There’s a favorite scene of mine in the movie Under the Tucson Sun where Diane Lane’s friend shows up at her house in Tuscany, nine months pregnant and in the midst of a broken heart. She’s devastated, crying and says, “How do you breathe again…?” Diane Lane’s character starts breathing like she’s giving birth. Its brilliant and gives a visual without words… I cried, and laughed too. Just like real life, birth never goes as planned, heartache never goes as planned, but as long as you’re still breathing, life prepares you for a new plan to create from and it’s our choice of how we respond to it.
On the eve of this Mother’s day, I wanted to share a few stories of Motherhood that have personally touched, inspired and opened my heart more. These stories have given me courage to persevere and find peace in the chaos, despite the hardships of life’s highway.
The first story is shortly after my ex-husband moved out, I was in a parking lot and saw a woman holding her young child’s hand at the entrance. I was holding my daughter’s hand and felt the magnitude of my situation hitting me head on. Even though I wasn’t at the point where I’d be standing on a street corner for money, I felt it could be me trying to make ends meet. From one mother to another, I felt the hardship, pain and loss for both of us. Instead of cynicism, I had compassion and my heart opened wider. I gave her the $20 in my pocket and there was quiet reflection in both our eyes.
When I picked up my daughter Simone from school a few days ago, she said, “Mama, do you know Avery? …Her Mom died.” The words hit me hard, and I said, “What happened?” Simone said, “She died in a car accident.” My heart was hanging with this little seven year old’s Motherless future and how the burden will effect her. We all do the best we can with what life throws at us and I hear countless stories from people’s challenges that direct the course of their future. Moments like these remind me there’s no guarantee things will turn out the way we want them to and that life is fleetingly precious. On a deeper level, my reaction to Avery growing up without her Mother, took me back to a conversation two years ago with my therapist when I felt so broken from my personal pain and suffering I didn’t want to live. My therapist said, “You don’t want to take your own life, I deal with adult children whose Mothers committed suicide and trust me, it’s not a legacy you want to leave behind.”
Mothers, they come in all shapes and sizes and one thing is for sure, I know I wouldn’t be able to do what I’ve been faced to endure without mine. My Mother, the loving grace that holds the seams of my broken life together. The champion to my achievements, the lighthouse to my storm and the Island to my drifting at sea. She is the place where all is well and all my colors of anger, joy, trial and error merge together in grace. She is the oasis to my thirsty travels and the spark of hope I return to. My Mother, always there at the ready, even when I push her away. I realize not every Mother is this for her child, however, I share this with you because even when a Mother is not these things, she gave birth for you to experience life and that in and of itself is worth honoring.
I share with you Kahlil Gibran’s poem On Children, which always puts Motherhood in a higher perspective for me.
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and he bends you with his might that his arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; for even as he loves the arrow that flies, so he loves also the bow that is stable.
As Always, Ignite Your Light and Let it Shine Bright!
From My Heart to Yours,