What do you say to a man who, on this Mother's Day, has suffered and endured the loss of not one, but two mothers?
Before he could speak,
before he could crawl,
he would be given away.
Before he had any say in anything,
a choice was made to pass him along to someone else.
How this must break a heart.
As I look at my sons today I cannot help but think about this time in the life of a young girl, who herself, was unable to decide her future. Frightened most likely. Pregnant in 1946 at the age of 15, I would have been petrified. Back then a girl was shunned, sent away.
We don't know what happened to her.
We only have the next bit of the story.
At six months old, my husband was adopted.
It was 1947.
A couple who were unable to have children signed a paper and now this baby boy would become Eric.
The girl that lay in the hospital bed named him, Johnny.
When I look at him some times I think, "Johnny."
Both our sons bear his name. His birth name.
I ache thinking about this loss.
I know a woman who gave her son up for adoption. She has shared with me her sorrow and loss. She wonders if he thinks about her.
How can he not?
She is his mother.
What does she look like?
What are her favorite things?
What would it be like to hold her hand?
Kiss her cheek?
Smile into her eyes?
Take her to dinner?
What would it be like to hear her voice?
And what would it be for her to see him?
To hear his voice?
To hold him in her arms?
How her heart must ache.
And how his heart aches.
Perhaps there are brothers and sisters. A whole entire family out there wondering where Johnny is. Wondering with their hearts.
Perhaps the burden is too great to share. Perhaps Betsey carries the burden all by herself.
In December my husband lost the only mother he ever knew. It was a long arduous road of illness. He is an only child. The burden was on his shoulders.
I have tried in vain to find Betsey.
To no avail.
His life with his adoptive mother was hard. I don't know why. Sometimes we end up with mothers who are scared and cannot give without that fear attached. Perhaps afraid to love. Nevertheless, we all love the best we know how.
We do the best we can. In the moment. In our plans for our children. I believe we all do the very best. And when we fall short, we can pray.
I have this little game that came out of one of my monster mommy episodes. I call myself, Monster Mommy some times. I'm not always a monster. But I can channel a monster. It's really ugly. But the grace of God prevails and because His spirit dwells in me now I have access to the most amazing information.
So one day I was M.M. Horrible. PMS? Whatever? Unacceptable behavior. I make no excuses. Bad behavior is bad behavior, even if it's mine.
So my boys are crying, I'm angry about something, I'm yelling, I just cannot get out of my way. I shout, "Now the day is ruined...we just woke up and everything is ruined!!"
I turned to walk down the hall. I knew my outburst was wrong. They are little people just trying to figure it out. I walk in my room and ask God, "How can this be fixed? Please Help."
I make an about face and walk to where the boys are. "Boys", I say, "see this?" They look up at my hand holding nothing. "We don't see anything, Mommy."
"I'm holding the world's biggest eraser in my hand."
"We can erase the morning and begin again." I start swinging my arm back and forth into the air, as though I am erasing a chalkboard.
"Now go back in your beds."
"What? We just woke up."
"I know. But if we are to start the day over, we need to do it right."
They hop back into their beds, giggling. Already the healing has begun. That's how He works. He doesn't waste a minute.
They begin snuggling, pretending they are sleeping. I call out, "Boys, it's time to get up!"
Both boys come running out of their rooms. "Good morning, Mommy!!"
"See we just started over. We can do that if things aren't right. OK?"
And that day sticks out in my mind like it just happened. We have had a few of those days. One of the boys will suggest we start again and grab for the eraser. I have even heard my oldest say to my younger son, "Let's just start over OK. We don't need to be grumpy, right?"
God makes it simple if we have the courage to lean on Him.
My husband leans on Him now, too. He feels more loved than he ever has in his entire life, he told me once. He also told me that he loves more, too. The loss never goes away, but LOVE can be the healing balm, soothing and calming the broken heart making it whole again.
An abundance of love flowing straight out to us....always available...at any time...in any moment...in any loss...or circumstance.
My wish is that today we open ourselves to receive His love, even in the midst of what life may have dealt us!
Happy Mother's Day,