I hate Mother's Day. I dread it every year, and I'm relieved once it's over.
It's goofy, because I am a mother. Like, a lot. That's pretty much all I do. And also, I'm all about holidays. If I could figure out a way to get a present out of Boxing Day, I'd totally do it.
But Mother's Day is different. I am a mother of 6 children, but only 4 are with me. My twins are in heaven, have been for almost 7 years. You'd think my living kids would be enough to make it a joyful day, but the ache never goes away. Part of my heart is in another reality.
I also can't escape the pain of so many friends, who are empty-armed, either from loss or infertility. I can't explain why it hurts, to be acknowledged in a Mother's Day church service. When the pastor asks the mothers to stand, or the ushers pass out flowers, I am painfully aware of those seated, and I remember the year my babies died, wanting to be anywhere but there, standing despite my emptiness.
My strategy now, and for years, has been to skip church on Mother's Day, and celebrate what I have. It's not as hard, now, to laugh through the ache. The ache is a part of me, it will always be a part of me. Someday I will be in one place with all of my children, and I expect flowers and a coffee mug, darn it. Or you know, some kind of heavenly thing, like a harp or something.