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A Difficult Mothers Day

May 13, 2012

The following prayer was shared with me by a friend this evening. It is a powerful invitation to honesty as we prepare to celebrate a Mothers Day. Mothers Day and Fathers Day too often tend to sentimentality, promote stereotypes of women and men, and sometimes idealizes family relationships. It can speak of mothers and fathers in a way that exclude those who are not parents. This prayer reflects an honesty that is required by many to truly honor our mothers and fathers.

A Yizkor Meditation in Memory of a Parent Who Was Hurtful

By Rabbi Bob Saks

Dear God,
You know my heart.
Indeed,
You know me better than I know myself,
So I turn to You before I rise for Kaddish.

My emotions swirl as I say this prayer.
The parent I remember was not kind to me.
His/Her death left me with a legacy
of unhealed wounds, of anger and of
dismay that a apparent could hurt a child
as I was hurt.

Help me, O God,
To subdue my bitter emotions
That do me no good,
and to find that place in myself
where happier memories may lie hidden,
and where grief for all that could have been,
all that should have been,
may be calmed by forgiveness,
or at least be soothed by the
passage of time.

I pray that You,
who raises up slaves from freedom,
will liberate me from the oppressions of my
hurt and anger, and that You will lead me
from this desert to Your holy place.
Amen.

from The Mitzvah of Healing: An Anthology

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Grandma Leslie permalink
    May 13, 2012 6:51 am

    Thank you for this prayer. I struggle with buying Mother’s Day cards that don’t reflect the reality of my relationship with my mother…who loves me and who I love. I have long put aside anger at what was, but that doesn’t mean that I can forget what wasn’t. Thanks be to God for helping me to love through the pain.

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