“Moms don’t get sick days, honey….”
I was young. Maybe eight? Nine? She stood over a boiling pot of water on the stove, inhaling the steam. It was almost dinner. Three hungry bellies were waiting. She was cooking for them after a long day at work, endured on the heels of a sleepless, child-filled night.
And she had an awful cold.
Mary, Help of the Sick
I loved my mother dearly, as all small children do. But my naivete blinded me to the sacrifices she made every day. I couldn’t understand why she stood there, laboring over our evening’s dinner, when clearly she needed to lie down and rest. She smiled at my question, an expression of rueful wisdom on her red-nosed face. She told me that moms don’t get sick days.
Three decades later, I know she’s right. The vocation of motherhood doesn’t come with sick leave. We soldier on, once more into the tissue-laced breach, dodging the sinus headaches and watery eyes with less than laser-like precision. Responsibilities remain, both in and outside the house, and so we continue the long, slow march to victory alone.
But we are not alone. Mother Mary stands beside us, a comfort in our aches and pains. She tends to us as we tend to our children, interceding for God’s grace in our time of trial. Mary knows our struggles. She knows our sorrows. She knows our ills, both physical and spiritual, and encourages us onward with her loving hand.
- Practice a corporal work of mercy by visiting the sick
- Take a meal to a neighbor or family in need
- Make a list of ways the children can help out when mom is sick
O Blessed Virgin, you are the help of the sick. Pray for us, that we may be united with Christ in our physical and spiritual sufferings. Amen.
This is part of the Write31 Days series on Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. You can find the rest of the series here.