This Mother’s Day feels a little different to me than those that have come before. For the first 40 years of my life, I had a mom to honor on this day. My gifts to her in my early years ranged from macaroni art and painted clay jewelry boxes to coupons for ‘free from whining’ chores. I’m proud to say that I matured and that my gifts improved over the years. The last few years of her life (those spent in the nursing home), her favorite gift was a visit from her grandsons on this day. Since she’s been gone, I make the 1 ½ hour drive to her grave sometime between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, just to make sure it looks tidy and has some nice flowers. I’m not one of those people who can feel the presence of their loved one at the grave, but I know my mom would want it to look presentable, and that’s why I do it.
Anyway, this year, for the first time, I have another mother to consider. I mean, I have always known that I had a birth mother out there somewhere, and I’ve thought about her, especially on days like Mother’s Day and my birthday, but she was just an idea in my head. Now, she’s real. I know her name and her address. I’ve seen her picture. I had hoped to meet her by now, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards, at least not now. So, since I have no one to honor in person this year, I offer this letter to my two mothers.
To My Mom: I want to thank you for the faith that brought you to St. Andre’s so many years ago, trusting that God had chosen you to be my mother. Thanks for teaching me that family is about love and not about blood. Thank you for celebrating not only my birthday, but the day you adopted me – and for telling me it was because on that day, you felt joy because your family was complete. Thanks for all the other things you taught me, about the value of being a lifelong learner, about music, and doing the right thing. Thank you for raising me in a home filled with love and laughter. I love you and miss you more than I can say.
To My Birthmother: Thank you for choosing life. Thank you for nurturing me within your body, especially during what must have been a very complicated time for you. Thank you for finding your way to St. Andre’s, and for making what must have been an incredibly difficult choice to give me a chance at a better life. Whatever your reasons for surrendering me, it was the first step that helped me find my way to my forever family. Whether or not you ever decide to meet me, I will always be grateful to you for my life.
Happy Mother’s Day to both of you.
With all my love,
Mary Ellen/ Marjorie
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