I wore my yellow dress in celebration of Mother’s Day. It was not my regular Mother’s Day. It was unlike the times I had cherished for the past forty-six years. The day would be different. My life was different. I felt different. Missing was my usual anticipation of the day’s events. My former sense of entitlement that accompanied my wondering what gift I would receive was no longer present. Before it was my day for a well-earned respite. Now the thought of it caused me to sigh.
It was a few days away. I knew I would receive many greetings of “Happy Mother’s Day” and I needed to extend the same others. But how, how could I do it? The question would not leave and frankly I felt nothing but dread. Just seven months ago, my only child, my dear son had his homegoing. The voice I had always heard on this special day was forever silent.
I prayed. I needed a way to feel the spirit and gratitude for this great day of celebration-a time for the recognition for the mothers of today and of those who have gone before us. I asked God to remove the dread from my heart and the stream of tears from my eyes. I sensed the anxiety that family and friends felt for me. All of it was simply overwhelming.
A few days prior to Mother’s Day, I was in my closet for shoes. As my yellow dress caught my eye, it appeared to do a two-step dance and say, “Me, take me.” I frowned as a special memory gradually found its way into my heart. How could I have forgotten? Grief can easily cloud the joys of memories.
With surprising clarity, I remembered my last year’s Mother’s Day. I recalled the Sunday morning that John walked into church carrying a handful of yellow roses. I was in the choir and could fully see the precious smiles he gave me during the service. Afterwards, as I received my kiss, the roses and his utterance of “Happy Mother’s Day Momma”, I could barely contain the tears. With his watchful eyes, he said, “Surely you are not going to cry.” The tears quickly dried up as my heart melted for never before had he given me yellow roses.
As I stood in my closet and claimed this special God-ordained gift, my decision was made. This was the memory I would carry with me on Sunday and every Mother’s Day Sunday to come. And, in honor of the great day and for my personal celebration, I would wear my yellow dress. I also decided to wear yellow for every Mother’s Day that God allows me to celebrate. I vowed to give honor to the special times that God granted for forty-six years and the bouquet of yellow roses from John.
My grief quietly slipped away as I phoned friends with similar circumstances and shared my plan. I sensed that they too were in a struggle. Each promised to join me by wearing yellow for Mother’s Day and to celebrate the life of their loved one rather than focusing on their loss. I am thankful to God for the life of my son-a blessing worthy of a lifetime of celebrations.
On Sunday I wore my yellow dress as a reminder of John’s wonderful love and God’s perfect grace on my life. On this and each Mother’s Day to come, the smile on my face and joy in my heart will be evidence of God’s great blessing. As I wore my yellow dress I could hear John’s voice, “There are no tears when you wear yellow.”
For the Love of Mothers,
O. Raye Adkins
Photo Credit: Arvee