Mother’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays, when my sons show their love and appreciation for me in special ways. It’s a day when I know how truly blessed I am.
As much as I love this day, my heart goes out to our sisters struggling in Ukraine on this Mother’s Day. Those mothers are warriors. The unspeakable pain and horrors they have faced and sacrifices they have made to survive are unimaginable.
When my boys were little, I had the luxury of putting nice warm jammies on them, freshly-bathed, tucking them into bed each night with a story and lots of giggling and kisses before lights-out. Never in my wildest, worst nightmares could I imagine my family being attacked by missiles overnight and having to explain to my children why someone was trying to kill us. The fear would be overwhelming.
I can’t imagine having my little ones carry a backpack containing a change of clothes, a few snacks and one toy, leaving the comfort of our home to sleep in a cold, underground shelter. Then, hop on several packed trains and later walk miles and miles in the freezing cold until we’re ready to drop, to seek safety in another country, like Poland – a strange place where they don’t speak our language.
Bless the people of Poland, who at this writing had welcomed about two million refugees from Ukraine – women and their children with nowhere else to go. And they don’t call them refugees; the Polish refer to them as “guests.” I am very familiar with the Polish community in this country. Believe me, mamas in Poland will without question treat the Ukraine children as their own. They will eventually be okay.
I would also like to acknowledge the mothers in Russia. It is estimated that more than 10,000 of their sons (troops) died in this unprovoked war. I recently saw a picture of a very young Russian soldier in uniform, with tears in his reddened eyes. He asked his mother why he had to fight and maybe die in a war started by a crazy, old, power-hungry man. Why, indeed?
Imagine being a mother in a poor and dangerous Central American country, making the agonizing decision to somehow get her children to the Mexican border, often traveling hundreds of miles on foot, and get them across the border alone, into America where they will hopefully be safe and lead a better life.
Imagine being a Black mother who sends her innocent young son out every day, not knowing whether he is coming home, fearing that he may be brutalized or even killed, just because he’s Black.
To all the mothers of the world, you are not alone or forgotten. We cry with you on this special day and hold you in our hearts with love.