This mother’s day has hit me pretty hard. My first mother’s day.
The emotional toll of being a mother myself, compounded with the realization of my own mother’s illness all came to the forefront on this glorious Sunday.
I don’t talk much about my struggles of being a mom without my mom, but it’s a hard one. I often think to myself how I would approach telling God, or whoever implanted an incurable, slowly-wasting-away disease in my mother, that I would take back my youth with her, if only I could implant her in my life today. Because now is when I need her the most. When I would appreciate her the most.
I would love to talk to her about my missteps as a mom. I would ask her how she was so loving and patient, ask her how she came up with all of her meal plans and activities, and ask her how she picked her battles with everyone else’s parenting ideas.
I would tell her I’m sorry for taking for granted all those meals she made, lunches she packed, all that laundry she ironed and folded, and all those night she sat with me for just one more story or one more arm tickle. I would thank her for always staying upstairs because I needed someone on the same floor as me to go to sleep.
I would hug her.
Really hug her, and she would hug back. She would say just what I wanted to hear: what an amazing person, parent, wife, I’ve become. Because that’s what moms do. And I would believe her.
So now, without my mom, I have to go it alone. Without the one pillar in my corner, that most women get to turn to. I will instead, take those visuals and memories I have etched in my mind from my own childhood, and use them to raise Jack. I will try to harness my mom’s ability to make him whole, clean foods, to be patient with him, to read that extra book, sing songs, and hug him. Hug him and kiss him and tell him just how amazing he is. And make sure he too, believes it. Like only a mom can.
Thank you, Mom, for showing me what it takes to become a great mom. I wish you were with us to show Jack what a great grandmother you would be… I miss you, love you, and think of you daily.
Happy Mother’s Day to all those moms out there.