Today I'm celebrating my mom, the strong woman whose love and support helped me become the woman I am today. I'm also reserving part of the day for thoughts and prayers for those who might be struggling. Those who have lost mothers, and children. And mothers separated from their kids - like those whose children are imprisoned, or who are imprisoned themselves.
I'm thinking, of course, about my own reasons for having complicated feelings about this day. On Mother's Day a few years ago, I sat in a park with my mom and told her that she would soon be a grandmother. That day never came. I had a miscarriage, instead, a couple of months later. Today I'm thinking about all the moms who've lost their children before they were born.
In a way, I feel guilty for spending time on such thoughts today. I see all of the celebratory hearts and flowers and I think, today's supposed to be a joyful day. There's nothing wrong with leaving it at that. But I have a feeling that, historically speaking, Mother's Day is actually meant to hold all of these complications.
Did you know about the radical roots of Mother's Day? I've been reading up on it. First there was Julia Ward Howe, a poet and anti-war activist who began promoting Mother's Day for Peace in 1872. Then came Anna Jarvis, a childless woman who persuaded Congress to recognize the holiday in 1914, and who grew to resent the commercialism of the day.
So, this day isn't only for Hallmark. Mother's Day is for everyone, including those who may be unable to get through it without shedding a few tears. Today I'm holding it all, sending my mom one of these fierce Mama's Day cards from Strong Families, and also recognizing those working for a better world for all mothers. Thank you for reading, and for your solidarity in holding the complexity of this day.