Oh Mother's Day...why do you have to come back every year? Every year I walk through the stores and see the cards and gifts being displayed for this holiday and I think "hmm, I don't have a mom". I never think of Mother's Day as a holiday to celebrate me, I always think of my mom. Don't get me wrong, I mean if my kids and husband want to do a little something for me I will be grateful and thrilled but all I can think about on Mother's Day is my mom.
It has been 3 years next week since my mom has been gone. Three years that I really needed her. A cross country move, another move after that two more states away...lots and lots of questions I have had for her. She lived with us for the last 5 years of her life. I counted on her every single day. For advice, to help with my kids, as a sounding board, as a confidante, as my best friend. She understood me and knew me better than anyone on this planet. She believed in me and supported me. I have said it before, she was my biggest fan. I have learned to live without her, I have gotten used to being a daughter without a mother. It's not easy. It really kind of sucks but I have done it.
Earlier tonight I was on Facebook and I changed my profile picture to one of my mom and me. It stirred up emotions and then when it came up in friends feed they started liking it and commenting on it. When they did I started thinking about how my mom touched so many of my friends lives. How so many of them loved her and always had a special spot in their heart for her. Those friends, the friends that knew her, that respected her and understood her are so important to me. My mom had a pretty rough life. Not as a child, but as an adult. She had a lot of heartbreak. She could be bitter, she could be rough. Sometimes it bothered me, I always felt like I had to apologize for her behavior. But my friends, they knew. They understood and they loved her. I am so grateful for that.
Speaking of grateful, I need to share something else I am grateful for. I am grateful for time, the time I got to spend with my mom. Those precious years that when I went to bed at night I knew she was right outside in the casita sleeping sound in her bed. So grateful that until the day before she died she was "present" she knew exactly what was going on and I was able to communicate with her, my kids and my husband were able to communicate with her. One of Gianna's favorite memories is that the very last thing my mom ate was mint chip ice cream that Gianna got out of the freezer and took to her. I know it sounds silly but so many people I know don't get that time.
I have a friend in California that lost her mom two years before I lost mine. I didn't know her then and I didn't know how her mom had passed. Tonight I asked her. When she texted me back and told me the tragic, heartbreaking story of how her mother was killed by a car while she was in the street my heart literally broke for her. The idea that she had to get a phone call like that, that she has had that as her final memory of her beloved mother just killed me. I cried.
A little bit later a life long friend of mine commented on the picture of my mom and me. Her mother was my moms best friend. A friend that my mom loved and cherished so much that we literally had an ongoing joke my whole life that if "Sonja says (that is her friends name) than it must be right". My mom loved Sonja so very much. Sonja is still alive. She is alive but she suffers from Alzheimer's. That? well as far as I am concerned is the most heartbreaking thing that I can ever imagine happening. It kills me that tomorrow my friend will go see her mom and even though she is "here" she isn't really here at all. That is too much for me to even wrap my head around.
I am a big believer that until you walk in someones shoes you truly don't understand what they have been through. Most of my friends still have their parents, heck some of them still have grandparents. Sometimes I feel like they don't understand me. They don't understand that even at 44 years old you can feel like an orphan. When there is no "home" to go to, it is really, really tough. When I meet new people and they ask where my family lives and I say "oh, my family is almost all gone, I only have one brother left" it kills me. It hurts my heart every.single.time. Tonight I tried to put myself in some of these other women's shoes. I thought about how strong they are and my heart hurt for them. I pray that both of them will have a peaceful Mother's Day tomorrow. I hope that they will cherish the good moments that they had with their moms and not focus on the hard stuff. I know that I will get through tomorrow. I know that I can look at my kids and realize how incredibly blessed I am. I will get through it but I can guarantee you I will be missing and thinking about my mom. I will also be thinking about all my friends who are in the same boat I am, having another Mother's Day without a mom.