The Night Can Never Last

Dear Ms. Feverfew –

This came to me by way of Hopeful World (hopefulworld.org) and a friend over at fMh. I thought I would share these healing words with you today.

Much love, and as always, holding the space –

M.

Let’s be real. Mother’s Day can completely blow sometimes.

You want to be cheerful. You want to be with the program. But some years there are all these little points of pain that will not go away.

The baby you never had.

The one you gave up.
The kid you lost to something bigger than you.
The child that slipped away before you ever held her.
The one that was never born.
The one you worry you’re failing.
The one that failed you.

The mother who’s so close and yet so far.
The one you loved so much who couldn’t love you back.
The one you could never love because it hurt too much.
The one you lost too soon.
The one who is slipping away.
The one you can never please.
The one you wish you could live up to.

There are no cards to honor these children or these mothers. There are no holidays to contain all the parts of you that fall outside the lines of generally understood sorrow or celebration.

But there is this moment, this incredible moment, where you can feel it all. Where for once you can’t stuff it down or forget it. Where you have to be with it, because it is not going away.

And here, my friends, is where something important happens. This is where we connect, where we understand we are frail, where we are human. Where we see in new ways what life means. Where we are issued a compelling and persistent invitation to mother ourselves. To cut ourselves the breaks we didn’t get. To ask for the help we always needed. To let tears come and say, This is how it is. I’ll ask in this one tiny moment, for the courage I need to let everything just be.

No matter what your point of pain or challenge today, I want you to know that you are not the only one. Somewhere over a silly Mother’s Day breakfast, there is a woman faking a smile who feels just like you do. Somewhere in a very silent house with no one to call, there is a woman who is tending the ache of her loss, just like you. Somewhere standing in a shower there is a woman who is feeling it all and letting the tears come, just like you.

As you go about this day, know that over here, Ria and I have candles lit for all these unspoken things, and that we are holding the space and thinking of you. You — the faraway, soulful you — will be in our meditation and in our warmest thoughts. We are sending you light and love and the deep wish that you would know today of all days, nothing is wasted and we are together in ways we cannot always see but are just as true. That the night can never last. That even in our darkest moments, there will be someday, the surprise of a laugh, a comfort, a dawn.

Mother’s Day Post-mortem

Dear Ms. Feverfew –

Yesterday was Mother’ Day and as usual, any joy was tempered by the two edged sword of…us.

I have given up pretending like Mother’s Day is a good day for me. I mean, I loved on my boys and pressed the delicate blue flower the good Professor gave me between the hand drawn card that Captain Knuckle made for me, talked with Mr. Amazing Man when he was able to call me from the far side of the world, and generally was pleasant to be around. But I had no expectations that this was the year that it wouldn’t hurt as much. I have resigned myself that I will always ache for what could have been, what should have been, more so on this ridiculous holiday than others. Instead of trying to hide from that reality, I am getting better about embracing it and accepting it for what it is.

Instead of doing anything remotely religious (church just seems to rub the wound even more raw), I went to IKEA with The-World’s-Best-Sister-in-Law. We left the kids with The Samoan and had a gloriously fabulous day wandering around the store, doing nothing but nothing. We bought some of these decadent marshmallow chocolate coconut things and then drove to an anonymous neighborhood and ate them all. We talked and laughed and cried – we talked about you, we talked about being a mother, we talked about what the future holds for all of us.

Then we went home and collapsed on the sofas in her living room in a marshmallow-induced coma. All in all, not a bad way to spend a day that usually leaves me in tears.

M.