Victoria S. Hardy

Victoria S. Hardy

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Childless Mothers on Mother's Day

Childless Mothers on Mother's Day

I wish a happy Mother’s Day to every mother.  I wish a happy Mother’s Day to those who have lost their mothers.  I wish a happy Mother’s Day to those who never knew their mothers. 

And most especially, I wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to those who no longer have children to celebrate their motherhood. 

In the last few days I’ve been trying to write this article, this statement, this thing without a proper name that lurks inside me. 

There is a name for a woman or man without a spouse, they are called widows, which is a strange name, but yeah, that is what they are called.  There is a name for children without parents – those folks are orphans, and God be with the orphans of this world. 

What is the word for childless parents?  We once had children, but now we are a bit lost and we struggle.  In this world that has been at war since I was born, shouldn’t there be a name for us?

I am not the only childless mother on Mother’s Day.  What is the word for that?  Am I missing something? 

I lost my son in an accident, others lost their sons and daughters in wars or car wrecks or fires or sickness or disease or murder or addiction or any number of ways our children can die. 

What is our label?  We are not widows or orphans, which Jesus made clear we should pray for and help and I firmly believe we should, but now we are simply childless and there is no name for us.

Childless parents are a reality for many people on this brutal earth, wars have been raging since I first became aware of the television during the Vietnam War, then there was the Gulf War, and other wars, and I read 1984, and we’ve always been at war.

I am a childless mother on Mother’s Day, and I know I am not the only one. 

I am not asking for special favors, but studying history, and reading the Bible, and checking my etymology dictionary as often as I can, I can’t find our word and I’m pretty sure history dictates that we should have one – look in any cemetery, we’re not that rare.

I do feel sorrow over the people without their mothers, I am blessed to still have my own.  I also ache over those who never knew their birthplace or their roots; I can’t imagine the difficulty of attempting to find your place. 

I especially feel for mothers out there who are not going to get a phone call or flower or gift or dinner with their child on Mother’s Day, but may visit a cemetery. 


Middlecat said...

I got curious about your word question, and I did find one in Chinese,
It's become common enough in China since the one-child policy was instituted, that they had to make a word for it, apparently. I tried to find out more about the word, but most definitions were pretty straightforward. There was, however, an interesting use of the same word in the Sumerian language,

The Turtle's Voice is said...

Thank you so much for the links, Middlecat - I wouldn't have known :)