A Mother’s Grace

I usually don’t blog on the weekend but on this Mother’s Day I choose to share. Because yes, it does matter. I wasn’t sure how to sum up what I aim to do on this blog. Then one day – in the midst of life’s chaos and noise – it came to me.  “Share. It matters.” Did you notice it there? Right at the top of this page under the blog’s title “The Sentimentalist”? Well it does matter. It is how we learn and grow. We share and then we feel human because we realize there are others out there who have been through the battle too. Others who question by our sides – seeking answers – and hoping to heal.

A cherished friend shared a blog with me recently and it stopped me in my tracks. It is written by a woman who understands the power of words. She has been dealt the hand that we all pray never comes our way and yet she survived. She survived and she is healing. Mourning and healing. Healing and mourning. And she has found peace and perhaps some salvation in the written word.

Today I bring you the words of Settle Monroe who knows great love and great loss. She is a mother so she will never forget, but because she is a mother she goes on. She shares her most intimate thoughts on her blog As I Walk. Despite losing one of her twin sons at age 3 – she has not lost her faith. I am inspired by the beautiful way she puts words together to express that. I think you will be too. Below she so eloquently identifies the many faces of motherhood.


Grace to you, Mothers by Settle Monroe

Let’s say Grace together on this Mother’s Day

I see you, Mother in the store, with one child skipping around and the other flailing on the ground.  I see you with your list and your haste, your mind scrambled and your eyes tired. You juggle opening the unpaid-for bag of fruit snacks for one, while explaining to the other why you are not buying that Batman car. When the store employee walks down the aisle, you avert your eyes because almost every last box of snack items in your cart has been opened and several shiny vegetables now leave a trail behind you. I see you thinking, if I can just get to the car with these children and these groceries, I will finally exhale.  Grace to you, Mother in the store.

I see you, Mother with the swollen belly, and the brand new maternity clothes that tell me that this child you are growing will be the first to call you Mother.  I see your face of eagerness and feel your spirit of anticipation. I sense your seeds of insecurity and touch the pulse of your growing excitement.  You are waddling in wonder right into the blessed unknown, trying to imagine the life inside of you, the life you already love.  Grace to you, Mother with the swollen belly.

I see you, Mother of a Mother, with the grandchild at your heels.  You never knew that your love could stretch just as long and as deep as it did for your own, but here with this child, you know that it has.  Though you tire more quickly and your energy has ends, you are renewed by the presence of your little one, the one who believes that you can do no wrong.  You sit on the front row and stand on the sidelines, clapping and cheering, simply because you adore the child of your child.  Grace to you, Mother of a Mother.

I see you, Mother at ease, enjoying this blessed season of lightness.  You watch your children grow and change beneath you and it feels like witnessing the unfolding of miracles.  Contentment colors your days and thanksgiving is the wind at your back.  You know that perfection is nothing but an endless latter to climb, but right now, things are pretty darn good.  Oh, enjoy it, Mother at ease. Dig into it and savor this season.  You may need its stored up goodness for another day.  You encourage and spur along the mothers around you.  Grace to you, Mother at ease.

I see you, Mother in waiting, whose inner longing is invisible to the world. You memorize the calendar, take test after test, and time and time again, hope is deferred.  You watch and smile as your friends clamor on about babies, and you wonder if you have been silently slid to a lower level among them.  As the months roll on, people tip-toe around this painful subject, but your tears do not cease.  I see you, Mother in waiting, and I know that there is no force stronger than a woman’s desire to bring forth life.  Grace to you, Mother in waiting.

I see you, Mother of the child with special needs, and I want my simple smile of absolute adoration to be a metal on your chest.  The little love of your life may not fit into the standards and charts at the pediatrician’s office but you know, you know, that he or she is immeasurable.  Year after year, you do the hard, holy work of digging deep to protect, to teach and to advocate for your child.  You have to search to find the therapists, the schools and the community that best fit your baby’s needs, and you are tired.  But Mother, you are tired because you are running a race worth running.  I see you, and I am cheering you on.  Grace to you, Mother of a child with special needs.

I see you, Mother in mourning, crying in the kitchen before laughing in the living room.  I see the way you walk with a limp, from a wound too deep to hide, and too painful to cover.  I see you carpooling and cartwheeling, licking down cowlicks and straightening up crooked shirts, while that wound changes and heals within you.  Your children see your tears, but they see also your truth, and you wonder if maybe, possibly, your family is forming a new kind of wholeness.  Joy is peering out of your grief and it is almost as scary as your pain.  But your hands keep moving to your widening heart and you step forth in hope, day after day. Grace to you, Mother in mourning.

I see you, Mother of many who never did and never will live under your roof. I see you walking with a friend in need and sharing coffee with a woman with a downcast spirit.  I hear you offering counsel and help to others around you.  There are days that you believe that you missed out on a woman’s rite of passage.  But Mother of many, you are blazing new trails with courage. And a woman’s worth is never measured by the size of her quiver.  The fruits of your labor are scattered across the city, and they nourish and nurture as only a Mother of many could.  For though you bore no offspring, and your service is too often ignored, you breathe life, Mother of many.  You breathe life to the full, and I see you. Grace to you, Mother of many.

Mothers, I see you.  I see how hard you work.  I see how much it can hurt to have vulnerability walking around outside of you.  I see you split open with so much love, and I see you carrying your load with incredible gratitude and humility.  And I see you laughing with joy as you do it.  I see you showing up, minute by minute and day by day.  I see the life that springs from you, and it is a beautiful sight to behold.  Grace to you, Mothers.


Grace to all today. Settle Monroe I hear you loud and clear.

If this rings true to you – please do share it with others. It matters.

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