I love this post called The Wide Spectrum of Mothering (by a non-mother who blogs). I feel all women will be uplifted to read this.
Over Mother's Day weekend, I had a number of glimpses and reminders of what constitutes a mother's heart. Here are some of them:
Last Friday night at the Ultreya, we greeted a couple who lost their only son to suicide. That particular parish is a bit of a hike, but I knew it would be worth the trip if only I could give the young man’s mom a huge hug and tell her in person that I’ve been praying for her and her husband. The two of them have continued their ministry to youth, and they are such models of love, strength, courage, and compassion. My heart aches, there are no words, only prayers.
The woman who gave the witness talk spoke about the conversion of her grandson who came to live with them for a brief period of time. She thought she and her husband would plant a seed of faith in him and hoped that it would grow. Little did she know that he would be a catalyst for her to reconnect with Christ through daily prayer and meditation.
A dear friend who made her Cursillo weekend with me was in attendance. During the prayer intentions she prayed for her sister who died of breast cancer thirteen years ago last week and asked us to lift up another strong woman of faith, Cursillista, and a mutual friend who has been hard at work in our diocese for years and is now facing a serious battle against breast cancer. My heart aches, there are no words, only prayers.
I think of a Mother’s Day not too long ago when Kevin and I were at dinner with the family friends who have adopted us into their clan. When someone came and handed each of the women at the table a rose, Kay Marie and I hesitated to accept ours. Kay Marie has been the spiritual mother and grandmother to countless children through the years she and her husband led the Rachel’s Vineyard Ministry in our area and in their involvement in 40 Days for Life. Not long after I got to know her, I came to consider her one of my “other mothers.” Because she didn’t give birth to or legally adopt any children, she didn’t really consider herself to be a mom. I can’t think of many people as loving, tender, gentle, caring, kind, and selfless as she was. She certainly had a mother’s heart.
I think of “my two little guys,” the ones for whom I nannied for the first couple years of their lives soon after Kevin and I tied the knot. They’re in elementary school now. I’m not sure if they even remember me, but I will always have a special place for them in my heart. Memories of their smiles, laughter, and triumphs, right alongside their booboos, blowouts, and brawls still surface regularly.
The joy on my mom’s face when she’s holding her grandson, watching him play, telling stories about his latest adventures has no parallel to anything in my life. The joy in Kevin’s eyes as one of the three silly sisters who is particularly fond of him leaps into his arms and whispers in his ear that he’s her best friend. My heart aches, there are no words, only prayers that my loved ones will experience moments of joy and love far beyond what I can give them.
The most beautiful gifts and blessings are people. I have not brought life into this world, but I have celebrated and rejoiced over the lives of others. I have not given birth, but I have changed many diapers, dried many tears, and treasured the precious moments, hours, days, and years when I’ve held and loved each little baby, toddler, young person God’s placed in my arms.