You Are Not Alone
To all those who may have lost their mothers too soon, who are spending this day with one foot in joy and one foot in grief… you are not alone.
I was seventeen. She was fifty-six. And the doctor said cancer. Back then, it was a death sentence. And two months and eight days later, she was gone.
I have spent my entire life with mixed emotions about this day, and today is no different. I am honored to be James’ mom and I celebrate that gift! But this morning, as I sit here alone in the quiet, (James is spending half this day with his beautiful Grandmother) I am a bit sad and angry about the way it all went down. Okay, a lot sad and angry.
But this day, and every Mother’s Day, calls me to acknowledge that pain and recognize the beauty in the loss of her and who I am because of it.
Those of us who lost our mothers young, we were challenged to handle the milestone moments in our lives with a big gaping hole announcing her absence. We walked down wedding aisles with our fathers, to look and see no one sitting where our mom should have been. We tried to duplicate recipes, and ended up with things that were “not quite right” because of the one secret ingredient she didn’t write on the index card. We took graduation photos with only one parent. We birthed children, held them in our arms, and for the first time understood how much our mom loved us, even though she wasn’t there to tell us.
But I choose to believe that she grieved alongside us for each of these moments as well!
(Okay, except maybe in regards to the recipe, I think she’s probably laughing her ass off that I still can’t make her Slovenian Cucumber gravy just right!)
But she did love us.
She DOES love us – with all her life-giving heart.
And she lives on in our spirits. In our smiles. In our determination. And In our resilient, grief-birthed strength. Strength that was forged in the pain. We are sad today, because she left us. But the loss of her has made us a much stronger version of ourselves then if she was still here to be a Grandma to our children.
If you’re like me today, with one foot in joy and one foot in grief, know that you are not alone. I know she’s right there with you.