Saturday, May 07, 2011

A Mother's Day tribute

My poor wife hasn't had a proper Mother's Day in decades.

You know, one where dad & kids get up early, make breakfast to bring to her in bed with a little vase on the tray and cards tucked under the plate.  One where she didn't have to lift a finger to cook or clean all day because her appreciative family took care of all that for her.  She can't remember the last time she had one of those, if she ever has.

It wasn't that the kids and I didn't love her and want her to have a good Mother's Day.  The main reason was that our local right to life chapter offered roses at local parishes on Mother's Day as a fundraiser.  This meant setting up on Saturday afternoon, staffing the tables for the vigil Mass and all the morning Masses, and then packing up, bringing the remnants home, and packing them away.  Typically we wouldn't all be done until 2:30 or 3:00, at which point all of us wanted to do nothing more than rest.  Thus for years my dedicated wife sacrificed her Mother's Days to the pro-life cause.

This year was supposed to be different.  I was rallying a few KofC members to help with the tables, and our youngest son was home from college.  She was going to be singing at two Masses anyway, but she wasn't planning on staffing tables, at least.  She might not get the breakfast in bed, but she wouldn't have to shoulder much of the burden of the fundraiser.

Then the phone rang last Thursday.  Our eldest daughter, who is well along with twins, was having hard, regular contractions at 33 weeks - not a catastrophe, but worrisome enough.  She was being admitted for observation, and Ellen was needed to watch the little ones and run the house while daughter and husband were at the hospital.  This wasn't completely unexpected, so Ellen packed up and headed down.  Fortunately, things didn't go so far as premature delivery: rest and a few appropriate medications slowed the contractions down to the point that my daughter was sent home from the hospital today with a prescription for strict bed rest. 

For Ellen, that means what we expected it would mean when this pregnancy got near this stage: she's managing our daughter's home for the remainder of the pregnancy (which will probably be no more than a couple of weeks at best.) She'll tend to dinners and kiddos and laundry and diapers and all the other things that will need tending while my daughter is restricted to bed for the sake of the babies she bears.  Ellen will have the help of sisters who live in the area, and Arwen's helpful husband (when he's not at work), but the brunt of the household management will fall on her.

Just in time for Mother's Day.

Which means, once again, my longsuffering wife is giving up her Mother's Day for the sake of unborn children.  This time it happens to be her own grandchildren, who she'll be able to hold before very long, but it's still a sacrifice.  In years past I've assured her that the Lord will make up to her all these Mother's Days she gave up for the sake of others.  And, given what He's asked her to do over the decades, I'm sure it'll be quite a reward.

It can't come a moment too soon.

Happy Mother's Day, precious wife.

1 comment:

Branwen said...

Mom is definitely the best and a wonderful example for all of us!!