I don’t know what it is like to be a mother. I can’t image carrying new life in my guts, or the process of pushing that life out into the world, but I do know the commitment it takes just to keep a child alive. They say that human gestation is nine months in the womb and two to three years outside of it, longer than any other creature walking God’s green earth. We are born broken, we are born weak, unable to sustain our own existence for more than a matter of hours. It’s only through the strength of our mothers that we survive. To be a mother is to continue to care for your child. To care for them when they are good and cute, sweet and clean, and to care for them when they are vicious and mean, selfish and dirty. To be a mother is care for a child when you would rather not, when you cannot, when it hurts. To be a mother is to care for a child because if you don’t, if the child is left to their own devices, that child will not live. Just to see a child live until adulthood is a task beyond comprehension, motivated by a thick, rich, love beyond explanation or end dates. Motherhood is to give all of yourself so that the other may live. By virtue of the simple fact they are alive, we can be sure that those who have entered our care, at least for a time, have been on the receiving end of this love. Our patient’s very life proves that for a moment they were at the center of another’s universe. They were the complete focus and total recipient of another’s love and care. May each of us take a lesson from the billions of sainted mothers who have lived and loved in this world. May those in our charge find a home at the center of our worlds, if only for a moment. May they be the focus of our care as if their very lives depended on it, because in many ways they do. May we be as mothers to those we serve, giving deeply of ourselves, so that the other may know life and once again feel maternal love.