Once a year there is a special day. It's a day that was declared long ago for the purpose of paying tribute to our Mother's. I was blessed with an amazing Mother. She not only loved and nurtured her three biological children. She fostered many that came from hard homes and needed a caring adult in their lives.
On the other hand, I remember sitting in Mother's Day meetings at church as a young single adult, with no children. I watched as so many other women my age received a tribute gift, such as a plant, a nice recording, or a small book.
One year I taught Sunday School to ten darling little eight-year-olds. I sat in the front of the chapel with them on Mother's Day. They all sang a song to their Mother's and then came back and sat down with me.
When all of the congregant Mother's stood up to receive tribute gifts, a lovely little girl pulled on my arm. "Stand up. Why aren't you standing up?"
I whispered, "I'm not a Mother. I don't have any children."
She whispered back, in a fairly loud whisper. "You're like a Mother! Stand up!"
Mostly to quiet the loving child I stood up. I then felt ever so conspicuous as many questioning eyes turned my direction. I felt as though I was being judged, "You haven't any children! Why should you get recognized?"
In the years since I've come to recognize that the only one worrying about that was me. One of my favorite quotes has become, "What others think of you, is none of your business." Phew, what a relief. All of those years that I let others color MY self view, what a waste. I'm going to try my best to not let that happen anymore. (Unless, of course, it's a very nice point of view)!
The first year that I was a Mother, everything changed, well for me. It didn't change for so many other dear women that I knew that never had the opportunity to give birth in this life. I have friends who do NOT attend church on Mother's Day because it makes them feel less than. It makes them feel as though somehow something that they did or did not do precluded them from this privilege. There are women who never married, and there are women who married but can't give birth.
To all of the beloved women in my life, my Mother, Mother-in law, Grandma's, Aunts, Friends, Sisters, Daughters, and oh so many, many wonderful Women in my life, THANK YOU! Thank you for teaching me that you can be a Mom without giving birth. Thank you to those who have nurtured me with the tender love of a Mother when my own Mom's (I count my husband's Mom as one of mine) can't be here physically.
Thank you so many beloved women for teaching me that life is not about what you haven't got! It's about remembering each and every one of the blessings that you HAVE! It's ever so easy to focus on the negatives in life, which we all have, and much harder to sharpen our focus to the positives, which we all have.
So today, I will rejoice in the joy of being a Woman with all of the possible attending roles, a Mother, Daughter, Sister, Sister-in law, Friend, Grand-daughter, and on and on. There will always be people who need nurturing love. In the end it truly is a grand blessing to have others to love, whether or not you gave birth to them, or they gave birth to you.