Two weeks before, the commercials start. Rosy cheeked children with hand made cards and trinkets, given to a smiling mother, their eyes glistening with surprise.. Ads in the paper, flowers at the store, signs in the windows, posts on Facebook, Mother’s Day mayhem becomes omnipresent.
Chances are if you have a mother, living and loving, you don’t notice them. If you do, you might enjoy the reminders, the ideas of gifts assisting you in picking out the perfect reminder of the love you feel for someone that has likely given you the world.
But, there is a club of people, and I don’t wish membership on anyone, where Mother’s Day isn’t about chocolates and flowers, but about pain and remembrance.
I am in that club. My mother is still present on this earth, but not in my life, so this yearly tribute to the woman that didn’t want me stings as I grasp at the emptiness that stands right where she should be. I stay away from Facebook and television and try to make the day feel normal.
My husband, and his siblings are also in the club as well, but for different reasons. He lost his beautiful mother four years ago, and her presence is missed daily, but compactly on Mother’s Day.
So many years, we hid from the day, gritting our teeth and waiting for it to pass.
This year, was different.
We have been working for years to bring his grandmother home to take care of her. She is in her last moments, and we want to cherish all the time we have left and give her a life outside of the confines of her current nursing home.
This weekend, we began that process and brought her home for the weekend, learning the in’s and out’s of her required care and sitting curled up next to her listening to her stories and hearing her laugh. I read her the hard crossword puzzle questions that I couldn’t get and listened as she spelled out the answers. I heard stories of her youth, laughed at jokes she told, and held her hand to comfort her when the pain of Parkinson’s took over her body.
Then, she gave me the best Mother’s Day gift I could of ever received.
I had just helped her back to her chair and tucked in a blanket around her before sitting down and taking her hand. She leaned in, a challenge for her at times of pain, and kissed me on the head, whispering these precious words in my ear,
” I love you, Honey. I wish you were my child”
Words, that I never heard from my own mother. Words that healed a part of that hurt, if even just for a moment.
And it came to me that Mother’s Day isn’t about just celebrating YOUR mother, but all the Mother’s that have given you love, and you have shaped you.
This mother, gave me healing. My aunt Dina, took me in when I was a teenager and still treats me like her own child. She is a mother that I should celebrate today. The women who have given me advice, who see me through tough times, who help remind me of who I am, they are who Mother’s Day is for.
Much like Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, Mother’s Day is a celebration of the love that woman have for one another, and the care and compassion we are shown everyday by those around us.
There are so many Mother’s that unlike my own, have given me gifts of healing, love and warmth. This Mother’s Day, and those in the future, I will focus not on my loss, but of the richness in that.
With Love and Blessings,
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, By Jengledow