I didn't get to spend Mother's Day with my ma or Ross's mama. I did, however, get to go on a glorious run along the Chattahoochee river. While I waited on Ross and the puppy to return from their walk in the woods, I sat on the bank and threw rocks in the river. The breeze swooped off the river and filled me with a lightness, a peace that was so refreshing. And I happily thought of the mamas I know.
First, I thought of the most important mama. The one who gave birth to a son, knowing He would be taken from Her. Knowing she would have to watch his torture and death. She would literally hand away her baby boy out of obedience and trust in God. Lord help the person who ever tries to take a baby out of my arms. Guess that's why God picked her to be the mother of the Savior, not me :)
A very, very close second is my ma. She has given every morsel of her heart, soul, wallet, energy, and being to her own children and to some others who have come into our lives. She can tell without the bat of an eye when her child is angry or sad, difficult because us Sullivan's often show the same behaviors for both. I am seriously at a loss for words to describe her. I just know that a part of me craves children because I NEED to give the way she gave, teach the way she taught, and love the way she loved. She defines the word 'mother' and is the closest thing on earth to knowing the selflessness and all encompassing love the Lord's mother has for us.
Now if I learned how to be a mom from my ma, I learned what a grandma is from two amazing grandmothers. Both different in the way they loved, but equally in love with their grandchildren. From bouncing on my grandma's knees to watching my me-ma and her best friend play cards with pennies, I grew up with the warmth of two ladies, one in heaven, one who, thank you Lord, is still making trouble today. This one happens to be the one I thank for teaching me about Jesus and about the richness of our faith. I will never attend a Mass without thinking of standing next to my grandma, each year getting taller than her, as we celebrate Mass together.
This year, I celebrate a new mother in my life. My soon to be mother-in-law. Mama Busha (which comically translates into mama, grandma in polish) is this fantastic new addition to my life. She is active, energetic, chatty, spirited, faithful. And if you judge a mother by her children, well, jackpot. She raised three children that I have grown to love, one who blessed us by allowing us to be the Godparents for their son, one, a mama herself, is raising three phenomenal little boys and another one that I love with every part of my heart. I owe her such a debt of gratitude for mothering R in a way that grew him into the man of faith, integrity, passion and energy that he is today.
This mother's day was particularly special for the newest member of the mommy club. This past Wednesday, our beautiful chaplain at Grady, welcomed a daughter. I have been blessed to know S before she got married and as she's walked this journey to her baby. I squealed (and squealed and squealed) when she found out she was pregnant. And tomorrow I'm going to her house and am going to steal her baby. Seriously.
And this mother's day was sadly heart wrenching for another mom. Mama C lost her son a year ago this mother's day, adding to the brutality of this anniversary. She walks this horrid road with grace and dignity but I know her heart still aches and aches for her son to be alive again. I am so thankful that she continues to navigate such a difficult sea because she blesses my life and so many others by doing so.
With Mama C, I thought of the other 'pseudo' mothers in my life. The Missionaries of Charity and other religious who mother the masses, the mamas of four legged babies, the aunts who love and care for us as their own. And I thought of the ladies who are awaiting their babies and are tenderly caring for them until their arrivals. For Mel, Elizabeth and Nat, Happy 1st Mother's Day and I cannot wait to meet your sweet babies.
As another breeze came off the river and I said a prayer of thanks for these mamas, I thought lastly of those who yearn to be mothers. I prayed for friends and others who suffer from infertility and who pray daily for the chance to join this elite club. I prayed that God would bring them a child however he so chooses. And I closed this prayer on the river with a little prayer for myself, that when the time is right, God would make me a mama too. Because with the ladies listed above as my mentors, some kid might be pretty lucky.