This is the first Mother’s Day that I am motherless. It feels weird. Even though Mom and I weren’t as close as a lot of mothers and daughters, I would always acknowledge her on Mother’s Day. She would be celebrated by my Dad, and would receive cards, flowers, gifts and phone calls from her “kids.”
There is a big hole in the universe. And it’s not just because Mom’s gone, but because Mom and Dad are both gone now.
Many years ago, back in the late eighties, one spring when Mom was particularly up and feeling good (slightly manic), she decided that she wanted to go to a Caribbean island for a week’s vacation. For some reason, staying at a friend’s Caribbean condo didn’t work out, so we booked a week in Aruba. My Dad didn’t want to take time off work, so he told me that if I accompanied my mother to Aruba, he’d foot my bill. Didn’t have to ask me twice. We went.
We both partied like we were in our early 20’s. Well, I was in my early 20’s. We went to the beach, took tours, went on a snorkel and sail boat, and went to a luau. Had a blast. Somewhere along the way, someone took my camera and snapped a photo of the two of us. Seeing that photo was the first time I realized just how much like my mother I looked. And that was after a lifetime of people commenting on how much I looked like my mother. When I was young, I didn’t like being compared to her (probably because of the mental illness thing). But now when I look back at Mom, she was quite a looker. And I’m quite happy to be compared to her, when it comes to looks.
Mom, even though you’re no longer here with us in the physical world, I know you still keep tabs on me. And I hope you’re better than ever. Happy Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day is bittersweet without Mom, this will be my second. I spent the day buying flowers and bushes, and will spend tomorrow gardening in mom’s honor (as I did last year). I think focusing on life, and something beautiful and productive helps keep me from being swallowed up by grief. Stay off Facebook this weekend; that was the best advice a fellow motherless friend offered last year.
I thought this was a very touching piece, and I love the photos. Your mom was a beauty. I hope she has found peace in her next realm. I don’t fully understand it, but I believe whole-heartedly that we stay connected after our physical bodies pass. It’s very comforting knowing mom is up there watching out for us still.
Thank you for sharing. I love that you’re gardening in your Mom’s honor. From what I have learned (I have a dear friend who has been to the other side and came back), when we die, we merely transition out of our body, but our spirit, or soul remains. Any and all illness stays with the physical body. So Mom is no longer bipolar or dealing with any physical pain. Hope you have a great day planting.
Happy Mother’s Day to you. Nice tribute and memory.
Thank you so much.
Love those photos. Thinking of you this Mother’s Day.
Thanks Darla. Love the photo of you and your munchkins.
Beautiful photos and thoughts; Thinking of you on this Mother’s day and I hope there’s some fun and joy today, too.
I’m fully with you — I think that, with death, all illness is left behind and we transition onward happily.
Thanks MJ. So far, it’s been a nice, relaxing day. Looking forward to a meal out later.
This motherless, orphan, phase of life is challenging. It’s a great time for some healing, and an opportunity to remember some of the sweet times with our mothers. Such nice photos of your mom! I’m glad you were able to reflect on some of the good times.
Thanks Dawn. Yes, we did have a few adventures together. I’ll have to write about our trip across country when I moved out here. I came across an album Mom created, of that trip.
It’s good to hold onto those memories, especially given her struggles. I imagine it was painful for her as well, to not be as present as she might have wanted. You can grow from it and offer your Little Man a meaningful connection… whatever’s happening.