Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Where was the mother?

This week has brought more sad news than I tend to hear at one time. I am so grateful that my nearest and dearest are all okay, but I am heartbroken for several families around me. One piece of sad news is more than enough, but this week, it has just kept coming.

I learned about a little boy in our community who was mauled to death by several dogs. While he played in a friend’s backyard. Can you imagine how scared must he have been? Immediately, the questions started spinning: where was the mother?

(She had been right inside with other adults. Nobody heard anything until it was too late.)



Then the news broke about a local school nurse, recently widowed and mother of two young boys, who has been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. They found it after examining her for worsening headaches. It had already metastasized to her brain.

Perhaps the question here is not, "where was the mother?" I know there are other questions that are racing through her mind relentlessly. How long will she have? Will she beat this? Will this take the only remaining parent away from two precious children who have already lost so much?

Then, yesterday I heard of the passing of a friend's two-year-old son. He’d had a heart condition, but it was well monitored and under control by all accounts and measures. He just stopped breathing.

Where was the mother?



She was holding him. Crying. Administering CPR until paramedics arrived, still holding him when they were officially unable to revive him, knowing that she would never hold him again.

These are not the stories you want to hear in the days leading up to Mother's Day. They are not the stories anyone ever wants to hear. And yet they are true, honest, real stories of motherhood.

Yet, even in the wake of these tragic events, I cannot shake the feeling of hope. Each of these mothers has gone out of her way to express her love, her faith, and her gratitude for the time she's had with her children. Each mother has asked for a celebration of life.

Even in her darkest hour, a mother never ceases to love. To fight. To mother. To carry on. Through unimaginable grief and loss, a mother never lets go of hope. Because sometimes hope is all there is. And sometimes I think that motherhood is the very definition of hope. Or vice versa, maybe?

She is clothed with strength and dignity … a proverb that suggests a future of rejoicing, even laughter.  

Where was the mother?


She was right there. She is right here. No time or space or loss or gain can move her. In the most complex and simplest of ways, she just is

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful. Reminds me of how fortunate I am for every moment I have with my son.

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  2. I'm not a mother but this sunday I will definitely be giving my mum an extra big hug. Thanks for sharing

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  3. I can't imagine losing a child. I am so grateful for my children.

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  4. Oh this hurts my heart but beautifully written. I can't imagine losing my son. The poor mother is going to live the rest of her life with the 'what ifs'. "What if I had been outside with him" "What if I we hadn't gone over to our friends house". That is a lifetime of heartache. I also can't imagine finding out I have stage 4 cancer. I think about that sometimes, what would I do? Video tape messages for my children? Start buying their gifts each year for them to open? Go on a vacation with them? A tough thought to think about.

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  5. Beautifully written. I am thankful each day for the sweet life of my son and try my best not to take it for grated. Thank you for the reminder that each day is precious.

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  6. Oh, this gave me chills. How easily something can happen.. to our kids, to our family, friends, ourselves...

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  7. Oh this made me so sad. It's heartbreaking how fast something can happen.

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