Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, a day to celebrate the woman who brought you into the world. Or, if you are fortunate enough to be a mother, a day to celebrate you.
But, for millions of mothers, Mother’s Day is more bitter than bittersweet. For mothers whose children have preceded them in death, Mother’s Day can be a cruel reminder of what you are missing. If you’re a mother whose only child has passed into eternity, you might feel like you’re not even a mother anymore.
I’d like to give you a different way to look at this Mother’s Day. In fact, this is a different way to look at every holiday and even every day of the year. Yes, I know I’m not a mother. But, bear with me.
I look at life as a long hike. The people in my life are on this hike with me. We are all walking each other Home. Each day is another step along the road to our common destination. I walk 11,000 steps every morning. As I walk, I think of each step as another day in my life. I know that if I continue to put one foot in front of the other, I will get to my goal.
For those of us whose children are no longer in the physical world, our children have run ahead of us. It’s just like Shayna to do that. So, it’s not a stretch for me to picture it that way. Shayna has finished the race and is waiting for me at the finish line.
As you’re on a long hike, you’ll pass milestones, occasionally. If you’re running a marathon, you’ll pass mile markers that indicate how far you’ve come. When you see those mile markers you rejoice. You’ve put another mile behind you. You have one less to the finish line.
Now, I want you to try an exercise. Close your eyes and imagine you and your family, including your child who isn’t with you this year. You’re holding hands and walking along a road. She drops your hand and runs off ahead of you. You know she’s OK. She’s just going to meet you at the finish line. You continue your walk, enjoying the scenery. Every so often you pass a mile marker. The mile markers in this analogy are birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries and Mother’s Days.
Tomorrow, celebrate your child, as they are celebrating you. Celebrate yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back. You child is proud of you for making it another year. They want you to be happy and continue to enjoy the walk. And, as you continue to put one foot in front of the other, covering the miles (years) between now and the time you reach the finish, you grow closer to hearing the cheers as you cross the finish line. Enjoy the hike and take everything in as you cover the miles.
Happy Mother’s Day!