There are many kinds of people who make up our world.
There are people who fight. They grab each day by the throat and don’t let go until they get that day done.
There are people who pretend. Who make it look like they can do the things they cannot so that the world will applaud them. But the world never applauds anyone, not in any real way, and their hearts are destined to break.
There are people who burn. Who carry a furnace fuelled by bitterness because life has flowed around them like a river, and they cannot bend the currents to their will. Steam and noise ensue, and peace is a laughable dream.
There is another kind. There are quiet, shy people who hate storms. Who try, every day, to stand, walk, and even carry others with whatever power they have, which varies every day. Whose tools get lost or break or were never in the toolbox, or the storm has whipped them away, lost in the wind and sound and terror. But every day, they try.
They get up, in the face of panic and fear, and they try. Some days they are beaten before they even open their eyes, and the trying takes too long, and it’s hard.
But somehow, they do it. And life and the world do not record their battles, don’t call their names, don’t applaud. Sometimes, it only announces their failures, which feeds the opinion of the ignorant. The world expects perfection while it takes away their tools. The world demands more while it pressures you with less.
Less money for your work, less support for your children, less respect for your thoughts, less power for your person, less safety for your travels, less consequence for your violation.
It presses down while screaming to get up. And it is hard.
But these people, in the storm, they still try.
These people are called Mothers.
I’m lucky enough to have one for a partner. My wife’s tools are being plucked away by the storm piece by piece. In the cruellest irony, by an invisible disease that very few people will ever understand. They see the vibrant, shining soul that she is, and rejoice in her radiance, and never see her storm. She refuses to show it to anyone.
She’s such a Mother that she’ll be one to those who are not even hers. She’ll take on the job for those in pain out of sheer mercy and grace, and never asks for recognition, or control, or any reward at all.
She will simply because it is Right.
She’ll step into the deeper storm, knowing some of her tools are missing.
Because that is what Mothers do.
My own mother should have folded under the storm a thousand times. Sometimes, the storm was me. Other times, it was the world, trying to crush her. She would have none of that.
I am privileged. Both women made me this man.
We get one day.
To tell them that we get it. That we see them. That we appreciate them. That they are valued. Loved. That we know. That we can never properly thank them, but on this day, we will try.
To my Mom, all I can say is Thank You.
To my wife, I see you. I know. And I see the storm. I hate it, and I wish I could crush it; wither it, so that it did not trample you. But I can’t. I will always offer my hand, even when you refuse to take it. Because you fight ten times harder than I do. Even now, as two young men who you gave birth to, who you taught how to temper my cold spite with your warmth and love, prepare to step away from you and make their mark, two standing examples of your success, you find yourself wanting in their forging. You did it. You mastered it. You won. I love you. I Thank You.
To every one of you reading this who are Mothers, I Thank You. The world will never applaud. Not the way it should. But maybe, having a day that tells you we know you’re important is a sign for you. That we see you, and that we care.
Happy Mother’s Day.