Happy Tears for Mother's Day
State Director of Tasmanian Baptist Women, Jenny Baxter, reflects on Mother's Day 2020
Earlier this year, after three years working on my website Treasuring Mothers, I decided I needed to take a break to reflect and slow down. As I come to celebrating this Mother's Day, I'm aware in a new way that it's never the best day of my year.
I was nine years old when mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. Back then, it was a death sentence. My younger sister and I where never told much, but Mother's Day was not quite the same again.
Now many years later, I have five adult children of my own. I'm so proud of them, and they do their best to make Mother's Day special. But, at times I'd just as rather just give it a miss.
Turning Death into Life
However, every Mother's Day I encourage Treasuring Mothers readers to honour their mothers. No matter what their rapport with their Mum - a rip-roaring-great relationship; a strained one; or like me, no mother to celebrate at all - we can still honour them.
After all, it's your mother, not the relationship, who did incredible things for you.
- She brought you life. Well, yes, your Dad had a part in that too. But you heard her heart beating from the inside. She was intimately involved in the creative process of bringing you into the world. It was Her energy. Her pain. Her love.
- She put aside her own comfort and ease for a time to ensure you were fed, clothed, clean and cared for.
- She taught you. Almost all mothers teach their children to speak. That's why your primary language is called your mother tongue.
- She sacrificed - for you. If you think about your Mum, and what happened as you were growing up, you will realise how costly it was for her and how much she sacrificed. (And perhaps there's also the bad stuff you did!)
Days of Weeping: Lost and Found
Over the past months, I've taken time out to grieve my mother's death in a new way. I was 16 when she died, and I quickly locked the grief away. While I felt cool, calm and collected, my family were worried about me. I am only just now understanding why.
Mother's Day this year will be a little different for me. I'm not exactly sure how, but I know that despite the grief I still carry, I'm determined to honour my Mum, and to enjoy my children honouring me.
I really hope and pray that during this COVID-19 world we live in, you can spend some time with your Mum on Mother's Day, in any of the various ways possible. But if you can't, I hope at least your day will be filled with good reflections; an attitude of gratefulness; and like me, some happy tears.
BELOW: Baxter Family August 2019, on holiday in Phuket