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Archive for November, 2010

Happy Mother’s Day

Today is Mothers’ Day in Russia, which makes me think dark, ironic thoughts, if I let myself think too much.  Mothers’ Day. Ha and double ha.  These are the times when I feel cheated; like someone said, “Well, that was a nice interlude, we’re taking your child back now, you can find something else to do with yourself.”  Because I am a mother, but then I’m not really, am I?

Of course I am Sofya’s mother; but somehow that doesn’t cover the emptiness that was supposed to be Liza’s mother.  Besides which, I find myself in a rather ambivalent mood to my motherhood.  What kind of mother loses her child?  Mothers take care of their children, they don’t let them slip through their fingers like sand on the shore.  And not only could I not be a mother to Liza, I don’t seem to be much use as Sofya’s mother either, at times.  I seem to be constantly struggling to fulfill the bare minimum. 

I feel relieved, in a sense, when I’m sick or disheveled or otherwise out of order, because I feel as if I’m paying a penance for failing Liza.  But then I feel guilty for those same disfunctions that prevent me from being adequately there for Sofya.  It’s bewildering and frustrating and demoralizing. 

I can understand, in a backwards way, the sensations of Sarah, Hannah and Elizabeth; the denial of motherhood feels like a slap in the face of my personal femininity.  And makes me feel exposed in the worst way to ridicule and contempt.

I dare say this all sounds very introverted and egotistical; all about me.  And it is, I admit that.  And the sense of exposure and guilt for failure are nowhere with the real loss and grief for my child.  I guess they’re the backside of tragedy- the dark side.

But on such a sentimental holiday, it’s this dark side that clouds my vision and makes me laugh at myself .  I can’t judge what kind of mother I am, but definitely not a very successful one.

On the other hand, I may not be successful but I am blessed.  Reading Psalms 127 I’ve thought regretfully and bitterly that we find ourselves refusing the blessing of children and a full quiver because of my inadequacy to bear them, and tried to find justification for our lack of future blessing.  But today I realized that I was missing an important point: Liza was a gift of the Lord.  And she was a reward.  I take that back.  Liza is a gift and a reward from the Lord.  Maybe not the gift that you write in your list to Santa Claus; but the gift that your parents buy for you to grow into.  And this is a gift that has nothing to do with me as a mother, or my inadequacies.  As is Sofya.  And it has nothing to with my past or future achievements, because I really am only an instrument in God’s hands.

Our children, both of them, are gifts of God’s love and grace.  They are both blessings.  And most importantly, they are in God’s hands.  They aren’t physiological offspring for whom we are solely responsible.  They are created by God, trusted to us for a time, but in His will, and love.  They are His children.

I admit to a rather sceptical, wry attitude to myself as a mother.  But then I try to remember that such an attitude is rather vain and self-conscious.  In reality, I need to be grateful for God’s blessing, and trust to His omniscience and omnipotence.  Every good and perfect gift is from above…  I suppose it makes us feel more important and self-sufficient to be doubtful and introspective, but we’d be better off just trusting God’s wisdom and resting in His knowledge of what’s best.

I’m thankful, very thankful, to be a mother today to both of my girls.  And I will try not to be greedy of future blessing, nor refuse it, but just be happy with what I have- today is Thanksgiving in America, after all.

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Thoughts

Lately I pray “Thy will be done” and then wait for the boom to drop.  Fatalism is a sin I constantly fight.  I know that God’s will is going to be the right choice- but that doesn’t make it the easy or pleasant choice.

And yet, I am learning to be grateful that He took Liza to Himself.  I miss her, I wonder what I might have done better, I go from anger to grief when I see other babies; but I can see- dimly, through a glass- that she is better.

It isn’t easy, but I understand how much happier she is.  I could never have described Liza as a happy baby- although she smiled a few times, and even chuckled- she was patient, but not happy.  Now she is happy, “in Your presence is fulness of joy.”

And I know that she is well.  I get up, panicked, at least once a night to make sure Sofya is breathing, we’re going through a massage course for her leg, she needs to have her blood drawn again, since it’s been six months since we checked her thyroid.  But Liza is with the Great Physician, Who not only heals, but makes whole.

And I will never spend time on my knees begging God to save my child, because she is already with Him.  She will never face temptation, she will never backslide, she will never have to repent, or regret.  I will never doubt that we will meet again in Heaven.

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