So, today is mother's day. Quite possibly, this is my least favorite day of the entire year. Now, I don't play the dead mother card very often, but I feel like this is one day that it is okay for me to say, "Hey, I had a mother too, and she's dead, and I miss her."
Mother's Day, for those of us who have lost our mothers is kind of like Valentine's Day for single people (which I am also an expert in) but worse. When you are single on V-Day, there is always the hope that maybe next year you will have someone to celebrate with. But I know that no matter what, I won't enjoy Mother's day next year any more than I am enjoying it this year.
In all fairness, though, Mother's day isn't the only day that I miss my mom. I miss her every single day. Most of the time I can put that aside and go on with life like everything is just fine. But every once and awhile, I just need the day to sulk and pout and feel sorry for myself before I can get back to living. Those are the days when it hurts. When I can really see what I've lost and how much I will miss.
My mother never got to see me graduate from college with my 4.0. We didn't get to take the trip to Europe the summer after I graduated like we had planned. She didn't get to see me land my first job, or to quit my first job. I won't be able to call her the first time I fall in love, and I won't have her words of wisdom when I fall out of it again. She won't be there when I get married or when I have my babies. I won't get to watch her grow old and play with her grandchildren.
I was 20 when my mom died, 17 when she get sick. I am 25 now. But just because you are all grown up doesn't mean that you don't still want your mom every once in awhile. Sometimes the hole feels so big that I don't think I can ever fill it up. There is a great line in the movie You've Got Mail where Meg Ryan's character is talking about getting her book shop ready for Christmas without her mother and she says she was "missing her so much I couldn't breathe." I never understood what she meant until I lost my own mom. Now there are times when I do miss her so much that even breathing feels like an effort. There are days when I don't want to get out of bed because it hurts too much. And there are times when I would give anything to be able to talk to her again.
My friends say I talk about my mom like she is still here. In a way, I suppose she is. I find that I get more and more like her as I get older. And for better or worse, she is the voice in my head that tells me when I'm going wrong or doing right. The things she taught me still shape how I do things around the house: washing dishes, folding laundry, cleaning the bathroom. And I get told all the time how much I look like my mom. I've never seen it, really, but then again I don't think you ever think you look like anyone else.
But all that doesn't add up to what my mom was to me when she was alive. She was my best friend. She was my mentor. She was my confidante. She was the one person I could count on to always tell me the truth and to help me figure things out. She was so intertwined in my life that before she died, I couldn't imagine a life without her, and now I sometimes wonder how I can make it work. But I do. And it does seem to get easier as the years go by. It's been 5 years now and I don't have as many bad days I as used to. But I still miss her every day. And I probably always will.
So, to those of you out there who still have mother's to celebrate with today, count your blessings, because there are those of us in the world who would trade places with you in a heart beat if you asked.