Rainbows are a gift the droplets of rain bring when we allow the sun to shine back through.
It is that time of year again. Mother’s Day for me celebrates my greatest joy and marks the anniversary of my greatest sadness.
I always loved Mother’s Day when I was growing up. I loved having a special day to honor and celebrate my mom and the role she plays in my life. When I was blessed with beginning my own family, I truly began to understand the immense joy of being a family and being a mom to two amazing children that my husband, Darren, and I had brought into this world. It truly was my greatest joy. Until my sunny skies were darkened by storm clouds that came with a torrential down pour…
On Mother’s Day morning in 2008 I received the news that the love of my life, my husband Darren, the man who had given me the gift of being a mother, was dead. My knees hit the floor and my heart shattered. But I couldn’t fall apart yet. I had to pick myself up off the floor and find the courage to do two more things that Mother’s Day morning that I will never forget. I had to give my young children the news that daddy was gone. And as if that wasn’t hard enough, the next thing I had to do was the hardest thing I have done in my life. I had to call Darren’s mom and give her the same news that she had received 35 years before. Her husband, Darren’s father, had been killed in a plane crash when Darren was 17 months old. This time, I was the one delivering the news that her only child had just been killed in a medical helicopter crash. Mother’s Day would never be the same again for either one of us.
For many years, I did not want to have anything to do with Mother’s Day. It was too painful. I chose to close myself up and stay inside as the proverbial rainstorm went on outside. But as time and healing continued, sunshine began to filter through the cracks in my walls. I began to notice the rainbow that was appearing and it began to shift my perspective. Our children were growing up in a beautiful way. Even though I didn’t want to celebrate Mother’s Day that did not deter them. They still brought home handmade gifts and cards they had made at school to convey their appreciation of me trying my best to be their mom. They attempted to make me breakfast in bed or do some project that was always a big surprise. And through all of this they would inevitably wrap their arms around me and wipe my tears away as they would say, “Daddy was so proud of you”. Our children honored my tears while at the same time celebrated my joys. We were growing tight bonds as a small family. The understanding, warmth of compassion, and strength of courage that has grown from our experiences has woven threads into the tapestry of their lives that is creating two amazing human beings.
Once I made the choice to change my perspective and allow the sun to shine back in, the rainbow appeared. Instead of focusing on grieving for what I no longer had, I was able to shift my focus to the immense gratitude I feel for the gifts we’ve been given: the gift of unconditional eternal love and the gift of being a mom.
Each Mother’s Day now, I am able to celebrate the smiles and hugs from my greatest joys and honor the tears that still flow at times from a place of eternal love. I know now that rainbows are a gift the droplets of rain bring when we allow the sun to shine back through. It is all part of the fabric that makes up the beautiful tapestry of our life.