Monday, May 13, 2013

What Would Anna Think? - Thoughts on Mother's Day

I'll just put it out there...I have mixed feelings about Mother's Day...

I love the good intentions of Anna Jarvis on 1908 when she held a memorial service on a Sunday for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia...and pushed to make it a recognized holiday...which did happen in 1914...but by the 1920s, she was already disappointed by its commercialism...

How much more would she feel that disappointment today...

I have thought a lot about it this weekend...

Imagine my disappointment when the red carpet was not rolled out for my feet when I stepped out of bed...nor was there an eloquent breakfast tray with a vased flower and linen napkin awaiting me when my eyes opened.  No flurry of calls from my flood of accolades paired with expensive gifts of appreciation.  (Although my heart was full from a thoughtful card from Edster!)

But actually...I don't buy into those images...

Instead, while reading my latest literary adventure, The Gifts of Imperfection, the words reminded me once again:

Comparison is the thief of joy...

I believe we are set up for complete obliteration of our joy if we compare our lives with the images we see on Facebook that show everyone's best side...or the commercials that guilt us into believing if we don't buy this or that, we must not love our mother...

Instead...I thought about...
  • The mothers who have a child who has died.
  • The mothers whose children were never born.
  • The children who can no longer reconcile and make peace with their mother as she is gone.
  • The mothers who may have a child that broke her heart.
  • The mothers who may have a child enslaved in destructive habits and addictions.
  • The mothers who have children with profound disabilities who cannot say thank you or even say "mom."
  • The children whose mothers have died or are living but no longer are who they once were.
  • The mothers who find themselves unwantingly spending their Mother's Day as a single mother.
  • The children who have grown up without a forever family and not knowing their mother.
  • The mothers who have lost their children due to mistakes they regret than cannot be undone.
  • And the mothers of children who today are still prodigals...

I held the hand of the godly woman who bore me, although, like every day, she never opened her eyes...and am grateful...

I brushed and braided her hair...and I am grateful...

Kissed her and prayed in her ear...and I am grateful...

And comforted that she has good people around her good care...grateful this mother gave up her Mother's Day to serve others...including my mother...

Lilacs on Mother's Day

And while I had expected to see my daughter and grandsons this afternoon...a call from my daughter that my youngest grandson had thrown up all over himself and everything...and was sick...changed that...been there, done that!  But I was thrilled at the handmade card I received from my oldest grandson when he knew I was sick last week...he made it at school...that also wished me a Happy Mother's Day.  I marveled at his wonderful spelling and handwriting of my little first grader...

But my daughter wrote this on her Facebook page this morning:

And a very special mothers day to my momma Denise Fabian! Thank you for all your love and support even though my questionable phases I'm life. You've showed me how to be a strong loving woman and to always trust in God. For this I will always be grateful and blessed. xoxo.

And how grateful I am to my husband, who put food spikes into the cold ground in January to feed the lilac bushes that produced an over-abundance of blooms to make a fragrant vaseful to fill my mother's room with an aroma better than anything that could have been purchased.

And no card, no phone call came from my son...because he is unable to do so...  He cannot say thank you...he cannot even call me, "Mom."  But today, through the commitment of motherhood, I know
  • he is safe
  • he is content
  • and he is functioning at his best
What greater gift can I ask for?

I think Anna Jarvis would be pleased...and I am grateful for the mother whose greatest desire...the only gift she has ever craved...has always been to see her children standing at Christ's side on Judgment Day...


  1. I love the way you see situations with such clarity and grace. Happy Mother's Day, Denise.

  2. Your words are so put it all into perfect perspective. Thank you for sharing your very eloquent thoughts, Denise! You truly touched my heart. <3

  3. Denise-

    This is so beautiful and honest. I, too, felt the pangs of the lack of my children again this year and their 'lateness' in acknowledging MY special day, but was overwhelmed with compassion and guilt at our church services, when our pastor called upon us to remember the moms you've listed above: who have lost a child, or recently lost their mother, or had unspoken tragedy, etc....although, my 3 kids go thru their selfish times and busy times, etc...they are all 3 still healthy and we talk often. I should not, nor can not, complain; for I am blessed! Similar to your hubby, mine was so sweet with some daisies for me and even brought me coffee and a cinnamon roll in bed, as my kids used to! He's a keeper too...God is so good to us!!!


  4. Beautiful, Denise. So beautiful.

  5. Denise, what a beautiful, touching post. I marvel at your ability to share your innermost thoughts. Your photography to go with your story is most amazing. I would love to be neighbors with you and sit and have a coffee with you.

  6. Thank you for your words of wisdom. They are words to live by. I was a bit sad yesterday that I would not see my childrens faces, but I must remember that I am Blessed that all 3 of them are healthy and living independent lives.

  7. Tears in my eyes my friend thankyou for sharing your wonderful words...

  8. Oh, well said. Your final pictures and words brought tears to my eyes. I only wish my mom were still with me so that I may tell her again how much I loved her.

  9. Great post. Yes, Mother's Day is a double edged sword for sure.

  10. Bless you Denise, for a most beautiful and touching Mother's Day tribute. I too think of all the mothers and children with in less than desirable situations. It is truly a bittersweet day.


    Your photos of your mother are beautiful.

  11. Such a beautiful mother´s day tribute, beautiful words, you touched my heart

  12. wonderful post, good to see such nice photos of our mom and your daughter's note was soooo special. Love your lilacs. I miss them from the north.


Every comment is read personally by me and is deeply appreciated!