For Mother’s Day weekend, the Chicago Defender shares stories of dynamic Black women thriving in their careers and providing loving guidance for their families.
by Debra L. Hand
As Mothers, we have so many dreams for our children. The main one is for our children to be happy in their lives. So, imagine how any mother would feel if they saw that, at the end of their Earthly journey, all they left their children is eternal heartbreak and grief upon their transition?
As mothers, that is not something we can change for you children who love us so deeply, and who we so deeply love; but, you can change that “for us.” You, our children, can fight for us!
You can fight to make a decision not to let our dreams and sacrifices for your happiness, come to a crashing halt at the conclusion of our “visible” Earthly journeys. You can fight for us — for our lives, and for our legacies. You can fight not to let our precious relationship come to an end. You can fight to know that there is not one single day that you will spend on this planet, that we will not be alive within you, waiting to continue our relationships with you. You can fight to know that we will be just as present with you as all those times we crossed your mind during our lives, yet even though we were not visible to you, you understood that we were in your lives somewhere, still. You can fight to continue our love.
We cannot fight this fight for you, but you can fight this fight “for us.” Even when we are gone from your view, you can bring Mother’s Day flowers to our photos and place them before us, not as a commemoration of the past, but as an honorary gesture to the present day where you have transitioned our relationship into a new realm — and where you still allow us to be alive in your realities.
I wrote the following poem after a brief health scare, years ago, because it was unbearable to me to think that I would leave my precious children broken in pieces should something happen to me. It was unbearable to think that they might not know how to fight to bring me back and to continue our love and relationship in the new realm, rather than be trapped in a perpetual state of grief believing that they had to let me go. These are the things I wanted them to know. The poem has been shared with many who say they have found comfort in these words. I only pray that those who are facing Mother’s Day feeling broken, might find some comfort in them now.
“Whenever You Are Missing Me”
(A Mother’s Love) by Debra Hand
Whenever you are missing me, please read this little rhyme/
And know that I’m not gone at all, I’m right here in your mind/
Send smiles to me and love to me, and share your fears and joys/
Ponder my picture in the frame and listen for my voice/
Keep me safe inside your heart, where we’ll still talk and laugh/
And everywhere you go, know that I’m with you on your path/
Don’t say goodbye, don’t give me back, don’t think of me as gone/
It’s up to you to let me go, or let our love live on/
For wherever I’m remembered, that is the place I’ll be/
Know that our journey is forever — together, you & me/
Just hug yourself and think of me and you’ll feel my hug too/
The same as if I’m standing there, for I’m still part of you/
Pain is no match for gratitude, so always think of this/
What if life had not chosen us to give this precious gift?/
Please guard our gift with gratitude — bask in its beauty still/
Yes, close your eyes and know I’m there, and let your heart be filled/
The final thing I ask of you — the last gift you can give/
Don’t ever let the day I crossed mean more than those I lived/