May 9, 2008

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

A tribute to all mothers—anytime and anywhere

Shirley Vogler MeisterAs if Criterion readers don’t already know, this is Mother’s Day weekend!

My “Faithful Lines” column is not only a tribute to mothers currently in our lives, but also to mothers of the future and all mothers who have gone before us.

Recently, my sister and her husband shared photographs of their first great-grandchild—a beautiful boy born in February.

His smiles and the changes in his expressions in the pictures made me want to cuddle him, but that’s not possible since he lives in another state.

This naturally prompted me to recall the love and wonder and joy that I felt when I was pregnant then delivering and caring for our three daughters. I also was thrilled by the births of our two grandsons.

There have been times during those years when I might have been open to adopting additional children, and I have also ­contemplated the possibility of “mothering” foster children.

With all my heart, I compliment those married couples who have opened their hearts and homes to other people’s children under many different circumstances and often from many countries. I have known single men and women who also do this very well.

I also know women who have placed their babies for adoption, and I wrote the following poem as a tribute to them.

It originally appeared in a book titled If I Had My Life to Live Over I Would Pick More Daisies.

The Sacrifice

A child is growing somewhere
in this weary world,
an innocent unwary
of emotions shattered,
a child whose life around
mute hearts is curled,
who’ll never know how much
his being mattered.
Lovingly, she chose to yield
at birth the son
she bore with courage
in her unwed prime.
Clearly, she saw
paternal lack of worth
as parent or as spouse:
poor paradigm.
Reality pressed close
and she perceived
how only hope
was left to give her son,
that good intent would not
their needs relieve:
the sacrificial web
was firmly spun.
Adoptive keepers now
assume his care
and fill his time
with wonders far removed
from lineal love
that evermore still dares
to grow—a selfless love
already proved.

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.) †

Local site Links: