She smelled like flowers & baby powder. Her embrace could erase a thousand hurts; physically & mentally. A woman with a freely given smile & a heart that could hold the ocean. My sanctuary, my well of love & my teacher. She was my mother…
If you ever made her cry, it made you want to die. She was a lady…a tough lady. Her years of fighting cancer had made her incredibly present in her life & those around her. She knew EVERYTHING to say to smooth ruffled feathers, start a fire under you when you needed it & she made you feel like you could conquer the world! She made me feel beautiful even when I knew better & challenged me to love myself beyond society’s standards. Her voice I can still hear when I start doubting myself & her touch I can still feel when I need comfort. She was a once in a lifetime woman.
After her passing I was instantly furious when Mother’s Day would roll around. All Mother’s Day did for me was remind me of the absent space in my heart where my best friend used to be. It made me feel empty, angry, & I wanted to scream like a child! I was 27 when she left me, but I felt like a small child…lost. She was a woman who would support you through hell & back. A woman who I looked up to & aspired to be. When I lost her I was devastated, but years later I would realize that she wasn’t gone, she had left a piece of herself within me. Her gentle voice continued to resonate inside my mind & I found myself listening. I started to understand everything she tried to instill within me for so many years. I caught myself becoming more like her & within her shadows of memories I found my true self. It was only then that I could think of her & remember all those funny stories & her laughter instead of how unfair life was or how much she had suffered. I was okay & I was lucky…lucky to have been loved by this extraordinary woman.
When I was 11 years old, I decided that I wanted to be a poet. She nurtured the dream within me and took me to a writing camp. She spent hours letting me loiter in book stores pouring over love poetry. One night when she was extremely sick & couldn’t get out of bed, she offered me nothing but smiles & told me to crawl in bed next to her. She said “let’s make our own love poem together.” We went back & forth each writing a single line until our poem was complete. It was short in length & I don’t think I held it as near to my heart then as I do now. She knew I loved stars so, she said we could pick out a star in the sky & say our poem whenever we were apart & missed each other. The year after she passed, my Aunts gave me the most perfect gift for Christmas! They bought a star for my Mother so I could see her every night. They never knew about the poem or how deeply their gift had touched my heart. It was perfect!
Mother’s Day is always colored with bouquets of flowers & gifts marked “perfect for Mom!” Instead of sending that bouquet, what about sending her your thoughts in a card or letter? Take her to breakfast & listen to her wisdom. The story of her life is the fabric of which you are made. Gather memories like a mad person & stuff them in your heart! My most precious gifts in life are memories. Beautiful memories that you can keep with you & no one can take them away. I am so thankful to have kept letters & cards with her loving words in them; the greatest gifts are not materialistic. The greatest gifts require time…time spent with the ones you love & time spent creating something personal from the heart. You can be rich, but if you are rich with memories- you are truly blessed!
Mother’s Day is a day to remember our Mothers & maternal people in our lives who have impacted us to be the person we are today. To honor their sacrifices they have made out of love & thank them for giving us a continuous stream of unconditional love! Let’s face it, we have all been unlovable at times, but still loved by our Mothers;) I really believe that sometimes they are the only ones who can love us when we’ve made those gut dropping mistakes or selfish, youthful decisions. Later in life it seems we all have that moment of “holy moly- she really did know what she was talking about!!!” Mother’s protect our naive souls with what feels like unreasonable discipline at times. That is until you grow up to figure out that she really knew best & always had your back;)
Before I leave you with the poem my mother & I wrote, I wanted to tell you to CALL YOUR MOM lol! Tell her you love her & make sure that she knows that every day, not just on Mother’s Day!
To all the Mothers in my life, I thank you! Your warmth is never taken for granted! I see your love & the surrender of yourself for those you hold dear every day.
Happy Mother’s Day;)