Who Do You Celebrate on Mother’s Day?
This month, I will be doing a special series of blog posts, talking about some of the most special people in our lives. Mother’s Day is coming in May, and I will admit that Mother’s Day is what sparked my imagination. However, I hope to celebrate (and help others remember to also) the women in my life who are so much more than mothers. Motherhood is the toughest job in the world, and I hope to shine some light on women who love their children, but also share that love with those around them.
My sister Jan gave me my first intimate view of motherhood. She has always been my hero and my closest confidant, even at 13 years my senior. In some ways, this age difference was a perfect happenstance: we were not close enough to fight over rooms or clothes or house rules. The year that she started college was the same year that I started Kindergarten. She felt like a second mother to me. But when she got married and had children of her own, I was able to watch her grow into a mother for her own family.
By watching my sister, I learned so much about my own parenting journey. For the first time, I saw our mother’s parenting choices recycled and repurposed. My sister parented in her own beautiful way. She showed me how to be a mother who is confident and unapologetic; she learned from her past and was brave enough to blaze her own trail for her family’s future.
I learned the hardest lesson of my life by watching my sister recover from losing her 17-week-old daughter to SIDS. My niece and godchild, Claire, was so beautiful and perfect. No parent should have to go through losing their child. My sister was vulnerable, but also strong. I watched her struggle in the ocean of grief, while simultaneously being the life-preserver for her husband and two other children. At the time, I was still immature (I was 17 years old) and didn’t fully understand what it meant to lose a child. Too many years later – 25 to be exact – I asked her to talk about Claire. I confessed that the subject was hard for me, because I feared my sister would be too sad to talk about her. I worried she would begin to cry or that my questions would force painful memories to the surface, and I never wanted to be the cause of her sadness. But she taught me that painful memories also have joy – you just have to look for it. She didn’t, and doesn’t, want to avoid talking about Claire because to talk about her is to remember her. She had such a brief time with us, but she made such an impact on everyone and neither I nor my sister want anyone to forget that.
My sister came to stay with me after my last child was born in 2016. She was a surrogate mother once again, helping me get through my post-partum days. She is still my hero and my closest confidant. My heart swells when I think that maybe… hopefully… some of her love and strength has rubbed off on me. Of all the role models I could have chosen, God placed the very best one right in front of me.
If you are looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift for someone special in your life please check out my Mother’s Day Celebration Sessions. Shorter time, smaller fee, all the love.