Mother’s Day started badly for me. Within 10 minutes of waking up, I discovered that the dogs had apparently eaten something that disagreed with them because the living room was covered in fecal land mines. (Thank heavens for hardwood floors) As I was standing there rolling my eyes to heaven and thinking about the mothers who were getting breakfast in bed while I had bio-hazard duty; the 4 year old girl got a whiff and promptly threw up on the floor.
Then came the impossible task of making it to church without wanting to cuss as we wrestled children into clean clothes, washed faces and broke up fights.
As we made our way into the congregation there were people at the entrance holding buckets of long stem red roses. They were giving a rose to each mother that passed through the entry. It came my turn and I shook my head “No” giving an award winning smile to throw anybody suspecting my mental frame off into a loop.
True, I don’t like red roses because they remind me of funerals, but the real reason is I didn’t feel like I deserved it.
For years during the births and early years of our daughters, I longed to hear from the man who helped create them that I was a good mother. As if he knew how important it was for me to hear, he withheld that from me. I poured myself into housekeeping, making crafts, learning how to make homemade bread…anything to deserve that honor.
During the sermon it was mentioned that not only should we remember the moms on Mother’s Day but also the fathers who created them. Hello knife through heart. Ending with a video, a father observed all his wife did for the children and exalted her; praising her for being such a wonderful mother. My soul crumbled. Inside my mind I cried out to Dan.
“Am I good mother? Are you proud of what I have done? Do I deserve to be honored?”
Church was dismissed and rather than walk through the normal exit, we decided to leave out the back way to get to the children’s classes faster. As we approached the doors, I noticed a single red rose lying forgotten on the floor. Surely someone just dropped it and so I picked it up and laid it on the table.
As the day passed, my heart became more turmoiled. My new husband, children and stepchildren had indeed honored me. I was spoiled and made to feel like a queen. I ended up retreating to my bathroom and taking a long bath. I let my inner tears go ahead and flow as I petitioned the heavens for the answer I needed. All that came to me was that memory of the rose lying discarded on the floor.
I had declined the initial offering of the rose because all I could think of is how I didn’t deserve it because Dan had never told me I did. Yet, while I sat in the church and my heart begged to receive an answer; a rose was left in my path. It was my final answer.