Mother’s Day: A day fully devoted to us, mamas! Being a mama means putting everyone else’s needs above yours. It is the greatest gift of all but nonetheless, challenging and exhausting. Mother’s Day is a day that we get a little extra attention and much deserved TLC from those we so selflessly give to day in and day out.
Motherhood is beautiful and a maternal bond is something that should be celebrated!
There is nothing I love more than seeing the thought that goes into my homemade cards or eating microwaved waffles topped with whatever candy is leftover from our last holiday (possibly even Halloween) that my kids thoughtfully put together in this masterpiece of a breakfast, all for me. We spend the day together at the beach just enjoying each other’s company with no iPhones, iPads, or video games.
It is beautiful.
I love Mother’s Day. I can say that now. Now.
Now, that my kids are older and keep me fully occupied constantly reminding me of everything I am blessed with and thankful for.
It was not always that way.
After my mom passed, I dreaded Mother’s Day.
It was not just another day of missing her. This day use to cut me to the core. The constant social media posts flooding my wall, including my own memories. “This day a year ago, two years ago, three years ago…”.
Listening to everyone’s plans and even participating in some myself because there are other mamas out there that are a vital part of my life that need and deserve to be celebrated.
It was not a day that I looked forward to.
Until I had my first child…until I became a mom.
Now this day took on a whole new meaning just as my life had purpose again.
However, no matter how much I loved my new purpose in life, no matter how much this beautiful soul consumed my whole world. I still had “those days”.
“Those days” were and still are more clearly defined as the days leading up to Mother’s Day.
Those are the darker days for us motherless mamas navigating this journey without our guide, our compass… Without our mom.
Losing my mother was single-handedly the hardest card I have ever been dealt.
Who knew life could go on without the most trusted and valuable person in my life. For those of you dealing with it right now, my heart goes out to you. Your life will go on.
It’s not easy and it is safe to say that almost everyday something reminds me of her. Sometimes that makes me smile, sometimes it makes me cry. Christmas, Florida, the beach in general, The Doobie Brothers, Waylon Jennings, VW vans to name a few. Whether it is a tear or smile, these memories or moments make me happy. Even though it makes me miss her more than normal, I am just happy to be reminded of her and, sometimes, I even feel her presence.
But then there is Mother’s Day…
Well, the days leading to it…
It is hard to explain. I know in my heart how much I love Mother’s Day but this uncomfortable feeling of emptiness lingers in my heart for far too long on the days leading me there.
I do not see myself as a mother on those days. Those days I am a child. A child longing for her mom and being constantly reminded that I do not have one anymore. I am sad. It is more than that, I am angry.
Why can’t I have that? It is not fair seeing all these other people have what I want. It is not fair that she did not see me marry the love of my life (which is why I did not have a wedding). It is not fair my kids never met their grandmother. It is not right that I had to navigate these unchartered waters of motherhood, alone. I cannot believe I am even capable of doing it again, without her.
I want her help. I need her support. I do not have her to call when I am overwhelmed, scared, or feel like I am failing. I do not have her encouragement, her experiences, her empathy. It is a lonely feeling and I am bitter about that.
When I lost her, I lost so much of me.
I will never be the same. These days remind me of that. Even worse, it reminds me of my last memories with her.
Ouch. The pain is too much to bear. I would not wish it on my worst enemy.
Cancer is vicious. I spent nine months watching my mom die and fight for her life. Every day she was being stripped away of her independence, which is something that my mother constantly instilled in me and held so tightly to.
It was beyond heartbreaking. Everyday I am helping. I’m feeding, bathing, shaving, wiping, holding, crying, loving… but yet still feeling so helpless.
That last month of her life was something I still cannot even write about. Images I wish I could remove from my memory. I was living a life in limbo. One day holding on to any bit of progress or hope and the next just wanting her to be free of pain, all along not even being able to fathom what a life without her actually meant. If I knew then what I know now, I would possibly and very selfishly erase those thoughts.
It was the darkest part of my life and we try our hardest to block out darkness but sometimes, it is inevitable, and these memories and images start creeping back in.
And it hurts like hell. That is what these days are to me. On cue, year after year.
But, we all know, the only way to cure darkness is by shining a little light.
As I am writing this, I am wiping a few tears, and I remind myself to breathe.
I take a deep breath, a long one.
It is okay.
This is a part of me now.
Although I am not the same person I once was. I am happy with who I am now.
I am Mother. Part of her is part of me. Part of me is part of them. Because of her, I am strong. Because of me, they are strong. We are connected. That is beautiful and something to be celebrated.
Being reminded of this, reminds me of everything I have overcome. I can open my eyes and see these beautiful lives that I have helped create and mold.
I am proud.
I start to sit a little straighter and I am breathing (now, without the reminder), and I can smile.
I am reminded not only of my strength but my independence, that she so proudly instilled in me.
I have my days, sure, but I did not just adapt to my new normal, I thrive in it.
Lastly, I am reminded of how blessed I am with my 3 beautiful babies and the one growing inside of me.
I look forward to spending the day at the beach celebrating myself and grandma after eating a chocolate covered waffle with the absolute loves of my life.
The darkness is gone. They are my light.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Beautiful essay! I lost my mother to Alzheimers Disease, but she was 84 and I had her most of my life, and have wonderful memories of her. God bless you!
Thank you for the kind words. It is never easy losing your mama thats for sure. Hope you had a Happy Mothers Day!
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