When Mother’s Day Isn’t Happy

Mary and the Holy Rosary

You are never alone – Mary knows your Mother’s Day pain.

May 10th, 2009 – Mother’s Day:

It was on Mother’s Day 2009 that my husband suddenly announced he was leaving. We had renewed our vows on Valentine’s Day a few months before, but suddenly I was, “more a friend than anything.”

5 months pregnant with our 5th little boy, I clutched my oversized belly as incapable of comprehending what he was saying as he was of comprehending what he was doing to me, what he would do to our boys.

May 10th, 1996:

It was two days before Mother’s Day in 1996 that I began bleeding. I was almost 7 weeks pregnant. I would bleed and have intense pain for the next 4 weeks until, at 11 weeks, the doctors would finally discover my ectopic pregnancy and rush me in for emergency surgery

Saving my life,

Taking my child’s.

May 10th, 2014:

On this day my boys are 5 hours away at a First Holy Communion. Being told it was an afternoon event, I had said my ex could keep them. I didn’t want to keep my children from being at their cousin’s First Holy Communion. When I found out it was a morning event and they could be back, I pleaded with him to bring them to me.

He refuses.

And so, tomorrow on Mother’s Day 2014, my children will wake up in a hotel I could never afford 2.5 hours away to celebrate Mother’s Day with their father – and his girlfriend.

When Mother’s Day Is Hard to Celebrate:

Trauma has shown me Mother’s Day is not always a cause for celebration.

There are too many who, this Mother’s Day, will mourn the passing of their much loved Mother for the first time and others who will mourn the Mother they never knew because she passed too young, gave them up for adoption, or never let herself be loved.

There are Mothers who will mourn the passing of a child, feeling emptiness in their arms where the child should have rested and in their hearts where that child will rest forever.

There are Mothers who will spend Mother’s Day in hospitals, caring for children, hoping, praying, pleading with the Lord for the child’s life in place of their own.

There are Mothers who have no answers, only questions and insecurities, those with missing children, wondering minute by minute whether their children are at rest or still hoping Mommy saves them from whatever horror they face.

There are Mothers with children enslaved by our cruel culture and by the greed we do nothing about.

There are Mothers who will never be Mothers in the sense we think of Mothers, Mothers of the heart who, for whatever reason, never had the opportunity to hold a precious child in their arms, women who never got pregnant, women who lost unborn children, women whose adoptions fell through.

There are Mothers who chose death through abortion and now ache in their hearts and hold self-forgiveness at bay.

There are Mothers who will suffer because those who should love them most have a propensity for inflicting particularly cruel punishment on days that should be cause for celebration.

There are single Mothers struggling with parenting and protecting and providing and all that goes with doing a job they Love but were never intended to bear alone.

There are Children who will question their worth because their Mothers fail to give them the Love every child deserves.

May 10th – For the Mother’s Who Hurt This Mother’s Day:

What an awakening to the pain of others May 10th has been. What sadness and hurt this day brings to some. I think of the suffering Mary, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, must have endured.

In the fleeing of King Herod’s troops

Upon hearing of the Massacre of Infants

When presenting Jesus to Simeon in the Temple (4th Mystery of the Holy Rosary)

When she could not find her 12 year old Son (5ht Mystery of the Holy Rosary)

In the seemingly endless Last Days before the death of her Son… (The Sorrowful Mysteries)

May 10th – A New Beginning

Even when it is difficult, we must celebrate Mother’s Day, a day honoring those who do one of the two most important jobs the Father gave His children:

mothering (The other is fathering).

At the same time, we are one Body and must reach out to those suffering very real pain on this day.

Every year since 2010, I have dedicated May 10th to honor those who mourn Mother’s Day and to pray these mourners make today their New Beginning.

For me, May 10th is a day of remembering and sharing pain,

but it is also a day of my New Beginning .

for just as there pain in childbirth leads to new life,

the pain I found on this day has led to a new life,

a life I did not know existed within the warm cocoon of marriage.

For this reason, May 10th is listed as my birthday on some social media profiles. It is not my biological birthday, but it is such a day of New Beginnings, a day I was made a different person, a day my world fell apart and I began to understand who I was meant to be, a day Christians would say I was Born Again – although I did not realize it at the time.

If you are suffering this Mother’s Day,

know you are never alone.

You are prayed for and Loved. I pray May 10th becomes a day of Love and hope, forgiveness and Light, a day of Your New Beginning, a day that brings you closer to Christ and His sufferings, a day in which you ask your Father in Heaven and Your Blessed Mother Mary to take you by the heart and by the hand and lead you farther along their path for you, a path with many bumps and turns and stumbles, but a path leading to unconditional Love and everlasting peace, a path and a destination worth celebrating even when the day seems not to be.

Please take some time today to pray for those finding it difficult to celebrate Mother’s Day.

God Bless You on this Un-Mother’s Day…

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7 Comments

  1. […] Day could become a day of utter sadness, not just for me but for my children as well. If I allowed myself to become stuck on day after day […]



  2. […] On Mother’s Day 2009, I was a happy, loving Wife and Mother. I worked part time as youth minister for our local church and ran small SAT group sessions for vacation and new furniture money out of our house – the house my husband and I built together. I put his name first on every card, we sat next to each other at dinner each evening, and held hands as we fell asleep each night. […]



  3. Wanda on May 15, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    A very touching post Strahlen. Mother’s day can bring up many emotions for women.



  4. Ceil on May 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Strahlen, this is such a heart-filled, heart-felt post…and so true too. Mothers Day is not always the happy, ‘breakfast in bed’ day for all mothers. Thank you for sharing your story here, as painful as it may be. I am so glad that the 10th can truly be your birthday.
    I pray that your sons are home soon, knowing even stronger that you are the glue and love that really matters in their young lives.
    Blessings always,
    Ceil
    PS Wish you lived next door…



    • Strahlen on May 12, 2014 at 7:46 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words Ceil. I am happy to say my boys did make it home for Mass Mother’s Day morning after all! It wasn’t how I’d hoped Mother’s Day would be with their handmade signs and breakfast in bed – my favorite part! They usually bring my coffee with tons of sugar and milk (just the way I like it!) and make me pink pancakes (PINK – my own mini rebellion against so much testosterone!) I do miss that, but my oldest two got me really nice cards that they all signed (I’ll probably post pictures of them later), and we were able to have an enjoyable day anyway. Thank you so much again…I wish I lived next door too, but perhaps one day we will get to meet in person! God has a way of arranging things like that! Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!



  5. Caleb Suko on May 10, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Wow, you have quite a story. I glad that you share it because even though there is a lot of pain there I think it will encourage many mothers who have gone through similar things. Ultimately we have to look to God’s grace and realize that he will not leave us even when others will. Thanks for sharing how God worked in your life!



    • Strahlen on May 10, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      Thank you for your encouragement, Caleb. I am amazed at how many others there are in similar situations who are not as fortunate as I am. I am not sure why God gave me the faith I have when so many others falter, but I hope that God uses me to catch some of those stumbling through in the darkness as I was. God continues to work in each of us when we let Him! 🙂



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