I guess it’s seeing this foster child removed from his home that is really overshadowing this Mother’s Day for me, making it more about those who are no longer mothers, for whatever reason.
Like the woman we know well who lost her child, her marriage, to brain cancer, twenty-something years ago. Who now fears absolutely everything: who knows from which direction disaster will strike?
Like my mother-in-law in Calgary who lost her child to a swimming pool, who says she fears nothing now: the worst has already come to pass.
I know you can live next door to someone for years, and then they go postal and the neighbours stand around stupidly saying, “but – he was so quiet, so nice.”
Still: I feel like I know these people. I have no idea what their truths are exactly, but you kind of get the gist of people, sitting in their sukkah, hearing the mundane details of their kid’s day-to-day life.
Adults may lie, but kids’ eyes don’t lie. Kids’ legs and arms don’t lie; they run and bike and scooter best when they are free and nurtured and happy. I believe he was a happy kid, well cared-for… which then makes me wonder, once again, why he’s gone, and where, and if he’ll ever be back.
Just keep on davening.
It occurs to me that if I were Catholic, I’d probably turn to Mary with something like this. It’s something a mother understands best.
Being Jewish, we have to remember that Hashem is both parents; Hashem is rachamim, merciful, from the word rechem, a womb. That Hashem is also shechinah, the womanly aspect of near-dwelling love. That Hashem is Mekor haChayim, source of life, and HaMakom, the place… just the place.
Pick one and daven that Hashem will see this as only a mother can.
Moishe Alter Benyamin ben Leah Rachel… and also, because life is rarely straightforward, ben Chana and Steve.