Sometimes Mothers Day Hurts

May 8, 2016

Sometimes Mothers Day Hurts

I remember a day not so long ago that I awoke with heaviness as if bricks were piled high on my heart. It hurt to breathe.  I thought to myself, do I have to open my eyes and get on with my day?  How could I possibly enjoy Mothers Day with my child far away in a place she doesn’t want to be?

I knew she was in such agony and so angry with me.  I was sure she felt abandoned and blamed me.  See she was my child that never liked to spend a night away from home.  And I had sent her halfway across the country to a place that I thought would help her in a way that I wasn’t able.   

How could I face those happy mothers at church and brunch?   How could I give my other two children the love they needed on this day.  How could I accept recognition as a mother when I felt like such a failure?   How could I give my momma the love she so deserved on this day when my heart was breaking?  I was riddled with such deep pain. 

Life had not turned out as I expected and I so wanted it to be different!

I let my mind wander; I remembered back to another Mothers Day when my sweet friend, Sara, eloquently demonstrated how to embrace the sadness and the beauty of the day.

Sara had cancer and was seeking treatment at a hospital close to me.  I loved visiting her.  But that particular day I dreaded the visit and put it off until the end of the day. I had muddled through a celebration with my family where our hearts were heavy with the pain of loving and hurting for someone with cancer.  Thoughts raced through my mind, how could I visit her and keep it together?  Would she even want to see me on Mothers Day when her children were 275 miles away?  I wondered if this would be the last mother’s day she would have, If that were true it just seemed wrong to enjoy the day.

Upon arriving at the hospital, my husband and I left our children in the waiting room so not to upset her. To our surprise, we found a smiling beautiful lady who asked to visit with our children.  Sara’s life was hanging in the balance; her children were far away and yet she was ready to embrace the beauty of the moment.

Remembering my sweet friend’s example, I then faced my mother’s day determined to find the beauty in it. I would choose to embrace the pain and the joy of the day, just like Sara did.  I leaned on God; counted what I did have, and embraced the moments of the day.  Yes, of course, I cried, and I missed my child immensely.  I focused on what I did have – not what I didn’t have!

Of course, those around me had no idea how to treat me.  I could see and feel their looks of worry. Do we mention who is missing? So I helped them by announcing,  “Today is a special day. Yes, I am sad, but I will embrace all the joy this day has to offer.  I will have tears of sadness and tears of joy.  One will not cancel the other out.” 

So when I received that unexpected call from afar to wish me a “Happy Mothers Day” and hear those words, “I love you.”  I considered it, icing on the cake.  I embraced that moment.  I concentrated on just how good that was and not anything else. 

Things that helped me that day:

•   Embracing the sadness in the day

•    Embracing the beauty in the day

•    Counting my blessings

•    Announcing my plan

•    Letting go of guilt

•    Staying in the present moment

Sometimes the pain is so great it is just impossible to embrace anything.  I get that.  Sometimes we can just endure the day, and nothing more.   Sometimes the most we can muster up is just being thankful the day is over.  That is Okay.  

I hope where ever life finds you in whatever life circumstances that you will remember my sweet friend and how she was able to find beauty in her day.

I would love to hear how you embrace special days when in the midst of pain. 

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  1. Reply

    Erin @

    This is another wonderful post to pin. Your friend had the right idea- to enjoy her day despite Cancer. Lovely woman. We could all learn so much from her. This year I wrote a post for the women who were childless on Mother’s Day.
    Your thoughts, about your daughter being away and you not wanting to put on the happy face at church, reminded me of this. I pray things are going better for you now than they were when you wrote this post.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Erin, Yes, this memory is from years ago. We still have our ups and downs, but she is with me not away. Thank you for sharing your post I will go on and read it in a few minutes. Hope your weekend is fantastic. Maree

  2. Reply


    So true, that the one doesn’t conflict with the other. We can feel joy and sadness at the same time, just like we can feel joy over the salvation of one, and despair at the plight of the world full of sin. Thank you for sharing your story and how you were able to keep a positive outlook.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Liz, I love the example you gave of salvation and plight of the world. So true both can be true. Maree

  3. Reply


    I miss my Mom, but my sweet girls make up for her loss. So many are struggling to have babies, and I have 2 healthy ones. I want to celebrate with them!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Sarah – I am so glad you have your sweet girls. I know so many will be struggling this Mother’s Day. My heart breaks for those that are hurting. Maree

  4. Reply

    Brandi Raae

    I’ve been blessed so far to be able to enjoy Mother’s Day. I have a close relationship with my mom, and I love celebrating with my own kids. It’s the hardest day of the year for my husband, though. So, glad he is able to focus on me and make the day special for me despite his feelings. 🙂 Thanks for sharing at Literacy Musing Mondays.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Brandi – I pray you continue to be blessed on Mothers Day. I am so glad your husband can set aside that day and focus on you. Mother’s Day is so hard for many. Maree

  5. Reply

    Debbie Kitterman

    Maree – I love that you shared authentically and transparently what so many suffer in silence about when it comes to mothers day. Mother’s Day is hard for more women than we know. thank you for sharing this beautiful tender piece. Thanks for linking up with #TuneInThursday last week. Hope to see you tomorrow too.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Debbie, It so true many women find Mother’s Day to be difficult for so many reasons. I too will be pulling from my own words to enjoy this one coming up. Blessings, Maree

  6. Reply

    Meg Gemelli

    A wonderfully compassionate take on Mother’s Day. Beautiful Maree. Thank you.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Meg – Thank you! Maree

  7. Reply


    Maree Dee,
    I have had real struggles with Mother’s Day too. I realized a couple weeks ago that the hurts from my very first Mother’s Day were still unhealed. That’s really sad since my oldest is 24. Harshness in my first marriage seemed to plague that day so I had a bunch of baggage attached to it. The reality is I haven’t been in that marriage for over 7 years and have been carrying the hurt along as I journey life. It’s so sad that we hold onto hurtful memories more than the happy ones. Thankfully I truly feel that God healed my Mother’s Day wounds when when I recognized it a couple weeks ago. I have been in anothear season of healing and restoration with our Daddy. I’m trying to be aware when I get hurt or offended and ask Him what’s causing the reaction instead of just sulking in it or allowing anger to simmer…I’m asking God what is the root cause of this emotion? God has been revealing some deep things and my heart is feeling lighter, freer! Reading your post helped me to recognize that the hurt is gone! Thanks for your words 🙂
    Praying you have a blessed Mother’s Day — beyond what you expect! May the fruit of your labor of love be multiplied in your children’s lives and in your own.
    Be Blessed & Refreshed,
    ~Sherry Stahl

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Sherry – I am so happy God healed our Mother’s Day wounds. It is terrible when we carry them forward, especially when we don’t need to. I am so glad my post helped me to recognize the hurt.

      Thank you for your prayers for a blessed Mother’s Day. We have had a difficult week, and I am going to have to go back and read my own post and look for the blessings in the day. Our day this year will carry “joy” but also deep sorrow for someone that is no longer with us.

      I will be praying you have a spectacular Mothers Day this year.


  8. Reply

    Angela Howard

    I love your heart Maree Dee! It’s so important to be honest and allow for others to be authentic as well. Visiting from #LMMLinkup

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Angela, Thank you – I agree honestly is amazing. Maree

  9. Reply

    Deb Wolf

    Oh, Maree, Our stories are similar and you spoke straight into my heart. Thank you!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Deb – I look forward to getting to know you even better. It does sound like we have some similarities. Always nice to find someone that understands. Maree

  10. Reply


    I have always been away from my parents/Mom for the last 20 years. School and then Marriage took me to a different country all together. I have come to terms with this physical distance especially on Mothers Day by thanking God for my mom, and grandma. I thank the Lord for allowing me to feel pain of separation, and making me dependent solely on Him. Now I can minister to those in pain because of that.

    Blessed post,
    Visiting you from #faith n friend

    Diana –

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Diana – I am sorry you are away from those you love but how wonderful you have God as your source of comfort. Thank you for stopping by. Maree

  11. Reply

    Melissa Wentzel Horan

    Maree, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your journey with us. Each of your essays resonates so deeply with me, and I appreciate and admire your courage, your vulnerability, and your wisdom. One of my friends started a business that supports grieving women ( Their products, as well as the stories featured on their blog and Instagram, have showed me how to love and support my friends during times of loss.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Melissa – Thank you for you encouraging words and for sharing about your friend’s website. I will have to jump over and check it out. Maree

  12. Reply

    Michele Morin

    This will be my first Mother’s Day without my mother here on this planet, so I’m not sure how it’s going to feel, but I sure do appreciate you for opening up here and getting me started on the process of thinking abou it.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Michele, I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. Mothers Day will definitely be different. Praying you will be able to embrace both the pain and the joy. Maree

  13. Reply

    Kristi Woods

    Maree Dee, what a heartfelt, honest post. Looking at what we’ve been given versus what we’re missing is a needed area of focus for many of us. (Can you tell I’m at the front of the line?!) We need that righteous focus. How beautiful that you took a hard situation and showed us how it’s possible. Praise God. #chasingcommunity

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Kristi, Thank you for your kind and generous words. I only wish I could always look at what we have been given. I try. Maree

  14. Reply


    I love this story, Maree, and so appreciate you sharing because I can also relate with having my only child away (by my doing in an effort to help her) on several Mother’s Days! As I write this, however, I am reminded of some very poignant and touching Mother’s Days before and after those difficult days which I am choosing to remember more with a heart of thanksgiving!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      I like that you are choosing to remember with a heart of thanksgiving. I am going to try that with some old memories.

      1. Reply


        Glad to hear that since we can decide the good memories will be the focus in our minds, rather than the painful ones, right?

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