If she were here, she’d have called me on the phone a month ago, asking me about my plans for Mother’s Day.
I’d have said, “I don’t know Mom, I haven’t gotten there yet.”
If she were here, she’d have called back an hour and a half later. If we did come over, she’d say, would pot roast be okay? Kroger had a sale and she has a nice one in the freezer. She’d also make mashed potatoes, and strawberries for the kids of course. And pound cake for dessert.
I’d be chuckling at her enthusiasm over food, and would have replied with, “Okay, Mom, we’ll see. I need to figure out what we’re doing first.”
It’s what she did when she was here.
If my mother was anything, she was enthusiastic about life. Whatever she did, she did full on. Whatever she loved, she loved with all her heart. And whenever she was faced with pain or sadness, she chose to look to the good.
I miss my mother most every day. I miss her phone calls and our conversations about my kids and the way she got mad at my father for being forgetful. I miss her smile, the light in her eyes and her determination to live a normal life despite being chained to an oxygen tank.
I miss her.
Though my grief has subsided, and my memories are no longer painful, losing my mother fashioned a hole in my heart. It’s the smallest of fissures, but it’s a space too substantial to ever be filled. Oh have I tried: stuffing the heart with food, alcohol or material items. But such tactics fail me.
So what do I do with this hole in my heart? With time, I have to learned to:
Acknowledge its presence.
Feel my pain.
And most importantly, move on.
So often in life I don’t want to feel. Pain. Anger. Stress. Sadness. Frustration. When these emotions come, I want to drown them.
I buy shoes.
I pray for God to make it all go away.
As I gain in years, I’m learning; I can’t really escape reality (who knew?).
I might get nice shoes out of the deal, but fabulous feet won’t really curb my pain.
I’ve also learned that heartache and joy are not mutually exclusive. Instead, the two reside side by side, taking turns with me throughout life. I can feel sad about my father’s dementia and thankful for my lovely daughters all in the same space and time. I can be happy over the richness of life and aching for a friend’s challenges all at the same time.
I can feel, I can release and I can move on, thanking God for the many gifts I have in life.
Like mother, like daughter, I guess. It’s perhaps the most important lesson she ever taught me. Now, on to plan Sunday’s dinner…
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL THE FABULOUS MOTHERS IN MY LIFE!
Mom at her beloved lake house.