Nancy Roman

Giving Your Whole Heart

Sometimes… for some of us… Mother’s Day is really hard.

Like when we go to a restaurant – just my husband and me – and we get a table right away, because all the other people in line are waiting for a table for four or for six or more. Because all the children grown and small are there to celebrate with Mom.

A table for two may be wonderful almost every day of the year. But on Mother’s Day, a table for two is so hard.

Sometimes the restaurant gives all the women a rose. “Happy Mother’s Day,” the waiter says.

I want to give the rose back. I want to throw it on the floor.

I say, “Thank you so much.”

But after the meal I leave the rose on the table.

I tell myself two things:

– That Mother’s Day is just a made-up holiday to sell cards.

– That I’m grateful to celebrate my own mother, whom I have been fortunate enough to have loved for 66 years.

And I smile and endure another Mother’s Day.

But to all of those women who disguise their anguish today –

– Those who have lost their mothers or never had one

– Those whose mothers were less than loving

– Those who have lost their children

– Those who wanted children and were unable to have them –

Know this:

You are not alone. I am with you today.

I see you when you watch other women accepting their roses.

I feel you when you wonder why your pain doesn’t lessen with the passing of the years.

I hear you when you cry alone in the shower, and then dress and smile and get through the day.

And to everyone – mothers or not:

Let me say this:

Try to know the difference between what you want and what you need.

What you want can give you pleasure. But what you need restores your soul. Gives meaning to your life.

When I was young, I wanted to be accepted, I wanted to be successful, I wanted to please everyone. But what I needed was a child.

I worked dilligently for what I wanted. I did not work hard enough for what I needed.

My mistake. My terrible mistake.

Some needs are never fulfilled. I know that much is true.

And Life can be full of regrets.

But I regret most that I didn’t try hard enough to give myself what I needed.  I thought that if it was my destiny it would happen.

I think I could accept that I failed to give myself what I needed, if I knew that I had tried as hard as I could. But I am faced with the knowledge that I was afraid to try. I waited to receive my fate. I didn’t go get it.

And then it was too late.

So this is what I have learned – too late for me.

If you need a change in your relationship, or feel that your heart lies in different work, or there is a place where you should live, or, like me, that you need to give a mother’s love to a child – work with all your heart and all your soul to give yourself what you truly need.

Do not tell yourself that if it was meant to be, it will happen.

Maybe it is only meant to be if you strive with your whole being.



Photo: Brandy Cross, Wikimedia Creative Commons





  1. This is beautiful, and very comforting to me today. Thank you ❤


    • There are many who need to feel comforted today. I need it and try to provide it too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Carla B.

    What a beautiful and wise essay! I am sharing on Facebook so more people can read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing – I really appreciate it.


  3. Simply beautiful💝

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is beautiful yet sad. I know quite a few women who have chosen not to have children. That doesn’t mean they’re not mothers for their sisters or their friends kids. Mother is a nurturer…and it doesn’t have to be your own blood. I would give you a rose just because you’re you!


    • Thank you. My life on the whole is good and sweet. There are just days sometimes when my heart aches with regret. But I get through, and kind words like yours help.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. *hugs* ❤
    Diana xo


  6. I found that moving and wise. I agree that we need to strive for what we want, not just wait for it to fall into our laps. And always love your kids, if you have them. I’m very grateful for my beautiful ones, now just grown up, but if I didn’t have them, I’d still think with love of my own mum. My partner doesn’t like his mum much, which I think must be bitter for her (if, probably, deserved).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Having lived through part of my adolescent and all of my adult life without mother, I plunged into motherhood, struggled through difficult times and am so Produkt today, of mal children, of me still bring there for them- so that I don’t need to go to a Restaurant on mother’s day. (And my computer tries to change all the words into something resembling german….. ).


    • Proud. I am, Not Produkt… oh my!


  8. I like your article, very inspiring and thank you for your post


  9. Oh, Nancy. You definitely opened up your heart for this post. I feel so fortunate to have had a loving mother and that I am a mother myself. But, I do hurt for those on Mother’s Day who have a heartache for whatever reason. One of my aunts never had children, and when I visited her in a convalescent shortly before she died, she said to me: “I wish I had had a child. Even if he had been fathered by a bum, I wish I’d had a child”. Father’s Day is difficult for me, since my dad died when I was just 8 months old.
    How brave of you to share your innermost feelings with your readers.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. daveyone1

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..


  11. I heard this today on the radio as I was driving home in the rain and when I read your blog it seemed to fit all that you were saying and so I pass it on for anyone who may benefit from the words. Don’t judge yourself too harshly, we have all committed the sin of omission in life and look back at the things we could have done better or the times when we could have tried harder.

    Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
    Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
    Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”
    ― William Hutchison Murray


  12. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, feelings and insights so honestly. It may have been hard, but it helps others to read this.


  13. Rachel McAlpine

    My heart breaks for four friends whose children took their own lives. Not a good day to be thrust in their face… Thank you for this compassionate reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I chose not to have children, but my husband secretly wanted them. We didn’t come to that conclusion until much too late. Still, I’m happy without children even though he’s sad about it. It’s a difficult decision, one, you are right, that you should pursue with everything you have once you realize the direction you need to go. Thanks for sharing this.


  15. If we only knew then what we know now. I do find it to be a difficult day.


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