Submitted: May 2018
Summary: Not every Mother’s Day is filled with joy, but sometimes a little hope can go a long way.
Story Size: 978 words (5Kb as text)
A/N: Every year mothers are celebrated by their children and showered with love and affection. Many forget those that silently suffer throughout this holiday. So I offer up a different take on Mother’s Day as someone that grieves on Mother’s Day for the little boy that got his wings in October of 2014. I still have two children here with me that I enjoy every second with but there’s always a part of me that misses and aches for Jamie.
Warning: Discussion of infertility.
Mother’s Day 1963
Tick tock. Tick tock. The minute hand moved across the face of the clock, inching its way to the six. Five thirty. She had told them to be there at five. It had now been thirty minutes and all they could do was sit in the office, covered in pictures of happy families and babies...so many babies.
She could feel the tears well up behind her eyes as she fought bravely to remain in control of her emotions. It hurt in a way she couldn’t possibly define. That aching need to feel her arms wrap around a child she could call her own. The emptiness that grew bigger and bigger with each passing day as she and her husband struggled to find the answers to why God chose not to bless them with a child of their own.
Her husband reached over to squeeze her hand, giving her the silent strength she needed with a simple touch. She offered him a watery smile and took a deep breath. The door handle creaked as the door cracked open and her doctor finally entered the room.
“Sorry to keep you. It’s just been one of those days.” She offered a warm smile before replacing it with a serious expression as she took her seat behind her desk and pulled open the file in her hand. She let out a “hmm,” as she looked over whatever was inside the file.
She wanted to scream.
She wanted to yell.
She wanted to throw something.
Answers. That was why they were here and the not knowing was killing her. Thankfully her husband seemed to pick up on her panic and cleared his throat, “Doctor, on the phone you said you had some answers?”
“Yes,” she cleared her throat and looked back at them. “The results aren’t good unfortunately.”
A hard sob escaped her lips and the room began to spin. She watched the doctor’s lips continue to move and the words that filled the room next consisted of barren, infertile, adoption, and other options were used.
“I’m so sorry.”
Mother’s Day 1969
She held her adopted son’s hand, squeezing it tight as she held the basket of sunflowers she’d gathered with the handmade cards. It had only been a few years since she and her husband had come across that meteor in the sky that led them to the greatest discovery they would ever find. Three years of rejection after rejection and hope after hope dashed over and over again until her life was filled with a joy she never knew she could feel.
“Mo’r f’owers?” her young son asked as well as he could at his age.
Her face brightened as they made their way down the hallway and to the office where she had been so many years ago, clinging to hope and reminded of the joy she couldn’t experience on her own with every turn.
“Martha,” the receptionist greeted when she saw her with the basket of flowers in her hand. “I see you brought a helper this time.”
Martha laughed, looking to her son happily, “Yes, Clark wanted to help.” He looked up at her with a pleading look and she nodded, “Go on.” She handed him a flower and card.
She watched and ran up to one of the women sitting alone in the corner and handed her a card with the flower. The woman smiled back at him and he grinned that infectious grin. This time the tears that came from the woman were tears of joy instead of sorrow.
“You’ve inspired quite a few people to reach out to the bereaved mothers.” The receptionist said, glancing toward Clark. “It’s a beautiful gesture. The flower of hope.”
Martha smiled sadly around the room, knowing some were just getting news of their child being lost and some were reeling from the news of losing hope for the future of a child that never was. While others were suffering through the pain for years. She knew all too well how painful this holiday could be.
“Hope is what keeps you going,” she said with a watery smile.
“Mama! Mama!” She heard her son’s laughter as he ran toward her and she turned to face him.
“I got choo choo!” He showed her the sticker on his hand with a toothy grin.
“Yes you did.” She could feel her heart bursting with love for this little boy that had captured her heart so completely. “Come on, let’s finish passing these out.”
He nodded, taking another flower from the basket and continuing to make this way around the room. She looked to the sign that read, ‘Bereavement Support’ then to another little boy around Clark’s age that was handing out flowers of hope to the members. Some of the members had grown children; others had none. Some had young children and some had grade school-aged children. Each one had a different story but everyone had lost a child in some way or another.
Seeing the initiative she and a few friends had started filled her heart with joy.
Hope. It was a precious gift everyone could do with.