On this Mother’s Day I am grateful for my children and my mother, yet I am thinking of others. The women who have not biologically birthed children but wanted to. The women who have had their children taken away from them far too soon. This one’s for all those who mother us.
I never lived near either set of my grandparents. They were distant figures whom we visited during some holidays and summers. Today there is distance due to death. One grandfather died before I was born, a grandmother when I was 5, and another grandmother when I was in my 30s. My maternal grandfather is in his 90s, in ill health, and lives several states away. Thankfully, I do have precious memories from these visits, but I wasn’t as emotionally close to them as I’ve seen some grandchildren can be who have had more frequent contact with their grandparents.
Given these physical, geographical, and emotional distances, I was determined not to have the same experience for my own children. And yet, here we are in Kentucky with both sets of grandparents in Texas. My children have also not grown up near their aunts, uncles, and cousins as was my experience.
Still, the need for extended family does not go away. Yes, we love them dearly and have as much physical and electronic contact as we can. They are frequently in our thoughts, and it is comforting to know that we are in theirs.
A beautiful thing has happened along the way. My children have “adopted” some women as important family members. These women have played with and prayed for my children. They have given hugs, kisses, advice, and gifts and cheered them on. I am so grateful to them for the love and care they have given my children. They may not be biologically related but they hold a special place in my children’s hearts and my own.
So I encourage you, whether or not you have children of your own, to become an “adopted” relative of a child such as my own children and the child I was. Look around. Ask around. With our geographically pulled society, there are children and youth everywhere that are in need of your special gifts.
Because there’s no such thing as too much love.