Ever since Anthony began confronting crohn’s disease, my perspective on motherhood has drastically changed. It is from some very special and very strong mother friends that I learned how to be present for him in his darkest hours. It is from them we both learned to never waste one moment of his recovery. Patty, Clara, Barb, Colleen, Kay and Smiljka – thank you for all you have taught me about being a mother; this is for you.
It’s that special day when Moms are honored for all they do. It’s a day of breakfast in bed made by smiling little chefs offering a side of sticky kisses, a day of homemade or Hallmark cards lovingly signed, flowers, brunches, gift cards for a day of pampering, or perhaps just a day of relaxing with those who thrust us into motherhood.
For some I know, it’s a day of bittersweet remembrance as they open that special place in their souls reserved for sons and daughters who left this earth but never left their hearts. For Patty, Clara, Barb, Colleen, Kay and Smiljka, this day takes on a special significance too few of us stop to appreciate or worse, fear will happen to us—losing a child.
After watching some of my friends endure the loss of their sons and daughters, after seeing that indescribable look in their eyes, I have begun to understand the strongest trait that identifies motherhood; it is the courage of a lioness’ heart. From these women and others who have lost children, I learned never to give up during those darkest days of Anthony’s life this past year. From them I learned to fight for him and to protect him with every fiber of my being and to be willing to let go if that is what it would come to. It is from them I learned that our lives are not our own, but God’s, who has a unique plan for each of us whether through this life or because of a life lived. Every life these children touched is forever changed because they walked among us.
While I will never have the right words to say, while my efforts at comfort may be clumsy, I can promise that the sacrifice these mothers have given will never go unnoticed in my eyes or Anthony’s. On days such as this, when laughter and good times abound, he and I will pause and remember Josh, Keith, Scottie, Bridget, Christopher and Zorin. Together, through our work in the Crohn’s community, we will honor the depth of love only a mother’s heart, asked to give the ultimate sacrifice, can know.