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Enlarge your Mother’s Day perspective: Barren, broken or blessed?

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Sunday, May 11, 2008 | 0 comments

Photo byMother's day can trigger dread, sorrow or bittersweet emotions Mrinkk
Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 11.

For many it will be an uplifting day, but for some, it triggers dread, sorrow or bittersweet emotions.

I know because I've heard many of your stories. You lost your mother. You lost your wife, the mother to your children. Your mom has an addiction. Your mom has Alzheimer's. Your mom has cancer. You lost your child. Your child has health or learning problems. Your child is rebelling. You are battling for custody. Your child is in jail. You're waiting to adopt. You want children, but can't get pregnant.

Like many of you, I'm a daughter and step-daughter to long-distance moms. I've experienced barren, broken and blessed times in my motherhood journey. My experience through infertility, adoption, the death of an infant son, miscarriages, birthing babies in my 40's, and enduring menopause while parenting strong-willed sons who haven't always made the right choices, has enlarged my perspective. My barren and broken times have stripped away some of my finger-pointing and apathy, to see people everywhere in need of compassion, which is a blessing. I've enlarged my Mother's Day remembrance list to include a multitude of people.

Ironically, the first person on my Mother's Day list this year is a man. An only child who lost his mom, this will be his first Mother's Day without her. A "thinking of you" card and chocolate (that was his mom's favorite) are on my list. Another friend lost her young son so I'll leave a surprise on his grave for her. My out-of-state friend Carol will spend Mother's Day on a prison yard where her only son is serving a life sentence. I think I'll send a card or book to him to give to her. Another friend wonders if her son will be sober, I'll invite her to go to a support meeting with me. For the worker at my son's school. who is expecting a baby with a fatal birth defect, I'll leave an anonymous note and teddy bear to fill her empty arms.

I have plenty of people on my list who are blessed or have blessed me. A pregnant friend, a first-time mom and grandmom, a single woman who has made an impact on my life, an empty-nest mom, a mother-like friend, a teacher, a mentor, an acquaintance, a foster care mom and a woman waiting for her adoptive child and, of course, my husband, who plays Mr. Mom when I am away speaking.

I encourage you to enlarge your Mother's Day perspective this year. Who are the barren or broken people you know? Who are the women (or men) who have encouraged you in your motherhood? And if you don't know any, open your eyes, look around in our community ... trust me, they are everywhere. Remember them in a practical, personal or anonymous way. And if you are a barren or broken mom reading this, I pray you know you are not alone and others do care. Be open to seek and receive compassionate support.

May we enlarge our perspective, remember others this Mother's Day and become known as a compassionate community. Happy Mothers Day!

Kathe Wunnenberg lives in Ahwatukee Foothills with her family. She is founder of Hopelifters, , and the author of Grieving The Loss of a Loved One, Grieving The Child I Never Knew, and Longing for a Child. Meet her on Friday, May 9 at Amazing Grace Bookstore in Tempe, where she will be the guest speaker. Contact her at .


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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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