Mother’s Day 2011

 The sun shone brightly and cut through the brisk dawn– a welcomed change from the spring doldrums of dark clouds and bitter rain. The tulips in our front yard seemed to be smiling wide open to greet the glorious morning. To say everyone’d been waiting for this weather would be an understatement. And, culminating such vitamin D bliss, it was Mother’s Day.

I awoke early–Knox woke me up, I should say—which enabled us to make it to church for 9 a.m. (A miracle.) Members bustled about as beams of sunlight seemed to cast through the stained glass onto each matriarch where “Happy Mother’s Day’s” flooded the sanctuary before service. And rightly so. I got caught up in the cheer and blessing that this day awarded me as well.

Yet, I’ve learned not to elaborate beyond the simple “HMD” well-wish.

“Aw, your first Mother’s Day! How special!” were the rapid fire greetings directed toward me. “What a memorable day this must be for you…”

All I could do was smile and receive their kindnesses. People were coming from all directions. There simply wasn’t time. I mean, what else could I do?

“Well, I actually found out I was pregnant last Mother’s Day. Oh, and the Mother’s Day before that I had miscarried just days beforehand. So, technically, this is not my first..”

Buzz. Kill.

The decorum was such that I opted out of complex conversation and graciously accepted their joy over Knox. To get into the nitty gritty details seemed awkward and out of place. And yet, a part of me felt guilty about neglecting the life that inhabited me two years ago, even if it was for only five weeks.

What kills me even more, is that even as I write this, I more often dismiss than lament that first child because I have Knox. Please don’t mistake me-the first was simply a different experience than my second pregnancy.  Since I didn’t go through the morning sickness, pains of pregnancy and labor to finally behold that life in my arms, the reality of that first pregnancy is a distant memory. And yet, because I now know what it takes, I sometimes mourn what could have been. Two precious children.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this—fearing talking about our sainted children at inopportune times–not only to maintain social decorum, but to protect ourselves from our own confusion. Any woman who has ever miscarried can attest to their own experiences and the various ways and pace in which grief is handled. It is confusing. My body and mind balk to the fallen state of this world, along with death’s grip which snatched that vulnerable life from us before we could even wrap our minds around the miracle that it was created. But it was. Even if for a little while.

Yet let us be reassured, brothers and sisters in Christ. God did not create death. He destroyed it. Through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, all who believe in Him will rise again to new life with the Father. Thanks be to God.

Mother’s Day can be melancholy for many women. Those who’ve lost children, miscarried, are barren and earnestly desire the gift of children sometimes dread facing the good cheer and joy of others this day. A day set aside for husbands and wives to remember what God has given and what sin and death have left empty or taken away.

We do not rejoice in death, but we can rejoice knowing that where there is faith in Christ, death actually brings the hope of the resurrection–especially for our little ones who have gone before us. It might be hard to imagine, but those little one’s gonna walk someday, in Christ’s mercy. Amen!

A blessed Mother’s Day to you and yours.

Melissa DeGroot