Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lift Me Up...

This year, of all years, Mothers Day has a completely different meaning in my life. In September, my child's blood put life into a tiny, little being in this world.

I'd like to tell you that on the day my grandchild was born the earth moved, the sun came out and everything was suddenly perfect.

Ashamed, I tell you it didn't happen like that. As a matter of a fact, it couldn't have been farther from that.

I spent most of the year 2010 coming up with every reason in the world that my child was NOT going to be a father: could NOT be a father...

And, God forgive me, blaming the one who carried that beautiful little creature in her womb.

I didn't want any part of it, and I made every effort to let her know just that.

My friends, I shed tears as I admit that.

There are no words or anything I can ever do to change that. I can never undo it. I can never take it back. I missed the first six months of that completely innocent baby's life because of foolish pride and fear.

It will forever haunt me that I spent nine months purposefully making a scared, pregnant teenage girl miserable.

And, then, as God usually does, a miracle happened...

In April, a path opened up, and on an incredibly hot Louisiana spring afternoon, I waited on a bench at the zoo to meet my granddaughter for the first time.

It was to also be the first time I had seen her mother since before the signs of her pregnancy even began to show on her tiny frame.

Scared, pensive and hopeful, I turned to see them waiting at the entrance, and I began to move as quickly as I could toward them.

And, there, in the middle of the Alexandria Zoo, people, I learned about grace...

And being gracious...

And about forgiveness.

I didn't see the girl my son once dated...

The girl I blamed for each of his shortcomings since the day he met her...

I saw a terrified, overly-exhausted, but ready to start over fresh little girl who was now a mother.

And, I might add, doing a great job at it.

Oh, my friends, I cannot even express to you how proud I am of her, how unbelievable grateful I am to her, how amazed I am by her!

Without even a question, she forgave me...

For everything I had put her through.

I truly do not believe I have ever experienced human forgiveness on that level.

I don't believe I can even articulate how she has moved me.

I think of her being alone, knowing I was not championing her, and I am so ashamed. I cannot imagine how that made her feel. I can never make up for it.

I did that. Me. The one who demands all human beings be treated with dignity and respect refused that right to a young girl who had to feel as though it was she versus the world. The one person I probably owed it to most. And I made the choice to refuse her.

She deserves far better than I have ever given her, and yet, she's taught me about forgiveness without stipulations.

She and I are working toward building a solid foundation that will last a lifetime.

And, this time, I will get it right.

I will be her cheering squad.

I will respect her.

I will be on her side.

I will protect her.

I will encourage her.

I will tell her she's doing right.

Because she deserves that...

And so much more.

Great Mothers are those who work tirelessly to make a better way for their children. She is one of those mothers. It is truly my honor to share this journey with her.

So, sweet girl, Happy First Mothers Day. I am so very proud of you. Thank you for teaching me about life. Thank you for extending your hand in friendship to me.

Chances are we will probably disagree again, but just know I will always respect your right to be the mother of your child and I will always respect your choices. This time, if we disagree, we will do it in love, never to repeat our past. I look forward to our future.

I hope you know I am here for you and will always lift you up.