May 8, 2011
I ONCE knew a woman who gave birth to her first child in her early thirties. Just a few hours later, a doctor came to see her in her hospital room and told her that the back pains she had experienced during pregnancy were caused by serious bone cancer. She had only a few weeks to live.
Six weeks later she died. Strange to say, those six weeks were filled with happiness. She was transformed and elated by the love every normal mother feels when she sees and holds her child. This love is so common. Its commonness does not lessen its singularity. She knew that not much else mattered, even her own pending death. The important thing was that she had lived long enough to give birth to this child and to express her love for him.
This is mother power.
Feminists would have us believe that women have always been denied importance. In truth, no greater power can be possessed by mortals. To create life and express this love, that is power.
We no longer live in an age when many women die in childbirth or in the days and weeks after they give birth, as did this woman. It is fitting on Mother’s Day to remember those who lost their lives to bring others into this sad and beautiful world, and to recall the immense power even these ill-fated mothers possessed. Here is the poet Robert Herrick’s reflection on one.
Upon a Lady that dyed in child-bed, and left a daughter behind her.
AS Gilly flowers do but stay
To blow, and seed, and so away;
So you sweet Lady (sweet as May)
The gardens-glory liv’d a while,
To lend the world your scent and smile.
But when your own faire print was set
Once in a Virgin Flosculet,
(Sweet as your selfe, and newly blown)
To give that life, resign’d your own;
But so, as still the mothers power
Lives in the pretty Lady-flower.
Posted by Laura Wood in Uncategorized