Raw.

That’s the state of my heart as I look to Mother’s Day.

It’s only Tuesday, and I know the weekend is coming and even now I feel it all rising up.

Raw.

I think about my most wonderful mom, who I sit with in silence most days. A couple weeks ago she said my name, and it was a beautiful gift to my heart. This week, a picture of her popped up on my Facebook memories from 5 years ago. She looked amazing, and my heart ached as I missed that version of her so much. It seemed like just yesterday, but also a lifetime ago. I feel guilty for wanting her back, even though I still have her. She’s with me. She’s with us. I cherish our moments as we walk around hand-in-hand. I help her eat, sit with her, we watch Hallmark movies together and I tell her she’s the best mom. But my heart misses our talks and the love she always poured into me. I want her to know all about our family, and everything that’s happening. I wish I had cherished the moments that I didn’t realize were fading away. I feel like I would have soaked her in more, and squeezed all the extra love I could from her.

Raw. 

This past year I found my birth-family. I stumbled into the still-unfolding story quite by accident and it knocked me off my feet. In initial conversations, I learned that my birth-mom passed away a few years ago. I knew one day I would search and find answers – but I wasn’t prepared how to process that she was gone. I haven’t been sure how to reconcile that complicated loss. I don’t even feel like I have the right to write about her, she never knew me. But I was part of her life, and her story and I would have liked to have met her. I would have thanked her for the choice she made. Thanked her for giving me life, and giving me away – as painful as that has felt during different seasons of my life. But how could I not be grateful for the story God had written for me?  How could I have not offered her my love? I feel a little bit like I was robbed of that opportunity, and those have been complicated emotions to walk through.

Raw.

Torn open.

Wounds that are too hard to close.

That’s kinda my heart this Mother’s Day.

Then, I think about Mothering.

My own kids. How being their mom has been the greatest joy of my life.

My treasured relationships. Those who I am hopefully loving and caring for with a mom-like heart. 

I think about those who hurt on Mother’s Day.

Those who wish for children, those who have lost children, those who can’t see their children.

Those longing for a mom. Those missing their mom. Those who didn’t have a good relationship with their mom.

A long list of complicated mom feelings and circumstances for many.

Wounds.

Deep gashes.

But there’s hope too.

When something is raw, you wrap it up so it can heal.

I imagine myself after I was born into a complicated life, wrapped up in a little blanket. I didn’t know that mom, but I’m sure she held me and looked at me. I imagine she loved me, since she did the best she could for me. I hold that snapshot in my heart. Then, I go to the picture reel of the next part of my life. Being picked up and held by the mom I knew, who took specially-picked out blankets and gently placed them around me. Told me I was a gift, chosen just for her. She loved and adored me, and held me tight for all of my life.

The blankets were different, but I’ve always been wrapped in love.

I’m thinking about all that love this week.

It’s a bit painful and sometimes it hurts, but that’s how you know it’s real.

So, I’m tenderly looking towards Mother’s Day. I’ll wake up and reflect on all the gifts in my life. I’ll eat the breakfast I know my sweet daughter is planning, and I’ll take a walk by the water with my little family who have promised me coffee. I’ll go see my mom, and tell her I love her. I’ll wave from the porch to my mother-in-law, who has been another gift in my life. Then, I’ll shed a couple tears for the mom I never got to thank, and who I’ll never get to know.

Most of all, I’ll remember what it means to mother.

And keep looking for ways in my own life to do it well.

Blankets around hearts.

Wrapped in love.