The Best Gift for Mother’s Day

Carriage photograph by Ken BecklesDear Mothers:

Happy Mother’s Day for the lives you have nurtured and sustained that have immortalized your own existence, converging past, present and future in the face of your daughter or son. On this Mothers Day, I wish you joyful peace, as holders of the profound maternal wisdom that connects you to eternity.

While this is indeed my hope for all who read this letter, for some, the reality may be different. It may be that life after baby’s birth has not yet fulfilled your dreams, that the joy and totality of the complete maternal experience has eluded you. You may feel separate instead of bonded to your child, a panicked indifference to the experience and a deep sadness that robs your baby’s smile of its ability to move you.

If this is where you find yourself, please do not stand alone, but reach out to your loved ones and receive their willing support. Allow the universality of the birth experience to unite you with those who understand and lift you and your sweet babe safely to your path again.

I speak not only to mothers whose living babies are at the breast, but to those mothers who stand with empty arms whose eyes may be fixed on a distant horizon where too brief a life has wandered, a mother nonetheless. This mother may not find a kinship in her isolated mourning; we must reach out to her and lead her to her rightful place among us for babies seen and unseen never leave us.

I speak to mothers whose infants babble, whose infants cannot yet come home, whose children are grown, disabled or gone. I speak to my own mother and her mother before her and God’s entire kingdom of mothers be they two or four footed, yet swimming or flying among us. This purpose of procreation is a serious business it is the industry of life ever lasting yet we cast a smile as we carry these ancient secrets within us.

We are all of us, mothers of earth who claim this day as ours and say to all that we are the hope and the future that sustains and nurtures, who facilitate renewal; ours is a passage through heaven and hell for the sake of life. But in each instance we meet such challenge with joy, depth of purpose and fervor that makes us accessible and mysterious, formidable and gentle, raging and loving. I am thankful to stand among you, thankful to say to my mother and to hear from my child Happy Mother’s Day.

Thank you to those of you, who, through your organizations or individual requests, have added your name to support The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act. The best gift you can give present and future mothers on this day is to support the legislation that will help end the suffering of mothers and infants in the next year and your daughters and granddaughters to come.

If you have not yet done so please click on this link and join our efforts to end the misery endured by up to 800,000 women in America. The petition will be presented to U.S. Senate HELP committee members next week and currently represents over a million Americans who support this overdue bill. U.S. Senator Robert Menendez leads the senate sponsorship of this life-saving legislation and we are grateful for his determined advocacy.

If you’ve already sent an email to with your name and state asking to be added to the constituent petition, please ask TWO MORE PEOPLE to join you!

In another fantastic step forward, Gerald F. Joseph Jr, MD from Louisiana, the 60th president of the The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists indicated that postpartum depression will be the major theme of his presidential initiative. Another wonderful gift to America’s mothers and healthcare providers. Read his entire statement here.

Join the The MOTHERS Day Rally at Postpartum Progress which will begin at 12:AM on Sunday and feature a new and moving letter each hour from a mother, telling her story or giving her unique perspective.

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5 Responses to The Best Gift for Mother’s Day

  1. joan mudd says:

    Your gift of communicating is powerful and pure. Thank you for lending this light to our blind spots.

  2. Kimberly says:

    So very glad that someone forwarded your website and info to me. I am a PPD survivor X3 – the third experience (10 years ago) was psychosis. I am in contact w/a support group in Dallas to guide me through setting up a group in my area (a large area in East Texas that does not have support, but docs that are encouraging me to do so). I will continue to utilize the fantastic info/links your website gives. God Bless You!

  3. Jane Ciaramella says:

    Susan your passage brought me to tears. Mothers are faced with challenges all through the spectrum of our journey in life. I believe we are most vulnerable at the beginning of our journey as mothers and that our strength builds as we grow through the life experince shared with our children. Mothers are there though the good times and bad with their children. We never seem to lose hope even in the most dire of times.But women cannot give and nurture when their resources are diminished, non existent, or so affected by situational crises such as birth. Depression is a disease that needs to be recognized as such and coverage for treatment needs to improve. Until we put our money where our mouth is, women and families will continue to suffer. Thank you to all who work so diligently to change this. Happy Mother’s Day

  4. Lovely piece. Thank you for that and for promoting the rally.

  5. Elizabeth Cymerman says:

    Very moving……motherhood is a joy, a challenge, a love that lasts forever, and it knows no ending.


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