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 –
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.