To Know A Mother’s Story

“But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.” ― Mitch Albom, For One More Day

I’ve glimpsed the hand-painted-wrapping papered packages that came home from school on Friday. My husband snuck out of the house on Saturday afternoon with our two oldest to make a trip to “the store.” All signs point to Mother’s Day.

As I ready myself for the celebration I am fortunate to partake in—a day orchestrated by my husband and kids, and shared with my extended family. I find myself reflecting on all the mothers I know.

Something changed in me when I became a mother. I think Annie Lennox says it well in this quote: “Motherhood was the great equalizer for me; I started to identify with everybody… as a mother, you have that impulse to wish that no child should ever be hurt, or abused, or go hungry, or not have opportunities in life.”

I agree. But I also feel that I identify with mothers in much the same way. I have an impulse to wish that no mother should be hurt, or abused, or go hungry, or not have opportunities in life.

I don’t claim to know much, but this I do know…

I know mothers of one, two, three, four, five, and mothers of ten.

I know mothers who lived to be great-great-grandmothers and mothers who passed only moments after becoming a mother for the first time.

I know mothers who smile because they are happy, and I know mothers who smile because they don’t want anyone to know they are unhappy.

I know mothers who have never given birth but raise children, and I know mothers who have given birth but do not raise those children.

I know mothers who are married, mothers who are divorced, mothers who are single, and mothers who are partnered with other mothers.

I know mothers who have cancer, mothers who care for their mothers with cancer, and mothers who care for their children with cancer.

I know mothers who believe motherhood has made them beautiful, and mothers who believe motherhood makes them their ugliest.

I know mothers who yell and mothers who cannot speak.

I know mothers who have lost their mothers, or spouses…or children.

I know mothers who run marathons and mothers who are in wheelchairs.

I know mothers who hold double PhD’s and mothers who are fifteen.

I know mothers who live in million-dollar homes and mothers who live in their cars.

I know mothers who have made mistakes…and mothers who have made mistakes.

I know mothers who love their children…and mothers who love their children.

On this day for and about mothers, while I soak up the love from my own children, my husband, my extended family, friends, and community…each time I hear the words, “Happy Mother’s Day,” I will say a silent prayer for every mother. For I know, we are far more alike than we will ever be different, and there is a story behind everything…and behind that is your mother’s story.