Mother’s Day. My 40th without my mom here on earth. Grief. We can’t go around it, we can’t go above it, we can’t go below it. We must go THROUGH it. Our old “friend” grief sits and waits for us. As survivors, we may try to move quickly into many activities to distract our minds from grief. It waits. We may stay in bed and refuse to acknowledge the bomb that dropped into the middle of our lives. It waits. We may try to not talk about how we feel because it hurts too much. It waits. The holidays come and the holidays go. We anticipate them, often with dread, and, yet, in spite of that, they still appear on time.
Every year, I anticipate with joy the time I spend with my daughter, Jen, Grandson, Ryan, husband, Bill, and sis-in-law, Connie on the 2nd Sunday of May. We meet for breakfast and head to Home Depot to pick out plants for our gardens. Our time together is fun and filled with joy.
The day before, Bill and I always go to the North Aurora Garden Club Plant Sale where all of the plants are from the gardeners’ own gardens. We usually purchase quite a few.
In the afternoon of the 2nd Sunday of May, I spend time with my own mom as I plant all that I’d bought the past days. I talk to her and, often, I can feel a whisper coming back to me. I feel her presence. It would not be unusual for me to have my I-Pod playing the above song as well as Bette Midler’s “My One True Friend.”
After mom died, I dreaded this holiday. Gradually, as the years went by, I was able to buy flowers and isolate in my garden for a good portion of the day. I had young children when she died so, of course, the earlier parts of the day would be spent with them as they “honored” me.
I think of you who now anticipate your first Mother’s Day without your child or your mom. What will you do? Where will you be? How do you recognize and spend time with your surviving children? If you are a surviving sibling, how will this be for you? (Yes, I know, it’ll “suck”.)
Try to find the time to just “be” as best you can. I wish I had quick and easy answers for this but there are none. That’s why the power of the group of survivors helps. Talking to someone who “gets it” makes all the difference, doesn’t it?
The power of musical lyrics speaks to me and always has. I was raised in a home filled with music by a mom who once sang with a band, a sister who had a beautiful opera like voice, and a dad who appreciated all genres. At the age of 6, I started piano lessons. Music was a part of who I was “before” and it remains a strong part of who I am “after.” When I cook or bake, my I-Pod rocks out happy tunes. When I need a good cry, these lyrics can do it for me.
“Mama, I hope you’re happy with my life, at peace with every choice I’ve made…” The “I’m sorry’s” still run through my head. Every day. However, the overall acceptance of what is must be what each and every one of us lives with because…well, this really IS what it is. We continue to move forward through our lives. We always remember. We never forget. We speak of them. We feel their presence.
Our loved ones are at peace, of this I have no doubt. They live on through us. To my mom, Ellen Weber, may she know that “I am where I am because of her truth…” My fervent wish for you on this Mother’s Day is that you find some peace for yourself…