A Dickensian Visit by the Ghosts of Mother’s Day Past, Present and Future


ghostI 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.

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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.


10 Responses

  1. lady macleod

    May 13, 2007 4:07 pm

    I just came over to tell you I was thinking of you today. This post is brilliant! Huzzah for you! Gratitude is empowering isn’t it? Enjoy your day.

  2. karenO

    May 13, 2007 4:57 pm

    Your blog is like a cozy, comfortable blanket that warms more than my body when I wrap myself in it. Thanks for writing so powerfully, so straight to the point of my own experience, and for making me feel stronger and supported. Thanks for making me realise that not everything is sad and painful, that the future is bright and beautiful despite (and even thanks to!) our past.

  3. Becks

    May 13, 2007 6:07 pm

    Sounds like your hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains was lots of fun ;-)hee hee!

    Hope you have a lovely evening with your friends.

  4. lady macleod

    May 13, 2007 7:56 pm


    I just found out, from Goggle checking on my progress, that you added me to your Blogroll. Thank you! I take that as a kindness and a compliment.

  5. thalia

    May 13, 2007 9:07 pm

    It’s such a tough day in so many ways. I’m glad you have a good way to deal with it as best you can. I hope that the ghost of mothers days yet to come has got it right on the nose.

  6. just another jenny

    May 14, 2007 12:57 am

    Your post brings back strong memories, my ghost of mothers day past. Your desire to turn this into a day of joy is an inspiration. I hope that your day was filled with many bright things.

  7. Ellen K

    May 14, 2007 12:45 pm

    Such a coincidence that you wrote about this from a “ghosts of the past” perspective because that’s largely how I felt yesterday. It was definitely different (and better) compared with last year.

  8. foreverhopeful

    May 14, 2007 9:51 pm

    This is so beautiful and I truly enjoying reading your blog. It has offered so much comfort and you have a gift of putting things into words that sometimes I can’t seem to. I’m sorry about all the painful memories you’ve had to endure on Mother’s day! You’re an inspiration. I hope you had an enjoyable day and it is a start of a brighter future for you.

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