It was hard this morning. It was hard to fight bitterness as a single parent. I imagined all the young mothers with doting husbands making them breakfast as mine would do every year. I imagined the older mothers with completely intact families gathered around in joyous celebration. I felt jealousy. Then I thought of the childless women who have always longed for children of their own. I thought of my numerous friends whose mothers have passed away. I thought about my morning as I got up no later than usual and began tending to three children’s needs. Again. As I’ve done for the past nine months. I felt alone. But those thoughts were fleeting as reflected on what I did have and what I do have.
Simon loved me deeply. I’ve always said the moment I became the mother of his children, he loved me even more. Becoming parents together revealed new aspects of our character and it was better than either of us would have ever expected. I believe Simon was more in touch with his mortality than the average person. To know he created three healthy, beautiful children gave him increased purpose, focus, and pride. Anyone who knew Simon knew he loved his family. His coworkers and passengers would tell you that when they first met Simon he would bring out pictures of us and start bragging.
Simon was so faithful about acknowledging the Mothers in his life on Mother’s Day. We had our unspoken routine: I would pick out the cards for our moms and he would always write heartfelt sentiments to both of them. He would give me a small present or card, too. The kids would make me something sloppy and totally adorable at school and he would assist them in presenting it. The Sunday tradition for Mother’s Day would be to attend church as a family (everyone looking extra cute, of course) then the men would barbeque lunch and the women would take the afternoon off from housework and chores. Simon and I had an additional agreement that I would get the day off from diaper duty. I was kind of a brat about it, but when you’ve been changing diapers continually for EIGHT YEARS, it’s a big deal to have a special day to look forward to where you don’t have to acknowledge any body fluids! Sorry if that’s gross but the human waste system becomes a huge part of parenthood no matter how much you want to deny or avoid it. One day without having to acknowledge it is a glorious, glorious thing.
On this first Mother’s Day without my husband and children’s father, I am so appreciative of how much he valued me. He made it clear through his words, actions, and dedication to our family that I was a worthy woman and an honorable mother. Knowing I was highly regarded motivated me to be a better wife and mom. He worked so hard for us. I never had to wonder if we were loved. That’s a gift that carries me through the days. I hope it sustains my children. I hope they refuse to accept mediocrity when choosing spouses. I pray they love their own children as fiercely and as unconditionally as we both loved them. I plead with God to take this tragedy and turn it into something so beautiful that our hearts feel overwhelmed by His grace and provision.
On this Mother’s Day, I will celebrate my mother. She listens to me no matter what kind of lunacy is spewing from my mouth.. She supports me emotionally and practically. She makes her home like Disneyland and her kitchen is loaded with treats so grandchildren never want to leave. I can’t count the number of times my voice would start to waver and she would drop everything to be there.
Today is a day to remember those we loved and lost and celebrate those we still have.
(This picture was from one of our last family vacations. We went to Colorado and my parents joined us to help wrangle children. Great memories.)