by Rev. Monica Lewis, Minister to Children, Students and Families
As Mother’s Day approaches, my heart is with all women. All of them. The mother who is so fortunate to have the family she’s always dreamed of. The mother who has struggled with her own fertility or the fertility of her partner. The woman who is happy with the children she does or doesn’t have but for whom the path to that place was complicated. The mother who has given birth to a baby who was never able to take a breath. Mothers who are sitting in the NICU right now unsure of life’s next turn. Mothers who are eagerly anticipating the arrival of their child. The mother who feels guilty. The woman who is navigating motherhood while living with postpartum depression. The woman who is missing her mother. The mother who is missing her child. The mother who is on pins and needles waiting for the arrival of the child she’s adopting. The aunts and grandmothers and friends raising children. The young girls I see every day for whose present and future I pray. The women who have found that being happy doesn’t always mean escaping tragedy or grief.
This morning I read a blog post by my friend Brooke who is brilliant, witty, one of the smartest people I know and the mother of three girls, Eliza, Caroline and Colette. Eliza, who was stillborn, prompted Brooke’s blog post discussing W. H. Auden’s poem “Musee de Beaux Arts” in which he describes the painting called Landscape and the Fall of Icarus. Bruegel’s painting shows the landscape of a typical seaside town with people going about their business. What is not immediately seen in it are the legs of Icarus (from Greek mythology) sticking out of the water after his fall. Here’s what Brooke has to say, “Because that’s the thing that Bruegel and Auden know about suffering. It happens while someone else is eating a sandwich. Or rolling down a car window. Or just walking dully along. It doesn’t knock the entire world off its axis. It’s barely a blip on the radar. A boy falls out of the sky, and ploughman doesn’t notice and the shepherd is a few seconds too late to figure out what’s going on.” You can find that post here: http://bythebrooke.blogspot. com/2016/05/suffering-and-sandwiches.html
My prayer for you is that your experience isn’t forgotten. Not everyone will know. Not everyone will care. But your church does.
Though it’s as romanticized as marriage in our culture, motherhood and the quest for it is wrapped in many layers of emotions and experiences. For some it’s fantastic. For others it’s tragic. And for many it’s both. However you experience Mother’s Day, I want you to know this: you are not alone. You are God’s beloved and your church will walk with you this Sunday and all the days after.