Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Love Letter that Heals: For Michelle Payano-Turcios

Every Mother's Day (MD) I've had has been saturated with disappointments and this year was no different. I woke up to the screeching of a two year old and and I drowsily forced myself to prepare breakfast and start the day that was supposed to be for me to relax. My MD morning was filled with expectations overruled and frustrations trumping the day's significance. I was not a happy camper.

We made our way to church, me furiously pleading with God to soften the blow with His sweet presence, asking for an hour of repose with Him and perhaps curing my stress. All went well, even with the girls behavior until the parishioner behind me "kindly" tells me to keep my baby quiet and that he shouldn't have to hear mass over the screams of a child. I thought he was joking but apparently that wasn't the case and I look to Jesse right away to cease any counter-attack. Lord not in Your house and so I quietly apologized. What mother isn't sensitive about their children and so I stayed behind a few minutes to cry and pray for that man. One more unsuccessful attempt to have a nice Mother's Day.

But Jesus knows what I need. He knows how to lift me up when I am down, down, down. His arms are long and ever reaching to bring us back to life. He reaches until we are found. And so I check my messages and I get a one that broke my heart in two...but in a great way. And it wrapped up all I was feeling into a nice little package so I could toss it, never to be seen. That message gave me hope, that my presence here isn't in vain. For a few moments while reading I felt visible, appreciated. I also felt reminiscent, loved and cared for.

Michelle, your message made my day, possibly my week. You and Emily mean the world to me and yes, although she wasn't my child I loved her like one. I've always been proud of you, your courage, your fire and most of all, your strong, ever strong love for Emily. You outlined what I did for you, but Michelle, what you did for me was so much more. You showed me what courage was like, what a mother's love truly looked like amidst a strained environment, what it meant to fight for your heart and your child. You were my first real example of a mother and what she will do to keep her child at any cost. We shared so much you and I. You introduced me to Tata! I hoped that I was a comfort to you as many times as you were a comfort to me. When Juan, and later, Caitlyn came a long they were an added bonus, more goodness for my Michelle. You are right, our lives can separate time and distance, but not love my friend. Only God can separate love and since God is love I think it's safe to say it ain't happening. :) Where some may have seen weakness, I saw intensity, a beautiful girl blossoming into a beautiful woman and what a better example for your lovely girls to follow. I never forget how fast we became friends, your pretty smile when I rang your doorbell almost everyday, or when I use to catch you bathing Emily and I'd hear the both of you giggling. I'll never forget how you'd make pancakes for me, extra crispy around the edges or your never-ending compliments. You always saw the good in me and loved me for who I was, my weirdness and all. Most of all, how can I forget when we used to stay up late in each other's houses, hoping, planning, dreaming our futures, running from it all with heavy hopes in our hearts. One couldn't wish for a better friend in a lifetime. God has blessed me with you.

Happy Mother's Day, to you Michelle and to all the wonderful mothers I know. You all have inspired me in some way whether you knew it or not and I thank you from the bottom of this heart. I'd go on and on, but we all know that even as I write this, a mother never gets a break. A sleepless child, a day to prepare for, a prayer to offer them.

And on that note, here is my prayer for you:

Loving Father, You have entrusted us mothers with Your beautiful children, each carrying their very own fingerprint of You. Just like us, You knew them before they were formed and You honored us with the privilege of raising them in Your light. Although a wonderful task, it isn't an easy one and so God we ask, with Your help, and that of the perfect mother to Your Son, Mary, that You continue to gives us the strength, the endurance, the patience to keep on working. Also help us to teach our children of a love that died on wood and laid on stone but rose to conquer death, Our Lord, Jesus Christ. May we always be thankful, always satisfied with Your immense love and may our children continue a legacy of Christ aflame in their hearts to pass on to their children for generations to come. We ask this in Jesus' name.


God bless you today and always!

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