Yesterday, as my husband and I perused a flower shop, abundant with HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY signs, I paused and said aloud, "I don't have a mother anymore." He looked at me with that sad and understanding look I've received many times since my mother passed away last month, but before he had a chance to say something, I rescinded my proclamation and added, "I take that back, it's not that I don't have a mother, I just don't have mine."
On April 13th, I received a call from the hospital where my mother was being treated that would change my life forever, that would induct me into one of the most profoundly meaningful clubs I'll ever be a part of - the club of loss. It's true what they say, you don't know what it's like to lose the person you've literally known the longest in your life until you do, and there aren't words that can describe what that loss feels like. So I stopped trying to find them.
In my darkest moments, when I'm suddenly reminded she's no longer here because I was about to call her with some juicy gossip only she would love, or pass a store she shopped at often, I lose my breath, like someone just kicked me straight in the chest. But I don't break, because almost instantly I'm reminded of a notebook she left behind, filled with a list of To Dos for me to handle upon her death. The most prominent message in that book, scribbled in her defined cursive, is simply "celebrate my life, dance and laugh". And then I'm at ease...at least for a little while.
I believe other club members who tell me the pain never really goes away, it just sticks around forever, at moments dull and remote, and other times strong and nearly overwhelming. But I'll also follow the advice of those that have told me to laugh when a memory of her causes me to do so, to smile when I see something that reminds me of her and to be happy because she'd want me to be... she literally wrote it in a book.
So this Mother's Day I send my love to all the moms I know, the ones that adore their children and the ones that have acted as mothers to me throughout my life (it takes a village...) And to the very special woman whose spirit is probably sitting beside me and proofreading this entry (that would explain why I keep obsessively rereading for typos), you will be in my thoughts always and my heart forever.
I love you.