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When Mother’s Day Is Hard

Written by Don Bartemus on

Think about love, and thoughts about your own mom will not be far behind. On Mother’s Day, it is only good and right to honor, thank, and think about mom. Let your thinking about mom translate into good works. Call her, hug her if she is near, thank her. And if your mom is gone to Heaven, find someone else’s mom and show her some love.

For those of us whose moms are gone, I encourage you to take time to be sad. Remember the good times and lament the lost time. Then consider future times in Heaven when we will see those who have gone there before us.

And would you do something for me? Think about those for whom Mother’s Day is not a happy day. In fact, it can be like rubbing salt in a deep and horrible wound. I have a friend who wrote the following and it has been very helpful to me to see this day as a day of sorrow and grief for many. Read this excerpt from a former College Park Church member named Lindsay Dudeck, living in Colorado now, as she describes her thoughts. Please follow her words with your heart and be on the lookout for those who are sad on Mother’s Day:

For eight years, Mother’s Day was one of the hardest days of the year for me. Some years I didn’t even come to church because it was just too much. In the course of those years, my husband and I suffered two miscarriages and had two domestic adoptions fall apart at the hospital. Our journey was filled with pain and darkness. Our work suffered. Our friendships suffered. Our marriage suffered. God and a potential child felt so very distant.

This year, Mother’s Day is still bittersweet for me, but in a different way. Because this year, I’m remembering and thinking of our adopted son’s biological mom.

We know a few facts about her, but nothing of much substance. No photos. No conversations to recall. Just some notes on a doctor’s form so that someday, when our son starts to ask us questions, we’ll have something to tell him about his biological mom.

I think about her every single day. I dream about her. I wonder if I’ll ever meet her. I wonder if she will ever know that I think she’s the bravest woman in my life. A stranger who has had such a profound impact on my being, that I struggle to put her into words.

She could have chosen a different route from adoption. But, she didn’t. She carried him quietly for a few months. She delivered him safely after a few hours. She said goodbye to him tenderly in a few minutes.

We often get asked, “Are you going to tell your son about her?”

Of course, we will. It might not be about her smile and laugh. About her family or her faith. I don’t know the name of her favorite book or what she likes to do. But I do know how much she loves him. I imagine the sacrifices she made. The unexplainable love that surrounds his mere existence. Our son is a beautiful, priceless gift a stranger entrusted to us…a reflection of God’s love.

Don Bartemus

Don Bartemus is the Pastor of Compassion Ministries at College Park Church. He and his wife, Cheryl, have been in ministry since 1981. Don believes Compassion Ministries exist to respond to the physical needs of people in order to participate in the fulfillment of the purpose of God in their lives.

Don came to faith in Christ at the age of five through a Christian family. He attended Cedarville University, received a B.A. in Bible. He attended Grace Seminary and earned a M.Div. in Biblical Studies and later a Doctorate of Ministries from Grace Seminary. Don and Cheryl have been in youth ministry, teaching ministries, and pastoring in the states of Iowa, Ohio, and Indiana.

He is passionate about caring for people through hard times and enjoys spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

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