By Richard Bleil
On holidays such as today, it is not uncommon for me to write to the “other side”. Today will be no different. So let me open up by saying…
“Happy Mohter’s Day”
Previously, I have written of the importance of having and raising children. I have far too many friends who are mothers, who had and are raising children and feeling unaccomplished. They often look at my life and my accomplishments, and tell me that I have done a lot, but the reality is that I’ve done nothing. I went back to my high school a few years after I graduated for a visit, and everything was different. I may as well have never been there at all. Life is like that. The institutions where I no longer work have moved on, and although a few people may remember me, my influence is gone. When I pass on, life will plow over my memory and “accomplishments”, but for my friends who are mothers, their children will carry their legacies into the future, not only genetically, but also with the values and lessons they have learned from their mothers, lessons of citizenship, compassion, and love for others. This…THIS is an accomplishment!
But it doesn’t end there. I have friends who have lost children, and my heart goes out to them. I cannot imagine the pain of the loss of a child, and won’t even pretend that I have anything worthwhile to say to these moms. Losses such as this show us the weakness of the human languages. There are no words for such a loss, and any advice would be from an uninformed place. All I can do, and what i hope everybody does, is to truly be there for these moms. I can listen, and try to help as best I can, and know that there is a special place in my heart for them.
Another heartbreaking category includes those who want to be mothers, but, for one reason or another. cannot have children of their own. Whatever the reason for this might be, it can be heartbreaking, and seeing moms with their children is a constant reminder in our society of what often makes women feel incomplete. As with those who lost a child, there are no words that are appropriate to say. But, again, my heart goes out to these wishful mothers, as I wish for them that there was something that I could do to help.
Far too many mothers find themselves in a situation where they are raising their child or children alone. Sometimes it’s for the better, sometimes for the worse, sometimes in purpose and sometimes without choice, but whatever the reason, raising children alone is not an easy chore, especially if it includes financial support without help. In principle, having the father around is supposed to be helpful, but some of the saddest situations are mothers raising children alone even with a father in the house. None the less, these mothers make amazing sacrifices, and show incredible strength and compassion for which I have great respect. Anybody who helps these mothers are angels sent directly from heaven.
Moms include those who take care of the children of other mothers. Step moms, godmothers of children who lost their parents, foster mothers and more. Briefly I was a step dad (two years), but just barely. My wife had a habit of reminding the boys that they didn’t have to listen to me, and that I’m not their dad. Regardless, these mothers face special problems. It’s an easy “fall back” for kids to insist “you’re not my real mother”, which often reinforces the child when testing boundaries. This is a hurtful and very common, but unfair. Children need parental guidance, and protection whether they understand, or want it, or not.
On this Mother’s Day, I would urge everybody to show appreciation for women in all situations of motherhood, including situations that i have not thought to include in this post. The war on women is still all too real, and is exacerbated by a war on mothers. Judging, criticism, lack of understanding, hostile legislation; it all adds up to far more negativity than any woman, or mother, deserves to face. Women are more than objects of lust, they have more strength than given credit, and actually are intelligent and capable of making up their own minds without being told what to do or why they are wrong. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for everybody how has ever has ever been born to a mother should support women in general.