Mother’s Day. Like lots of things, it’s what you make of it (or don't).
For some, it’s a day to celebrate by taking the matriarch of the family to brunch or by sending a heartfelt card. For others, it’s a day that plays out like any other day, with little attention paid to the so-called holiday. And for some, Mother’s Day is a day that seesaws between celebration and sadness.
Mother’s Day took on a dual meaning for me the year we lost our first pregnancy at 18 weeks. The holiday was no longer a day reserved to celebrate the mother figures in my life. It also became a day to grieve the fact that I was, for a fleeting moment, a mother myself.
For me, the word mother is a loaded one. It is what I want to be but I am not (yet). In my lowest moments, I remind myself that it will happen when it happens and that I have no idea what I'm getting myself into (ha!). In the meantime, I am doing my best to stay present and not listen to what the fertility drugs are telling me (David and I are in the middle of an IVF cycle as I type this). I don't share any of this for sympathy. I share because as women, we need to get better about sharing. Revealing ourselves is how we get stronger.
I share this knowing everyone has their own unique story. Families in our society are diverse and varied. Your definition of the word mother is surely different than your neighbor’s definition.
Not everyone wants to be a mother. Not everyone is/was close to their mother. Lots of people have two mothers. Some people haven’t met their mother. Some of us have a birth mother and an adoptive mother; we might know both or neither very well. We may have had a sister or aunt or relative who raised us. Some of us don't get to see our mothers enough, and some of us are grieving the fact that we won't get to see our mothers again (at least, not in the way we're used to).
I think it's kind of beautiful that mother means something entirely unique for everyone.
Which is why at Grayling, we’re putting up a window installation for the entire month of May. Each member of our team has chosen photographs from their personal collections of many of the influential mothers in their lives. Some are alive, others are not, but all of them helped us become the women we are today.
How do you feel about Mother's Day? What does the word mother mean to you?
We hope you'll check our windows out the next time you're in the neighborhood (we’ll be sharing snaps on Instagram, too)! Here's a preview below.
- - - - -
My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Eighteen months before I was born, my mother was in Auschwitz. She weighed 49 pounds. She always told me that God saved her so she could give me life.
Diane von Furstenberg
I think about my mother every day. But usually the thoughts are fleeting - she crosses my mind like a spring cardinal that flies past the edge of your eye: startling, luminous, lovely... gone.
Most turkeys taste better the day after, my mother's tasted better the day before.