My mother passed away a year ago, two weeks before Mother’s Day. This year the Mother’s Day ads started early and I had a whole month to mourn the lack of someone to shop for or search for the perfect card. However, the truth is that it has been an acknowledgement and reminiscence of all that has transpired each day since.
Memories float to the surface among my tears like blurry Monet images of life. There is no “new normal” as people told me because nothing feels normal. Someone was offended because I called 30 year olds “kids.” Regardless of the age, if you have a parent, then you are someone’s child. Even when your mother is 70, she still recalls the memories of pregnancy and birth and those moments that made you one of her kids. She still demands and deserves respect for the status in life and the milestones achieved. Her memories dominate and no day goes by that she is not remembered, good or bad, for who she was as part of my life.
We are forever children trapped in the timelessness of memories, traveling through time to the feeling of adolescent 12 year olds; not yet a teen and not still a child, but not old enough to be on our own. We needed the reassurance of a parent who cared about us and knew where we were and cared that we were fed, cared if we had clean clothes to wear and a clean bed to sleep in. We were expected to do our homework and chores around the house. Big ones help the little ones.
Now, we try to protect each other without our North Star. The guidance and celestial being that connected us all is somewhere out “there” but certainly not here. My siblings and I are more cautious, gentler, and more fragile. Some of us are new grandparents and yet, we have no Mother. Those beautiful babies made us the matriarchs of our individual families, but the Mother of us all cannot see the photos nor answer the phone when one is born to share our news. There is no replacement for the original.
There are piles of emails in my inbox reminding me to think of what Mom really wants and to capture the photos of us together. Reservations have been made to celebrate Mother’s Day and show her how much we care with handmade Belgian waffles. There are no cards for me nor have I achieved that status of special planning. Life has gone on and work continues no matter the day. Hallmark goes on without me and maybe when I am older it will seem that I am a mother worth celebrating. For now, children are still growing and busy with their lives. They have not reached the age where they understand what it means to mother for a lifetime.
Yet, I have reached the stage where I cannot understand why mothers cannot last a lifetime. I knew that there was going to be a passing, there had to be a greeting and a farewell. There would be angels guarding and lighting the way and I am supposed to meet that moment with gratitude that she was not alone. But the only constant is that I miss her and she was my mother and she is no more.
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