today is Mother's Day again.
i'm actually glad that instead of feeling like i have to acknowledge it, i'm in the mountains with my family, joyfully celebrating the wedding of a dear friend that i've known for almost a quarter-century. this weekend has been about redemption of the deepest sort, because after the brokenness and betrayal that my friend has experienced in past years, it has been a true miracle to watch him take hold of healing, restoration, and trust again. it has been a gift to watch him come back to life, and i am grateful to be able to witness it.
yesterday, as i watched from a distance as they took wedding photographs standing amongst ancient, mossy trees, i saw only gratitude and peace on their faces, not the giddy excitement that usually marks a younger, first-time-around, newlywed couple. these friends have seen a lot of life, and know better than many the realities of storms and crashing downs and the thick stupor of grief. i took a deep breath of the sharp clean mountain air and the verdant smell of rain and earth and felt my Redeemer saying to my spirit, "Child: i am there in the restoration, and i am there in the grief. i have seen all that has gone before and i know of your pain and your joy. if you want to believe in Me, believe that i am a Healer, and that i am with you in your anger and impatience over wounds that require healing. i'm letting you see redemption today because you need to see this part of the story."
right now i can hear the sparkling laughter of my child inside our little mountain cabin, and the voice of my husband laughing with him. i'm thinking of all the wounding and healing and waiting and not-knowing and redemption and impatience and love and life that i have so far known, so much of the most intense parts of all of that wrapped up in this ongoing journey of family-making. i'm thinking about this article posted by a friend of mine about a Catholic cemetery in New York that has a special section for miscarried and stillborn children -- what has stayed with me is how the women interviewed for the article lost babies 45 or 50 years ago, and had other living children, and yet still ached for the baby or babies they never "got to take home." i'm thinking about one of them, in her nineties, i think, talking about how people tell you you're "lucky" to have the kids you have - -and you agree -- yet you never stop missing the ones you didn't. even now, i still fall apart at unexplained, random times over my three Tummymuffins i carried within me, but never got to meet.
today i would rather celebrate the secret mothers -- the ones who are still hoping, still waiting, still grieving. even the ones who are also, at the same time, fully rejoicing in the miracle of any living children they might have. just as my newly-married friends know, acknowledging the brokenness allows you to truly revel in the healing -- and just as brokenness is not the end of the story, neither is healing. while Process may not be poetry, it is Truth.