2 years, 8 months, 18 days, since I said goodbye. & for every single of the 992 days since then, I have missed you. I haven’t written a blog post in a while, I’ve been busy with school and work but what better time to write than 2 days before Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day, the day where we celebrate our mother’s and all that they do for us. Yet, out here in my little corner of the world, it’s one of the worst days, (week) of the year. There’s so much hype around Mother’s Day, especially working in the service industry- everyone wants to go out for brunch, lunch, dinner and celebrate mom. So, you can imagine it’s pretty triggering for me. Usually around May 1st, I start to feel the familiar dark cloud of heavy grief around me, it usually doesn’t go away until after Mother’s Day; and then comes the startling realization that we’re only 2.5 months away from the anniversary of my moms death and that brings a whole other set of emotions.
Mother’s Day is always a concept I’ve disliked (much like Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day), why do we need a day to celebrate the people we love? Shouldn’t we ALWAYS celebrate love and all the wonderful people in our lives? Shouldn’t we live each day as though we aren’t promised tomorrow? Heads up: we aren’t promised anything in life. The hype surrounding all of these days is overwhelming when you DO have the person in your life, but what about the people who lost their person, or just don’t have any kind of relationship with their person? It’s rough.
I think my point here is, be understanding and compassionate to all around you, especially this weekend. If you’re going out to eat with your family, be mindful that maybe your server doesn’t get to celebrate with their mom (whether that’s because they’re no longer here, because they’re working, because of Covid or because they don’t have a relationship). Be mindful that sometimes our own happiness and thoughts cloud the parts of our brain that show compassion and understanding for others. What might be a really wonderful day to celebrate mom for you, is somebody’s worst nightmare.
I worked Mother’s Day the first year after I lost my mom, and then last year and this year I’ve made it a point to not work. There is nothing worse than seating hundreds of mothers and children, having them ask what your plans are and wondering how to politely tell them that actually your mom is dead and that you’re probably just going to go home and cry in the bath after your shift. So I’m pretty glad, I just don’t have to face that conversation this year.
This week has been unbelievably hard, to the point I’ve cried probably about 7 times already. Yesterday, I went to the bank to cash a check, I walked up to the ATM. Standing over at the other ATM was a lady in a pink shirt, with her short hair covered by a baseball hat, the likeness to my mother caught my attention, and then as I approached the ATM, I got a whiff of her perfume and it was like somebody had punched me in the face whilst simultaneously sucker punched my gut. Her perfume smelled so much like my mom’s that I was overcome with such a tremendous wave of grief. I literally cashed my check, choking back tears, walked to my car and sobbed. I’ve never had a smell trigger my grief before, but I know it can be one of the most powerful triggers.
I like to believe in signs from the universe. A hummingbird flutters by, and I imagine it’s my mama saying hi, a song that reminds me of her comes on shuffle and I think of her, and now the smell of her perfume, I’m going to take it as a sign of her saying hello and reminding me she is always with me. Even on the hardest days.
There are 525,600 minutes in a year, and there have been 1,427,814 minutes since august 19th 2018, and I will never stop counting the minutes that I don’t get to have you in my life. You are and were the fiercest person I have met, there will never be words to describe how lucky I (and I know Laura and Emily feel the same way) am/was to call you mama. I carry your heart with me, and I will forever carry your legacy as a way to encourage me, challenge me and bring love and kindness to a world that needs more.
If I could change anything, I would tell you that I loved you more often than I did and I would cherish our hugs more.
So, mama, on our 3rd Mother’s Day without you; I raise my glass. Laura and I are going to do lunch together, I think you’d be so happy to know how close the three of us all are now. Whilst our lives changed drastically when you left, the relationships we had grew stronger because of you. We will talk about you, share stories and laugh, we will cheers you and we will cherish our 21 years of memories whilst wishing we’d gotten a little more time.
I love you to the moon and back, my sweet sunshine lady.