"My cousin, a single mom, told me the reason she didn't have an abortion was because my mom took the time to explain how precious every child is, and that being a mother was a gift."
On Thursday night, we held our annual Mother's Day Dinner at Holyoke's Log Cabin, with Americans United for Life CEO Catherine Glenn Foster as our keynote speaker. At each place setting, guests found a note card and pen. I invited each person to write one memory of a mom they knew, and I let them know you would be reading what they offered. I brought more than 100 cards home that night, most unsigned, all poignantly breathtaking in their sincerity and unfiltered love. Their words, not mine, are what I offer to you this Mother's Day, except for one plea:
Let's unite today in prayer; petitions for our mothers, yes. But we are called in this moment to pray ardently for our Supreme Court justices and their families -- for their safety, their resolve, their peace of mind, and their courage.
Below, you'll see images of a few remembrance cards from our Mother's Day Dinner. Two guests offered the following sentiments that are easier to read here in print; they each brought tears to my eyes:
"I remember when my wife, who had given up hope to even be married, forget being a mother, gave birth to our first-born daughter. The look on her face."
"My mom, Florence, raised 5 children. Every year she made sure we had new clothes for school even though, until I was in junior high, she only had 2 dresses -- the same 2 dresses."
As our week begins we recognize that the Supreme Court could hand down its official ruling in Dobbs at any time. As citizens of Massachusetts, we must acknowledge that, regardless of how "good" the decision might be, it will most likely change nothing here. Our work is just beginning. Reread the quote at the top of this email. That is what you and I will need to do in the days ahead: take the time to explain how precious each life is. We can guess how our legislators will respond. It will be up to you and me to get to the work of saving lives through persuasion and education -- with love fueling our every word along the way.
Happy Mother's Day.
PS- The poem that follows the images was one my mother gave to me on my 31st birthday, when my firstborn had yet to sleep through the night.
On this day, O Lord, renew in me a mother . . .
Ability to laugh at my children’s antics
Strength to survive their cuts and bruises
Time to share their moments of pride
Knowledge to know their weaknesses and strengths
Faith to trust their growing judgement
Quality to love their changing moods
Virtue to forgive their disrespect
Openness to learn their ways and styles
Patience to hear their spoken words
Insight to see their doubts and fears
Tenderness to understand their broken dreams
And, most of all, the grace to let go, they are children of God.