Sunday, March 11, 2018

Mothering Sunday - not just for mothers

When I was a child, Mothering Sunday was not much of a "thing". If we went to the 10.30, rather than my father's preferred 8.00, there would be tiny bunches of violets blessed, to take home to our mothers - and perhaps we would stop at Mr Day's, the tobacconist, to buy her a bar of the Suchard's chocolate she enjoyed, as a special treat. Beyond that, - no fuss, no hype...if you didn't go to church, you probably wouldn't have registered Mothering Sunday at all.

Mummy died when I was 18...and my next brush with the day came 8 years later, when I had my first miscarriage on the eve of Mothering Sunday. I was only a few weeks pregnant that time, so though I was deeply sad at the loss, there was no question of my not keeping a commitment to return to SJDK, the church that had been so important to me before my marriage, to sing Evensong. Wesley, "Ascribe unto the Lord" - with its reminder "You are the blessed of the Lord, you and your children"
In my emotionally charged state, those words felt like a promise - one I clung to through the series of miscarriages that followed, the times when it felt as if while one child might be possible, children were a dream too far.

Turns out I was blessed...3 children, loved and loving, who've now flown the nest but return bringing joy with them, which has spilled over into a new generation. And yes, as I delight in all that Eleanor Grace has brought to our lives, on the special magnetism of a baby who draws us all together in more love than I'd have believed possible, I do feel sad that I was never able to share my own children with my parents - but that sadness is no more acute today than on any other. It ebbs and flows, just as the wistful wondering about those lost babies of mine also ebbs and flows through the seasons. 

And I think that, actually, I'm OK. 
This is not a sad story. 
And this is because I've always been given love, care, support from so many many different directions...from friends, from children (my own and other peoples), from my church family, - and (waiting quietly in the background til I was ready to recognise her) from God too.

Here's my personal list:
Mummy and Daddy, Eirene, Jilly, Uncle Truffle, Lucy B, JW, Fr Nigel and Fr Neil,  Beth and Alastair, Libby and Anne, Stan, Peggy, Carolyn, Camilla, Ann, John & Marcia, Marilyn, Don and Ellen...
I thank my God on every remembrance of you, and of many many others who've showed me how to pass on the gift of mothering.

I wouldn't buy a "Happy You Day" card, as Waitrose has suggested - because somehow that buys into the world of L'Oreal "Because you're worth it"....but a card that said  
"Today and every day, thank you for your love and care" - now that could be a real best seller in my world.
And I might thrown in some chocolate too.

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