Giving life to a child, whether birthing or adopting, must truly be an amazing experience. To see your child grow and learn and become a beautiful person swells the heart in a way that nothing else compares. As a child, knowing that there is this person who loves you unconditionally, even if there are times they are hurt, disappointed, surprised, angry, and maybe don’t even like you at that moment is what gives us wings. There is a sublime feeling that no matter what, mom will be there and still love you. Mother’s are a rare gem given to us for a period of time, and so often we squander some of that time being us, being independent, feeling like everything and everyone else is more important than our mom. We take so many members of our family for granted, especially mom.
The aging process does allow for some tremendous reflection about the importance of this relationship. Whether it is a mom, Aunt, family friend, mentor, step-mom, older friend, we find the need for the sage advice and guidance. We find the need to understand how to navigate this world from someone who has navigated much of it already. We seem to look for the relationship that is helpful, that has a demeanor about it that says, “do not worry, all works out in the end,” so that we can believe that and reduce our anxiety.
Over the years, I spent many a Mother’s Day with my mom. I also spent many apart. I remember the first time I was going to be away on Mother’s Day, I was so worried my mom would be upset with me. Her response was “every day is Mother’s Day, Suzy, go and enjoy yourself.” She never made me feel bad if I wasn’t with her on that particular day as she knew I would spend other valuable time with her. She also had tremendous enjoyment in knowing that I was having fun. So very selfless is the love of a mom.
Once you lose your mom, no matter your age or theirs, the day changes tremendously. The sadness that looms upon you like a dark cloud as you see cards and commercials and gifts geared toward showering your mom with affection can be overwhelming. Moments of tears in the card store. Changing a TV station when a commercial comes on that you know will hit you right where it hurts. Scrolling through pictures of your mom at all ages, reminding yourself of every facet of their face. Not having anyone to celebrate on the one day of the year that was saved for celebrating this icon of your life.
There is also a tremendous feeling filling your heart as you remember all of the love, the advice, the role model that you were given, if you were blessed enough to have a role model. Although the sadness can overwhelm us, the beauty of the memories we have sustain us. It is through these that we not only get through the day, but we remind ourselves that we had so much. We remind ourselves of what we loved about our mom and we try to emulate those traits as much as possible. We see our mom in the children that surround us. We see our mom in ourselves and the gratitude we have for all we have learned fills our hearts.
A motherless Mother’s Day can be very difficult. It can also be a day of reverence, for all they gave us, for all we became because of their selflessness. The knowing that we would not be who we are today if we hadn’t had that mentor and advisor in our lives, no matter if they are your mom or another person who treated you with that same unconditional love.
As we navigate this life, I keep my mom’s words close to my heart, “every day is Mother’s Day,” and I celebrate her in my heart by emulating all I can about her.