Each year around Mother’s Day I get a little sad and I long for something more despite being thrilled to be a mom to two wonderful sons, two-step sons, and now a beautiful daughter.
The reason: I am motherless.
For the first few years after my mother died I found it gut-wrenchingly painful to enter any store that contained huge displays of cards and gifts specifically designed for mom, regardless of time and the fact that I too am a mom. It was like a punch in the gut. A hand held around my throat choking me until tears were inevitable. Every where I seem to look advertisers seem to tease. Buy that special gift for Mom. How will you celebrate your Mother this Mother’s Day? Get the perfect gift for your Mom and show her how much she means to you.
I was blessed with a mother who loved me beyond measure and told me so daily. A mother who understood that I was an individual, regardless of how painful it must of been for her to see me make several mistakes growing up. A mom who encouraged me and took the fall when it didn’t go over too well with my peers. She used to say, “Tell your friends your mom said, No and that she’s mean. I don’t care if they think I’m a bitch.” She wanted our relationship to be different from the one she had with her own mother. She did the best she could and broke the cycle of violence that she endured as a kid. She had her moments when discipline was hard and punishment was a long, dull, boring week camped out in your bedroom with nothing but four walls to stare at, but she did it with love. She taught me respect for myself and she preached the golden rule daily. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. One of the things I remember most about growing up was when my brother and I would bicker she would say, “Stop it this instance. If you two can’t say something nice to one another then don’t say anything at all.” At the time I thought I have nothing nice to say and I want to make sure my brother knows it! Now many many moons later I have instilled the same in my children. Funny how we become like our parents. Just when we least expect it, with a look, a word, or during tender moments. I have become my mother.
I have spent just over ten years motherless on Mother’s Day. Trying desperately to remember her fondly and without the pain her loss has brought me. Each year promising myself to start new memories with my sons and not allow my mother’s death to take the best of who I am.
Last year was my first Mother’s Day with a daughter. Sure I have cherished the years prior with my boys, but divorces make even Mother’s Day into a drama filled event and there are several times when I just assume skip it all-together.
However, last year after the birth of the Little Flower my husband planned an outing with my sons and our new little ray of sunshine. It was a wonderful day spent in a small town filled with shops to explore, food to eat, and just time to relax enjoying each other’s company. We even wound up on the beach with our toes in the sand and who could resist, despite the cold temps a quick deep of our feet in the ocean. My heaven on earth.
At one point my husband was cradling our daughter in his arms at the waters edge while I sat on a blanket. My sons were chasing each other near by and I was witnessing an era of new Mother’s Day tradition unfold before my eyes.
In those moments when I seemed oblivious to what they were all doing, I was, in fact fully present. I sat and with great joy remembered my mom for the first time on Mother’s Day without heartache.
I knew in that moment that she has never really left me. That she is always just a breath away and all I have to do is speak and she is there.
As the wind blew, my sons kicked up sand and frolicked in the waves, and my husband caressed our barely 3 month old baby girl I whispered into the air, “Thank you mom & Happy Mother’s Day, I miss you!”