motherhood, that awakened in me the awareness that I had never celebrated Mary on Mother’s Day! Mary, the Mother of God was my Spiritual mother. I felt a moment of sadness arise within me as I recognized my thoughtlessness, and then, I decided to do something for her!
I got a candle and some flowers and placed them in front of a beautiful statue I have of Mary. I thanked her for all of the ways she cares for me and apologized for never having remembered to celebrate her love on this day. If statues could smile, Mary smiled that Sunday!
Then, I thought, “and I have never even celebrated Mother Earth! Mother Earth, the one who blesses us with such beauty and who reminds me always of Mother God, the feminine aspect of God who brings forth all life, who embraces us and, nurtures us. In this magnificent month of May, with all the spring flowers blooming and all the trees budding, I must give thanks to my Mother God and to Mother Earth.”
So, I called Linda, a neighbor, whose children were also elsewhere, a daughter in the Spirit world who Linda was grieving on this Mother’s Day and two others, who lived at a distance and who were happily busy with their lives. We went for a hike in the forest along the river.
It was a glorious spring day. I can’t describe for you in words that would even come close to expressing the beauty we witnessed or the joy we experienced as we wandered about in the beauty of our Mother’s garden. Honestly, it was one of the best Mother’s Days I have ever known. Suddenly, I realized the grace of moving outside of myself…of what I need or what I am missing, to seeing what I am being called to give to another…in this case, to give thanks and to celebrate Mary, my spiritual mother, mother earth, my earthly mother and most of all Mother God.
When I returned home, it was still warm and sunny. I lay down on the earth and looked up to the heavens. I was smiling, and I began to sing aloud…a litany of thanksgiving to mother’s everywhere.