Happy Mother’s Day to all you sweet mamas out there!
At work on Friday, many erroneously wished me a Happy Mother’s Day. I smiled, thanked them & mumbled under my breath as they walked away that I’m not a mom (yet). It’s the thought that counts, I know.
The more Mother’s Days I live through, the easier it gets to not have a mom who I can find an appropriate Hallmark card for at Walgreens. (Thank goodness I can make my own cards.) The same goes for Father’s Days. My healing journey certainly isn’t linear, so I’m likely to experience some emotional backsliding at times, but, finally, at 25, I’ve started to accept that this, my story, is my cross to bear. It’s taken a lot of tears, prayers (my own & those of others) & courage to talk about & work on the emotional damage.
As I prayed yesterday morning, the Lord laid it on my heart that my mama was chosen to birth me. Even though now me having peace means she cannot be apart of my life, her being my mama was on purpose. It’s tough to acknowledge & accept that, as she has hurt me deeply. I don’t want to acknowledge or accept that sometimes. I would be lying if I told you I haven’t thought it would’ve been better for her to have never become a mother. I know that means these words would never exist & I wouldn’t either. Nevertheless, I must recognize that God’s divine plan was for Wanda Shields to birth Kaitlin Johnston.
Just as the Lord destined for my mama to be my mama, He planned ahead for her lacking. He chose my daddy to be my daddy. He gave my daddy a loving mama, who would love me like a mama. He already had this taken care of before I entered the world. He knew long before I was born that the devil would use emotional pain & prescription meds to take my mama.
I would say I miss her, but I never fully had her in the first place. So I guess I should say that I wish I could have a healthy mama. I haven’t heard her voice, seen her face or been wrapped in her hug in 2 years. Once in a blue moon, I will have a good 5 minute cry grieving her, but then I remember the peace the Lord has afforded me since I told her, in love, that she needs to get better before I can have a relationship with her. I can’t give up that long-term peace for temporary feelings. Now that I’m planning a wedding, a part of me desires to have her to talk to… to share wedding details with, to daydream with about what my dress will look like, etc. It’s tough, y’all. Wedding traditions are growing to be one of my least favorite things, as a child of a broken biological family & an emotionally abusive blended family…
As I mentioned earlier, my daddy’s mama has loved me like a mama. Boy am I blessed to be her grandbaby! I really cannot begin to express my gratitude to the Lord for planning Nancy Jones to be my Mamaw. He had me taken care of all along! (& He’s got you, too! Even if you can’t see it now.) At this point in my life, I say I have 2 moms, but they’re not lesbians. Mamaw & my aunt, my daddy’s sister. I am also incredibly blessed that the Lord planned Kim Johnston to be my aunt. I imagine what relationships I share with Mamaw & my aunt are what daughters refer to when they say their moms are their best friends. I can be real with them. I can ask for advice knowing their wisdom will be sound. I know they love me unconditionally.
I have other “2nd moms” in my life. I feel like we all end up with ladies in our lives who loves us like their own. These ladies are hugs from heaven & they have each served unique mom-like purposes in my life. I am so thankful for each of them… Tina Cook, Amanda Wood-Williams, Deanna Coffey, Henrietta Whisenant, Vicki Graham, Beth Hobbs Smith, Terri Hare, Tammy Gordon & more.
I also want to take a little time to acknowledge my future mother-in-law, Donna Briggs Phifer. Donna, my heart is saddened that I’ll never get to meet you on this side of glory. I’m hoping I’ll get to meet you on the other side. I want you to know that your baby boy is a better man because of you. Kidney disease took your body way too soon, but please know Josh has grown by leaps & bounds because of the Lord’s plan for your life. It wasn’t all for nothing. Everything has served a purpose.
I am sad that I’ll only ever hear stories about you & how funny you were. As I get to know your family & see how much fun they have together, I know that you have left a lasting impact on each of their lives. The love your family has for you has been such a blessing to witness.
While I’ll always be sad that you aren’t here, I will rejoice knowing that your impact on my future husband will trickle down into the lives of our future children. All I hear about you is the joy that you had. While it would be easy to remain sorrowful, I want to live joyfully, in your honor. I want my kids, your grandbabies, to know & remember me as a joyful mama, just as your kids describe you. If my kids have half the love for me that yours have for you, I’ll consider myself blessed.
So while I can’t deliver a card to you now, as I so desire to, I’m asking the Lord to send an angel to you to convey my heart. Trust me, your hand-drawn card would be beautiful with vibrant colors & meaningful words. Happy Mother’s Day, Donna.
Mamas are so important. Often, their everyday tasks, which help shape their babies’ lives, go unnoticed & unappreciated, as the tasks might seem trivial. Today, my hat is off to you, mamas, for braving baby-raising. It takes true guts to do so. I hope you all feel honored & appreciated on this special day!
Sending all my love.