Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is coming up. I have two beautiful daughters to celebrate with this year. It should be a happy, relaxing day. But for me, it is bittersweet. On March 7, 2011, I lost my mom. She was only 57. And Mother’s Day, like every other holiday and special occasion, has not been the same since.

It is almost like with her death, a ceiling was created on how much happiness I could feel. No matter how joyous an occasion, I always know that I’m not enjoying it as much as I would with Mom here. These special occasions- birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, etc- almost make me feel like I’m bipolar. One minute, I will be caught up in the excitement of seeing Charlotte open up her presents on Christmas morning, my heart almost bursting with happiness, and the next, I’m fighting back tears because my mom is missing it.

She has missed so much. Charlotte’s first steps, and words, and seeing her personality blossom into the smart, sweet, funny little girl she is now. She missed my graduation from nursing school- I know how proud she would have been, and how much she wanted to be there, and it haunts me that she didn’t make it. She missed the birth of three grandchildren, including the birth of my baby girl, Penelope. She would have loved being the grandmother to her six granddaughters. I acutely feel that loss at family gatherings.

Fortunately, I have many happy memories of the moments my mom was here for. She loved being the Mother of the Bride at my wedding and at my sister’s wedding. She was ecstatic with the births of her first three grandchildren- my two nieces, and my daughter, Charlotte. She saw my sister graduate from medical school. And she was here when I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life, even if she didn’t make it to my graduation.

And then there are all the moments she was there for as we were growing up: dance classes and recitals, Brownies, pizza lunches and craft days at school, class trips- she was there for them all. Every week at our softball games, she would sit in her lawn chair with her knitting or her needlepoint or whatever other project she was working on at the moment. It would have been so much easier for her to stay at home and do those things, but she never did. She was always there, and that describes her perfectly- always there.

There for the good times, and the bad times too. She saw me through illness, disappointment, heartbreak, through all the mistakes I made over the years, always with a gentle spirit, ready to forgive and help and support me no matter what. She was truly the embodiment of unconditional love. She is my role model, and I hope to be the kind of mom to my girls that she was to my sister and I. There are days when I desperately wish she was still here so I could simply ask her, “How did you do it?” Our house was always impeccably clean, with homemade dinners every night, and she made it seem so easy. I struggle with finding the time and motivation to keep even a semi-clean house, and, well, let’s not even talk about my cooking.

My mom’s legacy to me is one of love. I miss her every day, and I know that will never go away. This Mother’s Day, and every day, I am going to try to break through that ceiling and to be as happy as I know Mom would have wanted me to be. It is the one gift I can still give to her.

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Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you.

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8 thoughts on “Mother’s Day

  1. I have no words .. just sitting here crying ♥ Your Mom would have been so proud of you and Janice; so proud of her six granddaughters. And I know she would have been the most awesome grandmother ever 🙂 Enjoy Mother’s Day and all the other special moments … that’s what your Mom would have wanted!

  2. Well as I wipe away my tears and try to type I honestly believe that she has not missed one moment of the accomplishments in your life or the 6 beautiful grand daughters that she has. I am sure she is sitting on some green grass in heaven with her knitting watching over all her girls with pride and admiration. Enjoy your Mother’s Day Julie, may it be a wonderful day for you even if you only get five minutes to yourself but as a mom you know the best days in life are those moments you get to spend with your children. Life is too short so enjoy your memories of your mom and know she is with you everyday and would be so very proud of you.

  3. Julie,, I have read this twice now and shared with Karen Nelson. It is so sad and brings so many tears to my eyes that your mom cannot be here to see all the joy in your life and that of Janice’s.
    Your last paragraph is so important, I hope you break through the ceiling as much as you can and embrace all the joy you so well deserve!

  4. Julie, this blog has me in tears since I have just returned from spending a week with my twin grandchildren in Toronto and know I have another one waiting to hug me when I see her tomorrow. I know your Mom cherished her time here with her 2 beautiful daughters and the granddaughters she got to meet and I also know that she is watching over all 6 of them with love and protection. It broke her heart to leave as much as it broke your heart to lose her. Life is never the same after losing a parent but it takes on a new meaning when you become one. Your remembrance to your mother is a tribute to the way she raised you…..a kind and gentle spirit with a heart of gold . Your legacy to her will be to be the kind of Mom your girls will look up to with love and pride………a mom of steel!!

  5. I, too, am in tears. Your mom was a truly inspirational woman. I feel so blessed to have known her. She is bursting with pride I am sure. She would be so proud of you and your sister and the beautiful women and mothers you have become. She was not here long enough but enough time for you and Janice to learn from her and become the women/mothers that you are. Your tribute to your mom is so beautiful and she would want nothing more than for you to be happy! Happy Mother’s Day to an inspirational young mom!

  6. I am not sitting here crying and if I was close I would give you the kick in the ass your Mom would want me to give you and tell you to live in the moment, don’t dwell on the past and worry about the future. Even though your Mom wasn’t well in those last few years she always made the best of it. I don’t ever remember talking to her and having her feel sorry for herself. I had the opportunity of taking her Christmas shopping that last Christmas she was alive. She was so excited. She would want that excitement and happiness for you too, You are surrounded by people who love you, enjoy the time you have with them and make sure your Mom is there by bringing her positive spirit and happiness and every time someone laughs or rolls their eyes, think of your Mom but do it with a smile like you are sharing an inside joke with her.

    • See how AnneMarie puts a different perspective on things. Sounds harsh but she gets one thinking.although, I cannot picture DonnaLee using the term ‘kick in the ass.’ She makes you want to get up and get going, get on with things, and yes, live in the present. Try not to worry about what was or what could have been, or what may be ahead. Of course. A certain amount of planning is needed for the future, but do so with the hope and excitement and practicality that your mother would have used. We do all think about the past and draw on those memories when we need to. They are part of who we are today. Try to live today and be happy, try not to worry, there are a lot of people in your life who will help to guide you if you ask . Your husband ,father , sister, grandparents, close friends and aunts and uncles are all here. Pray to your mom for guidance . So far, you seem to be doing just fine. I know I cannot read your mind, but my mind has been there too. The fact that you secretly worry, fret,question etc? You did not lick that off the grass, if you know what I mean.
      Keep writing , your are not only doing it for yourself but all who read it are benefiting from it in one way or another also.
      Penelope and Charlotte are so cute and smart and picking up on things and growing and it reflects back on you and Mark. You are doing a great job.

  7. We loved your Mom so much Julie and she will be with us all forever. It certainly is hard not to have your Mom there to see all the wonderful things that are happening. But I truly believe she is there and is so proud of you and Janice. Just listen for her and you will hear her. Love Colleen

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