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By Tammi Pitzen, Executive Director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County

May is all about our Moms.  If we are a Mom, then a small part may be about us.

Today I am feeling a little melancholy, as one of my friend’s granddaughters passed away after many health challenges.  My heart aches for her and for her daughter as we creep up on Mother’s Day this year.

Robert Browning said “Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” 

As I reflect on the pain and sorrow that my friend is experiencing right now, in this moment, I want to also remind her of the possibilities and amazing things that have been an outgrowth of her love–that love that only a Mother can give.  I want to remind her that the pain that she is feeling does not come without great love.

Not to get too personal here, but my husband and I suffered many loses before our son was gifted to our family.  It was painful.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of my son’s life.  Thinking of my friend today, I would imagine that she too is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of her granddaughter’s life.  Knowing her, I imagine she would not have wanted to be relieved of those challenges because it would mean she would be relieved of the joy and love that came through her opportunity to be her grandma.

It has been said, “A mother’s work is never done.” It has also been said, “Being a mother is the hardest job I have ever had.”

On my best days…my “mother” work is not work at all.  It is love.

On most mornings, I get up and get my son ready for his day.  This includes making breakfast and getting his lunch together.  I actually miss it when I don’t do it.  I still get to brush his hair.  He has decided at eight that he likes having “a lot” of hair.  It is thick, wavy and sometimes unruly.  Some days it makes my husband twitch a little.  I love his hair.

I love it mostly because when he comes to me every morning to brush his hair, it reminds me of my own mom taking care of my hair and the gentle touch (most days…darn ponytails) that came as a part of that.  At night, when he asks his dad to tuck him in, if I am totally transparent, I am disappointed.  And while it seems like I never get it all done…I don’t mind doing the laundry that he leaves me—full of pants with no knees left in them and dirt ground in to every inch.  It means that he lived life to the fullest in those clothes.

So what is the point of today’s blog? I think there are many.

The greatest job in the world is to be a mom—at least in my life.  Savor those moments with your children…those moments will be brief.  Each moment will bring its own joy, but believe me…they will be brief…sixty seconds is gone in a blink of an eye.

Sometimes a mother’s love is not enough.  Period. 

Sometimes a mom loves so much and so hard and does everything right, and her child still struggles.  It isn’t her fault.  It doesn’t matter what the struggle is…mental health, substance abuse, criminal activity, health issues, a death of a parent–a mother’s love cannot always change the struggle, but a mother’s love can make a child feel value and worth.  A mother’s love can build resiliency in her child and her family.  A mother’s love can build self-esteem. A mother’s love can offer refuge in a cruel world.

To all the Mothers in my life, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!

To those who have lost a child, my hope for you is to find comfort in your memories and in the love you created with your child.  To my own Mother, I say thank you for always believing in me, for always loving me and for building me up every chance that presented itself.

To my dear friend, who I purposefully have not identified, I hope she can recognize herself in this blog…and to her dear sweet daughter I wish her peace and comfort and the realization that her love was all she ever needed.

Tammi Pitzen, CAC Executive Director