June 22, 2016

and she loves them

There is a mother who is experiencing the ups and downs of a child with disabilities. She wakes each day, not knowing if this will be a day of laughter or tears. When people ask her what it’s like to raise a child like her daughter, she chooses to say, “My child is gift. She is a gift because I did not ask for her and I did not know that she was something that I needed. But God knew. He gave me the perfect gift, which I see now that I both want and need.” Amidst a life of struggle, she would not trade that imperfectly perfect child for anything. Because that gift is hers. And she loves her.

There is a mother who finally got to meet her sweet baby. The one that she prayed for, fought for, longed for, and was ultimately blessed with. And he is perfect. He is everything that she ever wanted. No matter the toil on her body, no matter the stretch on the finances, no matter the sleepless nights, the spit up, the diapers, etc. He is hers. And she loves him.

There is a mother with many children. Many she carried herself, and many who she gave the gift of a family to, through adoption. She now has great-grandchildren and many others in her family to love. However, not a day goes by that she does not think of her sweet son. The toddler son who got called back to heaven too early. The son whose portrait is what their posterity have to remember him by. The one where he's wearing a white shirt with a navy blue and white sailor collar, smiling like the happiest boy in the world. That son is one of many. She spent less time with him than any other child that she has. But death does not change the fact that he is hers. And she loves him.

There is a mother who feels like every day with her teenager is a fight that she will never be able to win. The rolls of the eyes, the back-talk or even worse – the silence. She used to know her child. This was the same child who used to hang on her every word, and crawl into bed with her when she was scared. This mother prays every day to find a way to connect with this daughter who is going through the drama and angst of the teenage battlefield. Because she is hers. And she loves her.

There is a mother who bears the pain and the scars of divorce. She bears more than her fair share, so as to protect her sweet babies from all of the sorrow that could be theirs. She never thought she could love again, but now that he is there in front of her, she is ready to give her children the example of a father that they always should have had, and her heart to a man who will treat her right. She is poised to balance on the tight rope of raising children with both a father and a stepfather, and even though she did not ask for this, she is willing to because those children need what’s best. They are hers. And she loves them.

There is a mother going through the unimaginable pain of a child who was in the right place at the wrong time, resulting in the loss of his friend’s life. She cringes as he endures the whispers and the stolen glances, and she rejoices when love and support are offered instead. She wants to wrap him in her secure embrace and make it like the accident never happened. But she knows she can’t, so she must be strong and be the hand that he can hold to get through this. Because he is hers. And she loves him.

There is a mother who always thought she would grow up, get married, have kids and live happily ever after. But years of infertility told her otherwise. She resigned herself to her new normal and was the best aunt that ever was. And then a bittersweet miracle occurred. The death of one mom made her an instant mother. The mother of a wonderful, teen-aged daughter whose adoption story could only be described as meant to be. This relationship grew and bridged a gap, bringing a daughter to a mother who had lost hope. And a mother to a daughter who had lost her own. It is not always perfect. But she is hers. And she loves her.

There is a mother bearing the pain of a child who has lost their way. The child she loves so much, not seeing their own life for what it's worth and not remembering who they are. This mother grieves every time she questions herself as to what went wrong, and what she could have done better. She grieves even when she knows that her child has free agency and can choose for themselves. Though her heart breaks every day, that child is hers. And she loves them.

There is a mother who is navigating the parenting waters by herself. Her husband fought, but ultimately had to depart this life, much too soon. But this mother has a daughter. A daughter who shows strength beyond her years and has a capacity to lead and uplift that is not known in many teenagers. Her daughter lifted her mother and brother when there was no strength left. This mother watches in awe as her daughter continues to become the child that she and her husband always envisioned. And she is hers. And she loves her.

There is a mother who feels as if she shouldn't be one. She feels too tired, too cranky, too poor, too impatient to do this job that accidentally came to her. She works two jobs just to feed the mouth of the child that she feels she is failing. But when this child grabs her face in his sticky hands and babbles something that sounds like, "I love you," she soaks it in and gathers the strength she needs to make it through one more day. Because he is hers. And she loves him.

There is a mother whose life was turned upside down by infidelity and its consequences. Without warning, her husband was removed from her life and her kids’ lives, by a man's jealous rage and a gun. A young widow with many young children could have fallen to her knees and never gotten up again. But she chose to stand. To stand for those children and live life so that they could live theirs. Because they are hers. And she loves them.

Heartache or comfort. Peace or pain. Embarrassment or pride. Support or betrayal. Disappointment or utter joy. Parenting is filled with twists and turns. But you do what you need to do for those children, because they are yours. And you love them.

There is a mother who had no real example of mothering to follow. She navigated the parenting waters as one without a life vest, holding on to anything that could help her to be a better mother. She sometimes embarrassed her children, or sometimes lost her temper, but she parented with a zest for life and a belief that there was no other job in the world more important than the one she was doing in raising her children. She gave the needed shoulder to cry on, and the consequences that were deserved. She showed what it meant to be truly selfless for your children and she continues to do so, breaking the cycle and providing the best example of mothering to follow. And I am grateful for it. Because she is my mom. And I love her.

Printed here with permission. Original post can be found at: http://www.treasuresandtantrums.com/#!and-she-loves-them/c1a1n/572d66200cf2094051e7364f

by Jillian Romriell of treasuresandtantrums (www.treasuresandtantrums.com)

**Thank you Jillian for sharing these powerful stories with us! I am so thankful for each of these woman and the battles they are fighting to stand for something in their lives.  I appreciate you sending this to me when you posted it for Mother's Day, and letting me share it here today.


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