I miss my mother EVERY day (hour, minute, second....). She lost her battle with cancer on May 12, 2009, two days after Mother's Day that year. Twice now, that day has landed right on Mother's Day - but it always surrounds it. For the first few years, Mother’s Day only magnified my grief and sense of loss. I was angry. I was sad. The constant advertising was excruciating. I was also a mother, and I couldn’t celebrate it. I cried. I withdrew. I wanted to be alone. Years later, I am only slightly better at embracing it - with the mixed emotions it brings.
When she died, I wondered how I could be a mom without mine here. My days were strong – holding up for my 3 young kids 1, 4 and 7, while working a full time job in Finance. My nights were filled with tears, anger and exhaustion.
My oldest (pictured), now 15, is the only one of my kids who really remembers her. Just this fall I found a poem he wrote in his freshman English class. He wrote, “I was 7. She was my best friend.” I was 36. She was my best friend too.
My mother was amazing. She was strong, smart and thoughtful. She may be gone but there are pieces of her all around me - in me, my brother, her friends and family, my kids. I have an insane need to find those and hold on as tight as I can, although truth be told, I still find myself (8 years later) bursting into tears over a song or a missed moment.
I found a letter written to my kids on her computer right after she died. I can still hear her voice when I read it. It also fills me with gratitude that I am her daughter. I’m sharing an excerpt from it – in honor of all the amazing women we should still be celebrating who are no longer living yet always with us.
This letter is my way of saying goodbye to you, my precious grandchildren and to let you know how much you have meant to me. From the day you were each born, I fell in love with you and looked forward to watching you grow up into loving, caring, and respectful people. You each have your special talents and gifts to give to the world and I am sorry I cannot be there to see them as the events happen.
The hardest part of leaving this earth is that I will miss you so much. But I believe in angels in heaven and I hope I will watch over you with love as an angel. I believe you will all succeed at what you try in life and will learn from your mistakes. It’s okay to make mistakes, you know, as long as you learn the lesson.
My wish for you all is that you will show your love to others and be caring and considerate of other people’s feelings. I hope that you will work hard to achieve your goals, whatever they may be. As you become adults, you will understand more of what I say.
You all were the most precious and cherished gifts that I have received in my life, just as my children were. I wish you all happiness and have prayed for you to be safe and joyous and healthy.
Just remember me in your heart after I am gone. And that I loved you with all my heart and soul. Be good, be happy, dance and sing and have a joyous life.
Well said, Mom. I miss you. I love you.
Happy Mothers Day.