My very first picture of my biological mom....
Honouring the Women in My Life:
Mother’s Day is a holiday that recognizes motherhood in general and the positive contributions that mothers have made to society. In Canada, Mexico and the United States, Mother’s Day falls on the second Sunday of each May. For me, Mother’s Day, has taken on a whole new meaning for me. It is a day that I can sit back and honour the women in my life who though did not give birth to me, have played a pivotal role in my life.
Due to estrangement, I do not see my biological mother. However on this holiday, I cannot help but sit back and reflect on the fact that if it was not for my mother giving birth to me, I would not be here. If I was not here, I would not be able to experience the life that I have now, who has enjoyed the richness of what other women in my life have been able to give me in place of what my mother could not.
I used to dread Mother’s Day and Father’s Day because it brought back immense feelings of sadness due to the dysfunctional background that I came from. I used to feel jealous of those who had parents and had people in their life that they could call mom and dad. But as I have grown older, I have come to realize that I can turn these holidays into my own. I can do this by honouring those in my life who have stepped in and been that parent or role model to me when I have needed it the most.
Many women, whether they have been in the role of friend, sister, professor and even therapist have helped me along in my journey to where I am at now. They have given me advice when I have needed it. They have given me the encouragement when times got tough and I did not feel I could take another step. They have reminded me to slow down and enjoy each day when they saw me barrelling ahead and stressing myself out. They have reminded me to laugh, and have given me comfort when I was struggling within and had nowhere else to turn.
Mother’s Day is a bittersweet day. It can also be a tough day for anyone who due to estrangement or loss cannot celebrate their Mothers. This year, in particular though, I want to take the time to acknowledge those women in my life who have stepped in and have given me the love and encouragement that my mother could not. You know who you are. I thank my mother for giving me life, and I thank the women in my life who have taken the time to be that surrogate mother I have needed from time to time. My life could not be any richer without you in it.
Previously published in Anishinabek News : www.anishinabek.ca