Well, it’s over! The day I was been dreading for the past 6 months has come and gone. I can check mothers day off of that list of “Firsts” without my mom.
This day has always been such a big deal for the ladies in my family. Every year we celebrated with gifts, flowers, and a special meal cooked by the men folk. Mother’s Day also meant it was mother/daughter banquet time. My mom LOVED mother/daughter banquets. Like, LOVED them! She planned one every year at each of our churches. When I was little she would dress me up in the most hideous of frilly dresses. The worst was when we all had to match! She would curl my hair with those painful pink sponge rollers, and force me to smile and sing. I always complained!
“I hate the dress!”
“These tight are so itchy!”
“The rollers are too tight!”
“Please mom, don’t make me sing “Oh you beautiful doll again!”
“Im sorry, but these butter mints and cashews are not cutting it! When do we get the real food?”
I always survived though, and honestly typically had fun. Mother/Daughter banquets were like family reunions, and we all had the best time just being together. As time went by, some moved away, some passed, marriages ended, and little ones grew up. By the time I was an adult, those reunions were no more, but my mom, sister, and our girls still kept the tradition alive…until this year.
I just couldn’t do it! I walked into this beautifully decorated church and I broke down into tears. A lifetime of memories flashed through my mind, and my heart sank into my stomach. What I wouldn’t give for just one more chance to sit with her, to sing silly songs with her, and eat those butter mints until the sweet feeling took over my stomach. I would even be willing to wear the itchy tights and endure the pink rollers. We don’t get to redo those moments though, so I decided to sit this one out.
Sadness came over me in a such a way. I just wanted to just forget mothers day was even a thing this year. I sat alone crying in my room asking God to just help me get through the day. I just wanted it to be done, and I would move on to the next “first” on my list.
I woke up on mothers day sicker than I have been in quite a long time. I couldn’t stop sneezing, my nose was runny and my eyes were all puffy.
At first, I wanted to be mad for being sick, but it actually helped take my mind off of the sadness of the day. I had to take so much cold medicine, all I could do all afternoon was sleep. In a weird way, being sick was a blessing. Then I got to wake up to gifts and dinner all prepared for me with love. I seriously don’t know what I ever did to deserve being a mom to such amazing kids. And I don’t say this to be braggy. I legit am a hot mess most days. I can’t iron, I have no filter, I burn frozen pizza, and I still haven’t even unpacked my clothes into my dresser after almost 2 years of living in this house! I cry all the time, snap on them, and probably set unrealistic expectations for them daily. Yet, they love me. They give me a reason to celebrate Mothers day every day!
I hate it when people preach perspective. It’s easier said than done. Perspective doesn’t ease the pain or make our problems go away. It can however help us see some light through all the darkness. I can choose to stay stuck in the sadness from losing my mom or I can choose to celebrate the fact that God gave me a mom who loved me unconditionally and chose to show me Christ through her life. I can choose to hate Mother’s Day because I no longer have a mother here, or I can choose to celebrate Mother’s Day because I am a mother. I can choose to focus on all the things I will experience without my mom or I can choose to celebrate all the memories I do have with her.
Sure, I am going to always miss her and there are going to be times when my eyes pour out tears because I long to just speak to her one more time. I just don’t want my sadness to replace all those good memories she gave me.
Those memories were there with me as mom laid in ICU and squeezed my hand while I sang “Oh you beautiful doll” to her one last time. Those memories are what me and my kids use during those times when we just miss her so much we want to cry. And I think those memories are what I will share with my granddaughters one day when I drag them to future mother/daughter banquets…I may even break out some of those pink rollers. I think mom would insist!