There was a time not long ago
When Mother’s Day felt like a wound
Pulled open and exposed on that one Sunday every year
When childless lives felt second-rate
Shoved to the side to make more room for
Those with fulfilled womanhood
I tried to blame society
Men or myself
—or Christianity—
For the affront to my identity
Imagining in youthful grief
That others measured me by quivers full
Or empty
At church
I smiled through longing pangs
As little hands
Plucked roses from a florist’s vase
To bring them to her teary mom
I wondered why it wasn’t me
And if I might someday be her
The Kleenex-clutching nurturer
Brave and weary and complete
But I am not a mom
And it doesn’t matter much
What sealed my life’s sterility—
Decisions made for noble ends
Opportunities I didn’t see
Or lost to ministry
When Mother’s Day projects my childlessness
On the screen of my yesteryears
Layering hues and highlights over gaping aches
I see their beauty now
Because though I am not a mom
I know I’ve loved in other ways
Cherished and comforted
Fretted and hoped
Challenged and cheered
Nurtured and listened and disciplined

I have given of myself to those God loaned to me

So I choose joy this Mother’s Day
I choose the certainty
That though I’ve had no children
It does not diminish me
To love at all
In any way
Is to endow both hearts
With something of eternity


One Comment

  1. I loved this so much. A friend shared it with me, thinking of another friend, but I loved it for me. So thank you for sharing your thoughts, and although Mother’s Day is not a hard day for me yet, I like the reminder of my value in loving now those who are in my circle.

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