Mother’s Day. Mother’s day is bittersweet for me. I dread it every year, along with a few other choice dates that have very little significance to others. My mom passed away fourteen years ago. Every year, I am just as sad as I was that first Mother’s Day. Although, I have my threefold to celebrate with me on Mother’s Day, it’s just not the same anymore. I’m motherless on Mother’s Day, but I shouldn’t be.
I have so many regrets and at the same time, I feel cheated out of so much time. We should still have plenty of years left to spend with my mom. I was just at the beginning of this journey when I lost my mom. I never knew that losing a parent would leave me so lost too.
Gone Too Soon
My mother passed away at 48 years old, suddenly and completely unexpectedly. She left behind a family who would cling tight to one another in the months after her passing. However, that tight family would drift apart years later.
When my mom passed away, I was 23. I was 23, married, I had a four year old, and was 7 months pregnant with #2 of my threefold. I thought I was an adult, but honestly, I was still such a naive girl. My brother was 27, married and the dad of a two year old daughter. Then there was my dad, he was distraught, and unsure of how to be alone after losing the woman he had married over 25 years previously. We were all so incredibly lost in the aftermath of my mom’s death. In many ways, we still are.
It was too soon. It is unreal. As a result, I still to this day feel cheated due to how much my mom has missed. I still feel that sadness and pain I felt over a decade ago. Along the way, I’ve learned there is one saying that is so true: “no one on earth can ever replace your mother.”
The Truth About My Mother
My mother was not a saint. Although, it’s easier to glorify her now that she is gone. Furthermore, my mother and I did not have the relationship of a tv sitcome mother-daughter duo. We fought like crazy. At times, I wondered if she even liked me. In addition, I am sure that I said the words I hate you on more than one occasion. My mother and I had a love-hate relationship.That tulmultuous up and down relationship left me with many regrets and a tremendous amount of guilt after she died.
The Not So Pretty Side
My mom was never much on affection, she was overly concerned with her appearance, what others thought of her and was very much that mom. She loved shopping and other materialistic things that brought her very little joy. In addition, she was chronically depressed and anxious. She slept more than any person should ever need to and was only social if she had a few drinks. In addition, she was highly critical, petty, dramatic, and had the RBF that made you think she was pissy.
The Good Mom
On the other hand, my mother was generous. My mom opened her home to my friends in need. She often dontated to charities. She was a fierce protector of her children. She stood up to injustices and treated people with kindness. I watched her give money to the same homeless man on the corner everyday she saw him. I witnessed her pay for people’s groceries and the car behind us in the drive thru. She had so much good. She loved animals.
My mom wasn’t perfect, but I know she tried. However, I know my mother suffered from mental illness. I understand it much more now, than I ever could back then. As a result, that mental illness is one of the things that killed my mother and stole all of my time with her. If we would’ve known, we would’ve helped her before it was too late.
Life Goes On
I vividly remember those days after my mother’s death. Everything felt surreal. It seemed as if I was moving in slow motion. However, everyone around me was still moving at normal speed. It was like a nightmare that I was just waiting to wake up from, but never did. I wanted her back. I needed her. The truth is, I didn’t even know how much I would need her.
After her death, I couldn’t help but selfishly think about all the many moments I would need my mom and not have her by my side. I didn’t know at the time just how many of those days there would be ahead of me. Furthermore, I didn’t think about the many, many milestones she would miss in my life and the lives of her now five beautiful grandchildren. Although, each time we come across one of those milestones, I still find myself aching for her to be there with us.
Memories and old pictures are all we have left now of my mother. I hold tight to those. It’s not fair. Although, it’s not easy finding the way forward, somehow we keep going. It’s not easy being motherless on Mother’s Day. There is a piece of me that died when my mother did. However, I’m still not sure what piece I lost when we lost her.
I took the time I had with my mom before she died for granted. If I can offer one piece of advice it would be if your mother is still in your life make the call, go visit, send the flowers, and show her all the love and appreciation you have for her. After all, she won’t always be here and one day you’ll wonder if she knew how special she was to you. In the end, all you’ll have are the memories you made.
Happy Mother’s Day. ☮️❤️😊~M
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