Tuesday, October 22, 2013
The sisterhood of mothers
Last night the Princess asked me to read her Someday by Alison McGhee, a book that chokes me up on an ordinary day. I read as much as I could, trying not to cry, and when I got to the page about one day you will hear such sad news that your body will fold with sorrow I could barely get through the sentence. We finished the book and I quietly cried and then noticed that she too was crying. I asked her why and she simply said "Because you are."
It is the crying we do for other people's pain that is the hardest to stop.
Yesterday was no ordinary day.
Yesterday I learned that a friend of mine from high school lost his 11 day old baby. I had been following her progress on Facebook since the day she was born. I had been hoping and wishing and even forced my heathen self to say a prayer or twenty. I asked friends to do the same. But yesterday she lost her fight and they lost her.
I haven't seen my friend in 20 years. I have never met his wife. But I cried for them. I cried in the preschool pick up line. I cried in the shower. I cried myself to sleep.
They talk a lot about the mommy wars. Working moms, stay at home moms, breastfeeding moms, formula feeding moms, attachment moms, um, non-attachment moms. Screw that. We are all mothers. Mothers who love their children. Mothers who love ALL children. When one of us hurts, we all hurt. When one of us cries out in sorrow, we all cry out in sorrow. This is the sisterhood of mothers. While I cannot hope to know the pain, to fully understand it, I feel a paler version of it. I feel it for you. I cry for you. Today I give you my sadness, my tears, my anguish. I hope tomorrow to give you my strength. To give you some small solace in knowing that you are not alone in your pain. That I will not forget. This is the sisterhood of mothers. You are not alone. We are not alone.