To Chronically Ill Mothers on Mother's Day
Dear chronically ill mom,
I know you’re tired; your body is weak and your mind is heavy. You’ve been pushing day after day to keep your body going. You’re never quite sure you’ll make it through the day when you get out of bed each morning, and you collapse into bed with tear filled eyes each night. I’m talking to you — the mother who carries guilt everywhere she goes for feeling as though she can never do enough for her children. I want you to know you’re not alone out there. I know how you feel both physically and emotionally. On this Mother’s Day, let the guilt dissipate and know that you have done enough.
I know the play dates that never were, the plans that were never made for fear of not being able to make it. I know the long list of plans that were cancelled because you weren’t physically capable of following through. I know the times you had to ask for help to make sure your children were able to attend parties, school functions and special events — the times that made you feel dependent on others when all you wanted was to be an independent, capable mother. I feel the guilt that sits on your shoulders. I’m familiar with the grief that weighs on your mind when thinking about your past, healthy life. Let’s let all of this go. Not forever but maybe for a while.
Let’s remember all of the times you did take your children to a party — the times your body allowed you to feel, even for a moment, like a normal human being. Let’s remember the family trips to museums, outdoor gardens and the beach. You haven’t missed it all; in fact, you’ve been there for more than you realize. Let’s recall the times your children thanked you, hugged you and smiled with excitement; you have brought so much joy to their lives. This is what they will remember — the times you spent together as a family.
Here’s to the mothers who are working extra hard to do all of the daily tasks — the mothers who may not be able to complete all of these tasks. There are many of us out there, and we are pushing on together. Today may be tough. Tomorrow may prove difficult. But there can always be a better day around the bend.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of these extraordinary women. You deserve contentment, relief, and endless hope.
A chronically ill mother who understands
Getty image by Artak Khachatryan