Have you hugged a mom today?
No matter who you are or where you are on your life journey, we all have a unique experience with our mothers. As Mother's Day approaches, no one is able to escape the Hallmarkable date of the first Sunday in May. You may not be a mom yourself but you are a son or daughter of a woman who gave birth to you and raised you the best she knew. Memories of our own moms can stir up a range of emotions, both the good and the bad.
Reflecting on Mother's Day, I realize that it has been two years and two months since my own mother has passed away. My mother and I had a tumultuous relationship throughout the 35 years of our lives together. There were years layered and sandwiched when we were the best of friends, and then other years when we were estranged, on non-speaking terms. Even with the challenging seasons of our relationship, I miss her terribly.
Those of you who have experienced a loss of your mother may understand my grieving process. Although we all grieve differently, you may be on a different grief track than I am on. My grief actually started before her death. I had to realize that she could not be the kind of mom that I had wanted or needed from her. She was limited in her own health and her own needs and nothing I could do could change that. As I matured into my 30s, I realized that I needed to let go of that ideal image of what a mother was in my own heart and mind and I needed to just love her as she was. Our relationship improved. It wasn't the kind of relationship I would have wished for, nor the type she wished for, but it was a mother daughter relationship that had grown to be strong and healthy, finally.
We talked on the phone often. She was a best friend to me in those last days. She would not only listen to all the details of my day, my job, my children, my garden, but she would actually want to know about all the details of my life. No other person has or probably will ever take that role in my life. This void in my heart reminds me of how much I miss her, all the goodness she brought to me.
I was especially reminded of her the other day. I was in Plymouth delivering fliers for some upcoming Tri Kappa events and I ran into some familiar friendly faces of some ladies having lunch at Sisters' Tea and Eatery. As I was walking by them with a smile and a friendly hello, they pulled a chair out for me and graciously invited me to sit with them for lunch. I sat down and listened to them talk about places they traveled to, their favorite places to eat, and shop. It was a short and savory lunch with some stylish and sassy ladies and as I drove home that day, I was tearfully reminded of my mom in that light and lively lunch conversation.
Since moving here to Culver shortly after my mom passed away, I never had the chance to tell her all about this new phase in my life. She hadn't heard about Phil's new job, Savana's new school, Sophia's new playgroup. Yet, there are so many moments in my day to day interactions that still make me feel close to my mom, like that impromptu lunch. I have another friend who last fall called me out of the blue to invite me to go antique shopping with her on a sunny afternoon in her convertible. That shopping day spurred on a new friendship and also rekindled happy memories of my own mom. I have been so blessed by so many new friends, all different ages, fitting different roles that my mom once fulfilled, either by being grandmotherly to my daughters, motherly to me, or just friendly and fun.
I bet these ladies don't even realize how valuable the time was that they shared with me. Likewise, I bet you may not realize what an impact you can have on others by reaching out, spending time, listening others around you. Spending time with others is an investment in not only your relationship with that special person, but also in our community, in our future.
Mother's Days come and go. Make this Mother's Day more momentous than just buying a card this year. Reach out to someone who has been motherly to you, or a younger person who may have lost his or her mom. Invest in that special place in someone's heart where the childhood needs and memories still live. Reach out and be a mom or hug a mom today.