I have been incredibly blessed to have some truly genuine and thoughtful friends, throughout my life. Though I know I often fall incredibly short of the goal line, I strive to learn by their examples. Countless gifts and moments shower my memory, but there was one such instance that actually rendered me speechless…
It was the Monday after Mother’s Day, 2002.
Mother’s Day was a bittersweet day for me, in those days. Though I adored my birth mom and foster mom, I couldn’t help but feel myself aching and lost in a sea of happy mothers and smiling, chubby babies. It had only been a year since my hysterectomy and, at 26 years old, the majority of my social circle was at the height of their family growing. To make my achingly empty arms a bit more complicated was the fact that 2000 miles away there were three kids whom I loved as powerfully and as much as if they were my own.
Truth be told, Mother’s Day felt like a giant slap in the face.
There were rare moments when Chw would catch a look on my face and embrace me in that way that only he could, because in our world he was the only one closest enough to understanding. Beyond him though, I couldn’t really share any of that with anyone. Who would I tell? The pregnant friends? The friends with their own diapered little babies? It was my own burden to bare. That year though, I had a friend with her own bittersweet woes. She had a beautiful little baby girl, whom the sun truly rose and set in. But, less than a year before she had also lost her mom to cancer.
This friend and I had a friendship born out of similar interests and a fairly unique bond. It was one to two times a week that we would get together to watch movies, talk or do Bible study and pray. That Monday, following that Mother’s Day, was one such day.
I arrived at her home, and stirred my coffee…
I held and played with her baby girl, whom I adored so much…
We chit-chatted about our weekends, she shared a bit of how hard the holiday had been for her. Tears were shared- and then the animated eyes, of this friend of mine, lit up. I have something for you, wait right there! She exclaimed, as she bounded up her stairs.
She returned with a gift- a basket of lotions and cremes- and a handmade card.
A Mother’s Day card. Within it, my friend who possessed such a gift for words, told me of the mother I was already and the great one I’d some day be. She thanked me for loving her baby, for being her friend.
I had no words, only emotions I couldn’t quite name.