I was going to avoid posting today for all of the obvious reasons, but as I lay in bed this morning trying hard not to remember that it was Mother’s Day, I found myself mulling over Mother’s Day past, present and future. Yes, it was as though Charles Dickens decided I needed a few visitors.
The ghost of Mother’s Day past arrived first and stayed the longest. She was quite sad and reminded me of the many years I spent sitting dutifully in church as our parish priest transformed the mass into a pageant presenting red roses in a showy ceremony to all of the “special” women, the mothers. There were as many categories as there were mothers in the church — those who had the most children, those who had delivered most recently, the grandmother who had traveled the farthest, and on and on. When I was younger I used to look forward to one day accepting a rose, but as infertility reared its ugly head the ceremony became excruciating to the point where I stopped attending mass on Mother’s Day and later, after my prayers went unanswered, I stopped attending mass altogether. Let’s just say I’m on sabbatical.
Then there were the Mother’s Days after we lost our embryos. I won’t even describe the heartache. Suffice to say they were dark days I’d prefer not to revisit and the ghost was kind enough not to take me there. Before this ghost left she reminded me of last year and the cruel irony I faced. While I had held out hope that we might just beat the odds and conceive on our own, AF decided to pay a visit that very morning and as if not content to leave it there, AF brought with her intense cramps intended to remind me all day what I was missing.
The ghost of Mother’s Day present was much kinder. She reminded me of how many wonderful women I’ve had a chance to “meet” this year, women like me who’ve had to fight bravely through situations that would leave most fertile women speechless if they knew how much they’d wounded us with their cavalier attitudes, comments and behaviors. She took me on a review of this weekend and how fortunate I am to have a fun-loving and devoted husband who made sandwiches for a picnic that we enjoyed at nearly 11,000 feet up in the Sierra Nevada mountains as part of a six mile hike overlooking Lake Tahoe. This was just one of a few activities we enjoyed together (feel free to let your imagination wander now). This evening we’re getting together for dinner with dear friends who are also without children.
The ghost of Mother’s Day future made only a brief visit. She indicated that with each passing year this celebration of mothers will become less about what I don’t have and more about the joy I will derive from my friends and family who understand what we’ve been through and make a point of making me feel special in a different sort of way.