Mother’s Day 2013

For years and years, I preached a Mother’s Day sermon. For most of those years, I always read the same little book, Love You Forever by Robert Munsch.

During the last couple of years, it got a bit harder to read without choking up.

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”

Even before the events of October 10, 2011, we knew Cole’s lifespan was not as long as it once was. The last few years were hard on him and us. Add in the drama and trauma of being victimized by a sexual predator, well, it was very hard in every facet of life.

But, we tried hard to find normalcy even where none was really possible.

At any rate, those last few Mother’s Day sermons were harder than all the earlier ones. I was fairly self-absorbed for many of those years and sort of knew that some people had a hard time on Mother’s Day. As much as I didn’t want to get it, I slowly became aware of the difficulty Mother’s Day presented for some.

At this point in my life, I get it in spades.
Some had bad childhoods.
Some desired to be a Mom.
Some were missing their Mom…

Today I was one of those people looked down upon by the smugly self-righteous. I was planning to go to church. I was going to put a brave face on. And if there was a Mother’s Day sermon, I was going to lean into the pain–experience it, overcome it, and be stronger because of it.

But I couldn’t do it.
I couldn’t subject myself or my kids to all the happy faces celebrating good old mom.

Don’t misunderstand.

I wasn’t being selfish by staying home. I am thankful for Moms everywhere. I have been blessed with a great Mom and two Mother-in-laws who each mean the world to me.

I have sisters and sister-in-laws who are great Mom’s as well.

I was married to a great Mom.
I am married to a great Mom.

I am thankful for all of them–and your Mom too.
Today, Casey is missing his Mom in heaven so much. He has said how he wished she could be here several times. It rips me to pieces at every mention of it. In a little while we are going to walk up to the front pasture and let go a Happy Mother’s Day helium balloon to his Mom in heaven. I will chew on my bottom lip the entire time to maintain some semblance of composure. I don’t think there is anything more sucky than a little boy using a balloon to communicate with his mother.

And Becki? She is blessing us in more ways than most could even think of comprehending. Her compassion and love is overwhelming. I don’t know what we did to deserve it. She has cried multiple times today over the pain in little Casey’s heart. She has a mother’s strength and will hold our hands every step of the way.

“God, I am sorry we couldn’t make it to worship this morning… I am angrier with you today than normal, but I believe you understand.”

To all my Moms and the past and present mothers of my children, Happy Mother’s Day.

27 thoughts on “Mother’s Day 2013

  1. He understands! All I can say is Tyler and I love you all so much and i cant say enough how much we love and are thankful Becki is in your lives to help on Caseys journey as well as yours Conners and Kyles. She is an amazing woman and through your words we can feel the love you have for each other….and today I begrudgingly drug myself into church….im mad at God today too! Love and miss you……keep writing!

    • I think God understands the anger. The book of Job would not be in the Bible if He didn’t. There are also other stories and passages in the Bible that wouldn’t be there, either, if he didn’t understand the anger.

  2. I found your blog this week by way of Patrick Mead. I am sad to read about what you and your family have experienced. I am grateful that you are blogging about your internal struggle with faith and life and tragedy.

    As an infertile woman, I dislike mothers day. As an adoptive mom, I have a child who dislikes mothers day because of the actions of his first mom. As a friend who has many friends who have angst surrounding this day, I dislike mothers day.

    I am sad that mothers day is hard for your son and you.

  3. Nice blog, per usual, Les. Understand completely. Pre Brent, I had to ban attending church services on Mother’s Day as well as baby showers (where EVERY mother inevitably feels the urge to share her own pregnancy/delivery story). On this day (especially), my heart breaks for you all–especially little Casey. Will say a special prayer for him.

  4. One of the speakers at Pepperdine said, “Life is measured by a long series of losses.”
    I hate that, but it is cold reality. So grateful for those in our lives who help us keep moving forward when it is so counter-intuitive.
    Thanks for sharing your heart today. One of my best friends took in a movie with his wife today. They lost their only daughter last year. First Mother’s Day with her gone. Just couldn’t bear the thought of enduring that sermon.

    • Yeah. I get this, Greg. I sure hope God understands all the anger I have toward Him–even when it isn’t logical or justified.

  5. I sobbed reading this post, Les. I agree with you, it sucks. Yet, besides the pain for you, Casey, Conner, Kyle… I shed tears of wonder at this new wife…. so many women are “competitive” with the “first” wife…. especially when the first wife wasn’t lost through divorce…. there’s that insecurity…. I’ve read it over and over and heard it so many times…..

    My heart is overwhelmed with the goodness of Becki right now. It takes a strong woman spiritually and emotionally to be able to allow and love you and the kids through such difficulties. You are so blessed to have her and I am so thankful for the ministering she is doing to you and the kids through such a deep compassion and love.

    What was unexpected for me was the ministering she is doing through you to all of us….. Becki, Happy belated Mother’s Day to a woman of beauty inside and out…. who has given me a glimpse of Jesus today…. Thank you for who you are…..

    Les, my heart went to you and your boys over and over yesterday…. My love to you all…..

  6. I so resonate Les. Next week it will be 19 years that my first wife went to heaven and I still feel the loss. Mostly I am saddened by what that loss did to my kids.

  7. Our hearts are sore today. All of our love to you and your boys. Have to tell you tho, Sabrina is glad I don’t have a copy of that book 🙂

    • Yeah… I thought about Sabrina when I wrote this post. I didn’t get it back then–and wish I still didn’t. But I do. This is so hard, Bill. Some days are harder still.

  8. I remember one Mother’s Day when you read that story like you did every Mother’s Day, and I was sitting beside Jay Tubbs. Her son was still missing. All I could do was hold her hand and cry with her. Mother’s Day changed for me from that day on. I began to consider those who have lost, whether child or mother. Even much more so now.
    I love you and yours. Not one day goes by (hardly an hour) that I don’t think of you and your family, past and present.
    And I still pray. And I still wish it wasn’t.

    • Shayna, I wish I hadn’t been so dense. I caused some folks pain–unintentionally–but pain nevertheless. Knuckleheads R Us… At any rate, I understand everything you have said and appreciate it. Life is good. Life is hard. It is a crazy mixed up place at times.

  9. I went to church however my heart was so overwhelmed with thoughts of Richie and Mom . I remember well you reading the book and I know how hard it was for you looking out at Cole. I hope you know how much you are loved and missed. I am so glad you have Becki there with you. God bless you all and know you are loved and missed more than words can say.

  10. Mother’s Day must be very difficult for you and the kids, Les. I can’t even imagine. I went to church, wishing my kids were with me and feeling guilty that I haven’t always been the example I should be. It felt very lonely. My estrangement with my younger son some days breaks my heart. But that is nothing compared to what your boys are going thru. (I have, each day we live, a chance to renew that relation-ship.) I pray they will feel His peace, knowing they will see their angel Mom in Heaven some day! God bless you, Becky and all the kids! Miss you!

  11. I don’t know anyone who thinks reasonably who would look down on you for not going to church on Mother’s Day. It is a hard day for many. Really all holidays that circle around some kind of family connection are very hard at times… at other times I pray you will be filled with joy at those who surround you and love you … but I guess all you can do is face one day at a time. Praying for more good days than hard days, and believing they will come.

  12. My mother died before I ever knew her. I lived in an orphanage after her death. I grew up not grieving for my mother. The older I get the more I realize how much I have missed not having a mother of my own. Did she love me? Was she disappointed I wasn’t a boy, or more importantly, did she love the LORD before she died? Our son David died just 6 weeks after mother’s day and since then I really wish we didn’t celebrate it. Thanks for understanding

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