Mother’s Day Memories
As a postpartum doula, I am graced to witness the beginnings of motherhood with so many women. Their joys, their trials and tribulations, and their personal journeys. They share those moments with me as I support them during one of the most momentous life changes they may ever experience.
Today, I ponder my own journey through motherhood… from the beginning through it’s many twists and turns: the rough start as a single, young mother; navigating my partner’s infertility; fostering and adopting children; having a hysterectomy and feeling the finality of my time as a childbearing woman, and then losing a child to suicide; lastly, watching my own daughters become Mothers and supporting them as they navigate their own paths. These experiences are my stepping stones through motherhood.
When we build a pathway in our home’s yard, we often scatter decorative stones or plants between the stepping stones for color and texture. I was thinking today, as all of my children are grown, about bygone Mother’s Days and the sweet gifts my children would deliver, tasks they would lovingly do or messages they would write.
Those gifts are like the pretty little plants we would put between the stepping stones in our path….they provide brightness and cheeriness and joy; they take root and grow as the motherhood journey continues.
I find myself reminiscing about some of those gifts:
An adjustable ring bought at the school’s “store” that still sits in my jewelry case to this day
Notes slid under the door made with crayons and paper torn from a spiral notebook
The most gigantic card EVER
Breakfast in bed
Shopping trips with my adult daughter to celebrate our motherhood together
Heartfelt texts and electronic messages sent from children that I call my “Others” loving me as their own just as I love them
My children gathering to plant my garden while I sat and watched and sometimes minded the grandbaby….and then sitting down together for a dinner on the patio.
In the grand scheme of life these things are but little gestures, but, when coupled with love and joy, they pave a sweet path of memories that are priceless in their value. They become treasures.
This year is different. There are no gatherings or visits or garden plantings together. There is no shopping and visiting small little towns. I will plant flowers. I will wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day and they will tell me the same. I will breathe in and stare at the gift I buy myself yearly in honor of my child who isn’t here…..and I will feel loved and ready to take on the next twist in the path of motherhood. I will bask in the memories of bygone Mother’s Days and feel hopeful for better days ahead.
I will be grateful to wear the badge of Motherhood. Happy Mother’s Day to all who share this title.
Family Tree Doula Services is a postpartum doula agency serving Portland, Oregon and the surrounding area. Our team of professional postpartum doulas provides in-home, daytime and overnight care for babies and parents. We provide care to birthing, adoptive and intended parents alike. Our postpartum doulas offer families unbiased, non-judgmentalI emotional, physical and educational support from the time a baby is born through their first year. Owner and Certified Postpartum Doula, Sheryl Cooksley, takes pride in providing exceptional customer service and a warm, friendly, “outside-of-the-box” approach to caring for Portland area families.