Motherless Day

It is Mother’s Day, created and not yet and already passed.

I miss my mom today, obviously so much.

Our last Mother’s Day was very nearly perfect. She went to church with me, and Jess was with us, and we were happy. We cooked together and laughed together and spent time looking at pictures of her parents. She missed her mother on Mother’s Day, and her father had died on Mother’s Day when I was 3, so the day was always particularly hard for her.

Now I understand, in my own way, what it’s like to be a citizen of Orphantown.

It is, however, my first Mother’s Day to be married and treated like a mother who should be honored on such a day. Having had three miscarriages, the most recent one this week, made being called a mother bittersweet. I am a mother with empty arms, but I am an eternal mother with glimpses and senses through the veil that enable me to hold fast to promises given no matter the shape they take. Nathan is good and kind and tender and sweet, and I am so grateful for him.

The miscarriage this week finally earned me a spot with the high risk doctor, as well as a consult with the oncologist to be sure there is no cancer back in any tissue. They say maybe the opinions of the high risk doctor and the oncologist together will find a way to help us carry full term, but we know the chances are slim because of the procedures last year. We know our window of time is short because of the oncologist wanting to remove the rest of my cancer-prone child-bearing parts. It is hard and sad and could make a person feel helpless and lost in grief if that is all they knew.

But we know more.

We know who our Heavenly Father is, and we know who we are, and we know what promises have been made to us.

We also have noticed that our promise to CREATE and our promise to NURTURE is given in two separate sentences. It may be that for us these are two separate things. Maybe not, but maybe. It seems that for now, it is our season to create, but not have opportunity to nurture. Except that is not entirely true, either, because what experiences we had with this little spirit!

Nurturing will come as we begin to foster, definitely. Our final meeting is the end of this month, and so allegedly we will be good to go in June. That was actually another loss of a child we suffered this week: the first loss of a foster child, though she had not yet stayed with us. She had such a horrific story with such severe medical complications that came from it, that no one has been willing to foster her. They asked us, and so we had been praying and fasting and asking questions and getting to know her. But now she is back in the hospital, with a poor prognosis and very little time.

It means the world to all the staff who have ever worked with her, they said, to know that there was someone who wanted her, who was willing to do the work to love her, who wanted to care for her. That means everything, and we will make sure she knows it.

Some little spirits just need to be loved, even if their mortal lives do not last years.

Some little spirits are just here on a mission to soften us, to teach us how to love.

Grief has pounded us until we are soft as clay, and tears have melted our souls into love.

My friend who waited more than a decade to have children just had her fourth, and my best friend that had a miscarriage just before Mother’s Day last year has just given birth to a healthy baby boy. I am so glad for them, and so excited for them, and know they appreciate the miracles they hold.

My mother-in-law was amazing this week, letting me be a daughter as I worked at her house with Nathan. We worked on projects around the house, toured the garden, and went out for ice cream (girls only!). I am grateful for her, and appreciate her generosity and spirit of service that are such great examples after the pattern of the Savior.

I am grateful for Jo, my mother’s best friend, who has taken up the job of mothering me. This shows her love and dedication to my mother, for I am not an easy spirit to mother! She emails me and gives me feedback and shares her wisdom and celebrates with me, all things motherly. I love her, and she is someone who continues to love my mom with me. I am grateful.

I need today to be a quiet day, a day still enough for there to be air in my lungs.

We will go to church with Nathan’s mother.

We will leave flowers for my mother.

Then we will be together, quiet and still, on a resting Sabbath.

It will be a sacred space and time of tears and storytelling and visits through the veil.

It will be a knowing that my mother is well and happy, free from the sadness that swallowed her and the pain that haunted her.

In this, there is peace.

It will be a knowing that I am a mother created, not yet born, but already promised.

In this, there is hope.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

~ Emily Dickinson

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Motherless Day — 1 Comment

  1. Very poignant post. I can somewhat relate to your feelings. Thank you you for sharing parts of your personal life with the rest of us. We are blessed to “bear one another’s burdens”.