May 13, 2012

Motherhood Is …

scan0001A month ago I wrote an essay for NieNie’s ‘Motherhood Is’ contest.  I didn’t win.  I didn’t even get printed. But it was very therapeutic  for me to write my essay and work through some of my thoughts and emotions.  Here is my essay.  Happy Mother’s Day.

Motherhood Is . . .

One spring day when I was eleven, I came upstairs and found my mother sobbing quietly on her bed. I asked her what was wrong. As she rocked gently her teary reply came, “It just hurts so much.” It scared me. I didn’t know what to do to help her, so I went in my room, got down on my knees near my bed and uttered the first urgent and sincere prayer I can ever remember saying.

Eleven years later, I donned white from head to toe. The wedding photographer was capturing moments with smiling families of both bride and groom. At one point, he approached my mother and me for a photo. I can distinctly remember my mother looking at me and lifting her hand to adjust my veil. Tears suddenly filled her eyes. Caught by surprise at the sentimentality of the moment, I too became weepy, but can remember thinking, “She isn’t crying for me.”

Individually, these memories have lodged themselves in the different nooks and crannies of my brain where such things go, to be remembered or forgotten, depending on the day. On the surface they are merely two different interactions I had with my mother. But recently they were stitched together to become a single fabric of thought in my mind about the true nature of motherhood.

It happened on a hot summer’s day four years ago when my mother said to me: “You have an older sister. I gave her up for adoption forty years ago. She has searched out and found our family and now she wants to meet you.”

In that instant I knew that motherhood is a painfully deep kind of love that cannot be broken. Mothers do not give their children away – whether they be eighteen and leaving the home, getting married and starting their own family, or adopted by another family to be raised. Instead, mothers love so genuinely and completely that they give away a piece of themselves to each child. That piece goes with them wherever they may be and connects mother and child indefinitely.

My memories confirmed it. All those years my mother still loved my sister. All those years their connection remained. And when I met my sister for the first time and saw the way my mother looked at her, I knew that love would always exist, no matter what.

Motherhood is love. It is complicated. It is beautiful. And it is forever.


Janie said...

Happy Mother's Day Samantha. . . Your story is a winner, maybe not this time around to nienie, but it certainly is with me. You summed it up best when you wrote, "Motherhood is love. It is complicated. It is beautiful. And it is forever." You are indeed blessed to have the Mother you do for she gives her all to each of you, her family. She unrentlessly extends her heart to share her love and talents with all her friends. What a beautiful story you have shared of your feelings toward Motherhood. Thank you.

The Queen Vee said...

Sometimes it is better to say nothing although it's always good to say I love you, always have and always will.

and on a lighter note....what a goofy hairdo I have in this picture.

You were a gorgeous bride and you remain a gorgeous and insightful daughter.

brendag said...

Happy Mother's Day Samantha! Beautiful essay, thank you for sharing it with us.

JulieB said...

You captured some tremendous emotions in such a short essay. There is no comparison to a mother's love.

Apis Melliflora said...

I am blessed with amazing, lovely mothers, sisters and brothers. On Mother's Day, I cherish thinking about these dear relationships and how they will always be a source of comfort and joy to me.

Your essay is a winner in my book and I still think my NieNie dream means something!

Happy Mother's Day Dragonfly!

Stacey Gerlach Moe said...

Beautiful, Sam. Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing this. On days like today when I miss my mom a lot, I am comforted in knowing that while she was alive she loved me with her whole being. That IS motherhood.

Aiketa said...

Since I read your essay about the three births and find out about your sister, I couldn't stop thinking how hard it must have been for your mother all these years.
I don't have children (as you know) yet, so I don't know what it is the love a mother feels for them, but I imagine it must be really hard to give a child for adoption.

I admire your mom so much! And I am really happy about how everything turned up!!! I can't imagine how happy might have been your parents when they knew their daughter was looking for them. :D

Happy Mother's Day Samantha and Victoria. You are two mothers I admire a lot and aspire to be like some day.

Aiketa said...

*ended up

BTW, you both are gorgeous on that photo! You are so beautiful!