Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | May 10, 2015

on Mother’s Day

Anna's birth day

This morning I watched a small sparrow chase a large black crow. The tiny bird wheeled across the sky
in complicated pursuit, loudly calling out its indignation. The marauding crow, four times the size of
the sparrow, dashed and flapped in desperation to escape the noisy fierceness. The crow had tried
invading the sparrow’s nest, its clutch of unborn young, and there was hell to pay.

Around the world, mamas, without a wisp of forethought or care of harm, will do any thing necessary to
protect their offspring. Anything. Do not cross a mama and her baby.

I’d not have believed it possible to feel a love so strong, until it came crashing down on me the first
time I held my precious little person. My daughter, in utero, taught me that you can love someone
you’ve never met,a realization which changed my life in that instant. What an awakening! It takes my
breath away, how beautiful it is to care for another’s well-being far more than you care about your own
sweet self.

That said, parenting when your own needs are not met, when you’re past the dark edge of dangerous
exhaustion, in-tears-tired or sick or scared, is another kind of realization that is also hard to imagine until you’ve been there.

I am so grateful to be held in the eternal matrix of mother- and daughter-hood. So blessed that the being
who came to this world through this very body is my own sweet girl. So exceedingly honored to have
shared parenthood with her father, even if it kicks me to the curb today that he’s not here with us. And
if you care about me at all, please don’t tell me he is always with us. Although I often strongly feel his
presence near me, on days like today that is not the least bit helpful or kind.

At Whole Foods this morning, the store was a bower of scented be-ribboned blossoms, delectable
brunch and supper treats, toothsome cakes and fruits. The cashier joked ominously with her colleague
about “The Trigger”. I knew without another word what they meant.

F*cking Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day can be beautiful. I fondly remember many a fine one, with indulgent deluxe homemade
breakfasts and lazy idyllic sunshine- and flower-filled mornings stretching to infinity.
But there are plenty of darker emotions that can attach to a man-made holiday like this one, too. A world
of hurt awaits if we compare and contrast our reality to the expected one.
There are plenty of motherless children, childless mothers, hurtful and hard situations the likes of which
you can’t imagine, unless maybe you can.

Maybe be gentle in your celebrations today. Keep an eye on one another. Reach out a hand to some-
one who could use a little tenderness. Make a phone call. Pick an extra bouquet. Say some little prayer
or set an extra place at the table.

Your mom would want you to.



  1. Dear Carrie, thank you for these words. I remember the day you called to tell me you were pregnant. I was so happy! Today is hard. I think if what I did and did not do. But I gardened, which helps me feel both nurtured and nurturing. And I reached out to some Moms. Love you. A.


  2. oh, A, I love you so much. Can not wait to see you! “Nurtured and nurturing”, I love that! xoxox


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