It comes around every year. I have qualified for the past 16 years. It is supposed to be a day of appreciation and caring and thanksgiving. The one day where, as a mom, you get a pat on the back. But for the past 13 years I have fought it.
My mom died thirteen and a half years ago. She went from country dancing three nights a week healthy to dead in a quick weekend. Strokes are swift and unforgiving. And suddenly I was motherless. A brand new mom myself, I was left without my template.
And so every May since then I have struggled. Struggled to see how this holiday is about me when in my own heart it is so much about her. Struggled to walk past the aisles of Memorial Day grave decorations, knowing I belonged in that section, not the one stocked with gift ideas for moms. And honestly, struggled to allow my kids to honor me the way they want to, because the grief of missing 'her' constantly threatened to bubble to the surface.
I heard a term recently that says it well. I find myself walking around fragile. Feeling like a pitcher so full of blessings yet so on the verge of bursting open from the tiny cracks inside that were put in place the day we put her in the ground.
It has gotten better as the years clip by. Some years are actually, really....dare I say it?...good. I spend time with these great kids of mine and realize with the fullness of my heart how blessed I truly am. I can see logically how I have become a better mother, having grown up with a wonderful example.
Last year was glorious. We spent the day in the woods behind our house. We hiked up trails and threw rocks in the creek. We had fallen log balancing contests (or technically, they had balancing contests...it is not one of my gifts with the one legged thing) and I took a zillion pictures that turned out great. Gorgeous sun shining through the new leaves of spring and filling us all up with peace and family contentment.
And this past Sunday was another home run. I spent the day with my four healthy babies and my patient, oh so patient hubby. We spent another day in the sun, exploring new places together and making new memories.
And my mom was there. In my heart. In my mind. And in the loving nature of every one of her beautiful grandchildren. Who inherited not only many of her looks, but her kind, kind spirit.
Happy Mothers Day Mom. I love you and I miss you but I am moving on. I hope you are proud.
Your third daughter, Judy