When Celebrations Become Painful Reminders

One year ago, Mother was diagnosed with cancer. Today, she is cancer-free!
People love to celebrate wonderful occasions...birthdays, half-birthdays, spiritual birthdays, adoption days, pet birthdays, dating anniversaries, wedding anniversaries, work anniversaries, addiction recovery milestones, holidays, and more! It is a worthy cause to rejoice in the momentous events in our lives. This morning, I enjoyed using Face Time to sing "Happy Birthday" to my now 9-year-old nephew! I am rejoicing that he was born. What an amazing kid!
Another anniversary comes up this week, though. The 7th anniversary of losing my almost fiance in a car accident. What makes it even more difficult is that Mother's Day falls around this anniversary. every. time. While my grief was great and there are still waves that come up out of nowhere, I can't imagine it being anything close to what his sweet mother feels every day, and especially on Mother's Day.
It is an amazing thing to celebrate mothers. I have the best mother in the whole world! One day of honoring her doesn't even begin to adequately celebrate all that she is. There aren't enough Hallmark (R) cards to express in words what she has been to me. On Mother's Day, I will be singing her praises! But my mother has a mother, too. Her sweet Mother Dear went to Heaven in 1999. On Mother's Day, my mother will remember wonderful things about my grandma, but she will also miss her a little more than on other days throughout the year.
Some were not as fortunate as I to have a mother who loved me and cheered me on to do good things. They will hurt this weekend. Some never resolved relationship conflicts with their mothers before laying them to rest. They will grieve on Sunday. Some never knew their mothers and will be reminded that all was not well when they were born. Eyes will blur as they view picture after beautiful picture on social media sites, if they can even bear to look on Sunday. Some have desired children for years, and Sunday will remind them that they are still unable to stand alongside the other mothers in the church. Some have lost children and will never hear the wonderful words "Mommy, I love you," again. Sunday will be unbearable. Some mothers have watched children make painful, hurtful choices. On Sunday, their tears will fall.
If I could stop all of the annual reminders of everyone's grief and sorrow, I would.
But, I can't.
So, I will be praying for those who are hurting through this weekend. They will not be far from my mind. I will weep with those who are weeping.
But I will also take the opportunity to rejoice with those who are rejoicing, celebrating the mom who after years of trying, finally gets to be called, "Mommy!" I'll be jumping for joy with the mother whose child has returned to the Lord. I will be praising the Lord for the amazing moms that I know who are using their God-given gifts and abilities to nurture their children in knowledge of Him! I will be thanking God for the women in my life who have been spiritual moms. I will call my mother with sheer gratitude that God healed her from cancer and that she is still just a phone call and a few hours' drive away. I will call my grandmother and remind her once again that she is responsible for all this mess! I am so thankful for mothers. They are worthy to be celebrated!
Do I fear the grief that one day Mother's Day will hold painful reminders? Sure. But while the celebration is sweet, I will not withhold my joy.
Ecclesiastes 3:4
There is a time to weep.
And there’s a time to laugh.
There is a time to be sad.
And there’s a time to dance.
While there is rejoicing to be done, may we not withhold our celebration, for there will be plenty of time to grieve in days to come.

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