I apologize in advance for the length of today's message...
This is the first Mother's Day that I've been able to get so excited! (Although I was thrilled to finally become a mother last year, the boys were only 2 weeks old and I was not getting out of the house very often, much less celebrating!) But this day has taken on a whole new meaning now... For the first 23 years of my life I was a daughter who made handmade cards and gifts or cooked a special treat for my own mom. Then when my mom died, Mother's Day was pretty much a day I dreaded every year. The entire weekend was usually depressing and I couldn't wait for it to be over. Not only because I missed my own mom but I was also aching to hold a child that would call me Mommy. But this year and for every year after, I WILL be called Mommy/Mom/Momma/Mother, and that makes me overyjoyed!
This year I still miss my mother and think of how different things would be with her here, especially about how much she would love being Grandma Vonne (her name was Yvonne and when I think of her now that's what I imagine my boys calling her). She was great with kids and loved them so much. When I was little she would teach vacation bible school in the summer, chaperone field trips and volunteered at my elementary school. Later on she worked at a daycare center and then had her own home daycare. Unfortunately she never got to see any of her 8 grandbabies. The first was born a year and a half after she died. I can only imagine the joy on her face at having so many little ones to kiss and hug and love and spoil. She would be on cloud 9!!!!! Mother's Day weekend is probably still going to be a little hard for me every year and it will never be as happy as it could be if she were here, but now I can celebrate my own motherhood and the fact that my mom showed me so much love while she was here that I can shower love onto my boys.
After I had the boys someone once told me something that I like to think about when I'm really missing my mom. The reason it took so long to get pregnant is because my mom and my grandmother (who died a week after my mom) were too busy holding my babies in heaven. I think that's a beautiful idea.
While we're celebrating motherhood...I have to tell you about an epiphany I had a few months ago. Two years after my mom died my dad remarried. It was really hard for me and my brothers for a lot of reasons - too much to go into now! The woman he married is perfectly nice and I have nothing against her but for a long time I was resistant to the idea of her being called Grandma. Almost right away after joining the family, my dad would refer to her as Grandma Terry to my nieces and nephews. I constantly told my husband "I can't believe they call her Grandma. She is NOT their Grandma, they have a Grandma. When we have kids they aren't going to call her that." But now that I do have kids, I've realized how important Grandmas (as well as all family members) are, and that its OKAY to have more grandmothers! It doesn't mean that my mother is any less of a grandmother just because they also have Grandma Terry. Just because she isn't on this earth doesn't mean I can't tell my boys about her and include her in their lives. In fact, I have aunts who I also consider grandmas to my boys. My aunts have ALWAYS been important in my life, and now that I have kids, they're also important to them. Without them, I don't know where I would be.
So my epiphany was that its okay for my boys to call my dad's wife Grandma, its okay to call my Aunt Nannie "Grandnan" and its okay for them to have a lot of grandmothers! In fact it enriches their life. I can't believe I was so silly about the idea to begin with! Love comes in all forms and from lots of different places, and how ridiculous for me to put a label on that, or to NOT put a label on it! I'm just thrilled for my boys to have so many people who love them...not just grandmas but grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins and more!!!!!
For this holiday, I encourage everyone to think beyond the obvious recipient of Mother's Day wishes. If there is anyone in your life that has been important to you or made a difference in your life, please call them or send them a card and let them know what they mean to you. This may be an aunt, a mother-in-law, even a cousin or sister. It may even be someone unrelated to you...a great friend, pastor or mentor. Tell them you love and appreciate them.