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My First Mother's Day: Embracing The Joy and the Pain
May 8, 2016
Mother's Day is one of those holidays that comes with so much emotion packed into it that you really do have to prepare for it. Plans must be made. Texts have to be carefully crafted. Posts and status updates must be edited many times over. When it comes to moms- every detail matters.

This day, the first of which I participate in as honoree, is filled FIRST with love. The love we have for our mothers is often unmatched. We often can't even explain it, or give full justice to just how much our mothers shape who we are. And not just our mothers - our grandmothers, Big Mamas, Nana, aunts, etc., are the feminine village that raises us to be women.

So as I woke up this morning, I was filled with joy having been inducted, after 20 hour of labor and countless sleepless nights, into this club. I felt a certain badge of honor - a feeling of accomplishment that I had never felt before. It's not like I didn't know I was a mom before - our daughter is 8 months old. Yet seeing a day on the calendar, not my birthday, but for me was special.

For all the joy this day brings, the pain is not far away. Eventually the village of women who raises us becomes smaller. Cherished only in spirit, this day reminds us of the lost we experience in our lives. We are reminded of mothers lost, of grandmothers who are no longer with us, and just how much our matriarchs matter in our community.

My maternal grandmother was my second mother. She crafted and influenced me as much as any human being. And today I mourn her. I wish I could see her today. I wish my daughter could have had one conversation with her - one life lesson learned or earned.

Today represents a complex maze of not forgetting, and honoring the living mothers in our lives. So I'll start by honoring my mom. She raised three daughters. She continues to raise me, and I am married with a kid now. She has taught me, through example, that the work of moms never stops. The desire to protect your children from pain never ceases. The only way I have managed motherhood so far is through the wisdom and advice of all the moms in my life. The village our daughter has around her is special, and I do not take it for granted.

Happy Mother's Day to all the women doing what we do best - getting the job done. I salute you all!
Written By
Victoria Graham
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