I came across this on Facebook this morning, and it resonated with me in such a way that I felt I could finally write about celebrating Mother’s Day without my mom.
The problem I’ve been faced with, for example, is mentioning how I miss my mom on a social platform and someone responding with “what about us whose moms never loved us?” I can’t answer that but I know the relationships we have with our mothers are complicated, even when you’re close.
You can be close to your mom but never see her. You can be close and close by. You can be close by but not close. Get what I’m saying?
This is the post:
“With tomorrow being Mother’s Day, my heart feels especially sensitive to my friends for whom this holiday will be hard.
Friends who will be standing by gravesites. Friends whose moms haven’t been a part of their lives in many years. Those who have challenging relationships with their moms who try to navigate Mother’s Day with grace but some necessary distance.
And then there are those who are still aching to be called “Mom.” Those with arms longing to hold a little one of their own.”
I remember just after my my mom passed away I went to fetch Emma from a playdate and my daughter pulled one of her “I don’t want to go home! I want to stay!” I tried to stay composed while explaining to her that I had missed her the entire day and would love to spend some time with her and have our now customary bedtime snuggles but she wasn’t having any of it. And I just crashed and burned.
I literally broke into a million pieces, right there, in front of this poor woman. She had no idea what to do or say but she suggested Emma stay a bit longer and then be dropped off later. A few weeks later I saw the same friend again and she mentioned that I was looking better than when she saw me last. She then went onto say she had no idea my mom’s loss had affected me as much because I never really mentioned her, I didn’t spend a lot of time with her, even though we lived close enough to.
Even if is she was here today there’s a very good chance I wouldn’t spend the day with her. She would be with one of my two brothers, or both, with their wives, and I would be the ‘shitty’ daughter. I’m sure there’d be comments about my absence and she would sit quietly, saying nothing, maybe even agreeing in order to keep the facade. But she would know why I wasn’t there.
We would have spoken on the phone or via WhatsApp voice notes – my mom had recently discovered them, and let me just say she loved the function – I would have wished her a happy Mother’s Day and she would have done the same. And then we’d say goodbye, tell each other they were loved and go about our day.
I loved my mom dearly and I know she loved me. But she wasn’t perfect and there were some things I wish she had done differently. There are days my entire body aches for her, just to hear her voice. Other days I am so angry with her and then feel guilty that she can probably feel the rage.
There are moments I wish for one more conversation, so I can tell her that all is forgiven, that I understand why she did what she did and didn’t do what she should have. I would do anything to hear her say my strength matched hers and she did things the way she did because out of everyone, she knew I would cope best.
At times I think it would have been better if she had died when I was younger, when I was going through my ’emo’ years. Maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t have missed her as much. But none of that matters. The ‘what if’, the ‘if only’, the ‘I shoulda, woulda, coulda’.
What I do know is the day she died my world came tumbling down. The moment I became motherless I truly felt alone. And lonely. It was when I had to finally become an adult. And that hasn’t changed. I hate ‘adulting’. Regardless of our relationship, there is no replacing my mother’s love. No one can take her place. She is truly irreplaceable.
My mom ‘got me’. I didn’t have to tell her when things were crap, she knew. She loved me even though I was broken beyond repair, she loved me when I was unloveable and I miss her everyday, every hour, second by second.
Mom, here’s to your first Mother’s Day in heaven. I hope it’s everything you dreamed it would be .
I love you. I miss you.