Thursday, May 8, 2014

"So you think you will be a mother this Mother's Day?" he asked

Ahhhh Mother's Day.  Mother's Day is coming.  Did you know it's just 4 days away?  A day to celebrate mama's everywhere.  This year is a little different for me.

I was walking along minding my own business and wham out of nowhere like a heavy brick being dropped on my little baby toe someone asks me, "Sooooo you think you will be a mother this year for Mother's Day?"

Um no.  Hadn't even thought about it.  I have a mom.  I am not a mom.  I'm waiting to be a mom.  After I caught my breath from having the wind knocked out of me, I managed to somehow answer we were still patiently waiting to hear about our adoption.

Of course that one little question set off a myriad of thoughts and emotions in me.  I decided not to let the sucker punch get to me.  I know they never meant to hurt me.  They probably never even gave it a second thought.  There was a time where I would have wallowed in it, lamented over not having babies, and maybe even shed a few tears that our adoption is still in a holding pattern.  Why be miserable I thought?  Why let it get to me?  God has not given me a spirit of despair!  I decided to try to make something good of it!  Mother's Day is for celebrating mothers and celebrate I will!
I have written to you previously about my mother and her struggles with her multiple sclerosis. {You can read that post here.} She is the strongest woman I know.  She has a fighter's spirit.  She is smart and beautiful.  She is kind and wonderful.  But slowly she is slipping away from us.  Her mind and memory are failing her more and more.  Somedays are great and others not so great.  My prayers have always been for the wait in our adoption to be swift so that my mother will know her grandchildren.

Growing up I was fiercely protective of my mother.  She walked with a bit of a limp when I was young and then with a cane when I was 13.  Some friends would ask why.  Others would just accept it.  My mother never let it slow her down.  Her first really rough episode hit when I was 13 and just beginning seventh grade.  That's when I recall first understanding what was happening.  It finally gelled for me what multiple sclerosis was, and what it would mean for my mother and our family.  My grandmother came to stay with us for 3 months.  My mother retired from her nursing career.

She spent weeks on the couch.  I remember her sleeping a lot.  She was exhausted and was barely able to walk.  She was not able to drive.  My father would pick her tiny body up and carry her to the bathroom.  Life changed.  Starting middle school was tough enough, but I felt like I had to grow up and quick.  I learned to cook dinner, shop for my own clothes, and began riding the bus to and from school.  We did get cable TV when my mom retired so that was the bright spot (haha).  Thankfully, over time my mother's health improved, but we all learned a new normal.

When you grow up then and only then do you get the full scope of what a person like that has meant to your life.  You begin to understand what a blessing your mother is to you.  Never at any time did my mother use her disease as an excuse.  Later in life I learned differently, but my mother never let it show that her MS got her down.  She still fights like a tiger.  Even with her memory slipping and daily tasks becoming more and more of a struggle there is a fight in her like no other.

I am so thankful for my mother and all she has taught me.  I know I can get through anything.  I know to never quit fighting.  She has taught me to keep my head up no matter the struggle.  You.just.keep.going.  There is no excuse to quit.  She has taught me to love boldly and hold on tightly. You never know what tomorrow will bring so you better say what you have to say today.

So to answer the question of will I be a mother this year for Mother's Day no probably not.  But I will celebrate all of the Mama's I have been blessed with.  That question made me realize how blessed and lucky I am to have so many good mama's around me!  I know God has placed each of these lovely ladies in my life for love, for friendship, for compassion, for role models.  I love each of them dearly and I thank my God for them often.

My aunts, cousins, friends' mamas, and friends have all stepped in at different times in my life to be a mother to me.  I lean more and more on them as my mama's mind slips away.  Life is hard.  Adoption is hard.  You need your mama more than you know.  My aunt Norma in particular is countless blessings to me.  Whether she likes it or not I have clung to her my whole life but especially these last few years.

When I was sick and my mother could not be there for me she selflessly stepped in.  She was at the hospital with me every time.  She flew across the country with me to Mayo Clinic. (We affectionately refer to it as jail).  She was there for surgery, recovery, wiping tears and holding hands.  She was there for wedding dress shopping, wedding day jitters, and marriage questions.  She was there when we were told there would be no babies and when God led us to adoption.  She has been there for adoption EVERYTHING.  She has been there done that and literally has the T-shirt.

I do not know what I would do without her.  I love my mother dearly but more and more her mind is not always clear enough for advice.  Norma is a mother and a best friend to me.  She stays on her knees praying for us, loving us, and being our biggest fan.  God has truly blessed me beyond anything I deserve.

If you have one mama you are lucky.  If you have two you are blessed.  Thank God for your mama's this Mother's Day.  Thank God for the ladies He gave you to step in for your mama's too.  He knows exactly who you need.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also and he praises her:  Many women do noble things but you surpass them all.  {Proverbs 31:28-9}

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