by Sara Gunderson
12:30 a.m. My mother and I are watching television, and I get the notion to turn to her and wish her a happy Mother’s Day. But what we are watching is a repeat telecast of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee about the hideous abuses in Abu Ghraib prison. Happy Mother’s Day. I wished I could say those words to her. Normally I would have. Those in our family who are owls like to wish happy whatevers at midnight when the recipients are our fellow owls. So normally my mother would have received a huge hug, and a very merry “Happy Mother’s Day!” But even as the words crossed my mind, I realized how farcical, how inappropriate they would sound under the circumstances. Happy Mother’s Day?
My thoughts immediately went to the mothers, both to those who know that it was their loved ones who were the victims, and also to those who still wait in anguish to find out the potentially horrible truth. Is it my daughter? Is it my son? What horrors have they suffered? No answers yet–just a horrible waiting. Happy Mother’s Day?
And then there are the mothers of those who have been seen in photos the world over, photos that have depicted their sons and daughters as monsters. It was not that long ago they were kissing their children goodbye, and praying for their safety. Their fears encompassed injuries, capture, and death. They probably did not realize that they also needed to pray for the safety of their children’s souls. It is Mother’s Day, and their children stand before the world, accused of atrocities. Happy Mother’s Day?
Four weeks ago, Christians worldwide remembered and honored the anguish of another mother who watched the cruel death of her son. No mother should have to experience this pain. No mother should have to feel the anguish that hundreds of mothers are living with at this moment. Happy Mother’s Day? Not for them.