As I’ve had some time to reflect on this past Mother’s Day, it has brought a few thoughts to mind.
Growing up I don’t remember Mother’s Day being a huge deal.
Sure, we usually made or bought mom some nice gifts (this improved as we got older…), ensured that someone else (dad…) made dinner, and told her we loved her a few extra times.
But that was about the extent of it.
In fact, I cannot remember a Mother’s Day that was a massive event with a party or lots of presents or anything.
It was just more a simple, quiet, love on mom day.
And make sure that she didn’t have to cook.
And mail cards to the grandmothers if mom remembered…
So when faced with my first Mother’s Day without my mother, I didn’t think it would hurt as badly as some of the previous firsts.
After all, this was not one of our families’ “big events.”
But now, after making it through Mother’s Day weekend and beyond, I can honestly and truthfully say
That was the most painful first thus far.
Maybe it’s because I didn’t expect it to be.
But, when you’re working through hardships and suffering, especially ones that have resulted in loss, it seems to magnify everything else.
Or everyone else.
Especially those who have what you don’t.
I’ve always heard about the women who suffer through Mother’s Day with empty arms aching for a baby.
I have much less experience for when it is a child aching for their mother.
I was able to muddle through all the TV ads and the mail flyers exclaiming that Mother’s Day was coming!
By focusing on the fact that I too, am a mother.
But when I woke up Mother’s Day morning I was unable to hide anymore.
Any and all social media platforms available were bursting with Mother’s Day excitement.
Pictures of Mother’s Day brunch, videos of gifts given/received, and heartfelt words proclaiming that this is in fact the best mother alive, and how thankful we are for her, and we couldn’t survive without you.
It was moment after moment of an in your face reminder that I will never have another lunch date with my mom.
I’ll never spend two hours on the phone with her even knowing I would see her for dinner that night.
We will never go get our nails done only for me to listen to her complain about the “wild” color I talked her into.
I will never again wish her a happy Mother’s Day.
While I do not begrudge anyone celebrating their mother (I mean, you should, and it’s probably not done enough), it’s difficult to be surrounded by it all.
It’s hard to see so much joy and thankfulness when you are sad.
And I know this pain isn’t limited to those missing their mom on Mother’s Day.
It’s hard to watch moms celebrating their babies when your arms are empty.
It’s hard to see pictures from that family hike when your chronic pain won’t let you out of bed.
Suffering is hard.
Loss is hard.
Figuring out how to move forward without someone
And though I am so grateful for the mother’s who are still in, and very much influencing, my life,
I think Mother’s Day will be a little tainted from now on.
Although it will always be a day to celebrate those important mothers still in my life,
As well as enjoy being celebrated as a mother myself,
There will forever be a hole that cannot be filled.
Forever an empty seat and an unsent card.
Forever a painful reminder of what I no longer have this side of Heaven.
Forever a reminder that loss has a funny way of glossing over moments you thought would be hard, only to be hit from behind when you least expect it.
But also, forever filled with sweetness as I look back on all the moments, memories, and time spent with my dear Mom, and remember that while I ache now,
Heaven is one day coming when I will see her again.
So in the midst of that ache, and the sadness, and the pain, I will remain thankful for that fact.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom.
P.S. I know you’d appreciate the fact that this post is embarrassingly late. Some things never change, huh?