Mother’s Day snuck up on me.
In the calendar of holidays you brace yourself to face without your Mom here with you, it fades into the background.
It’s kind of a Hallmark holiday, right? Turns out, not so much.
I walked blind to the pain that lives in this day for so many. Until my heart was wounded.
The weight of not having my Mom here for Mother’s Day started about a week ahead of time. You start to realize everyone else is making plans. And then, it’s in your face and in your ears. Everywhere.
And your chest feels tight and your heart feels heavy.
For me, it carries the added weight of being the last holiday before my Mom went Home.
I actually hadn’t thought of that until one of my best friends pointed it out. But it’s true.
Last year, we had one of those magical Mother’s Days. We spent the whole day together at home as a family. I was sick and my Mommy was taking care of me. A delicious dinner, easy family time, lots of relaxation.
Before I went to bed, I thanked her for caring for me so well. And we had the most special moment.
I had recently moved home after many years away. I think my Mom was surprised that I ever made it back home. She didn’t expect that.
And our time together as a family was sweeter because of the reunion.
She told me how much she loved having me home. And we hugged and cried. And then hugged some more.
One of those moments I will treasure for my lifetime.
So this year weighed on me. It still does. I wanted to plan for it. But it was impossible to know the right thing to do.
But I went with cousins to the garden shop, and I wandered the aisles taking photos of flowers. I hugged my family and smelled the fresh air, the peonies and gardenias.
Met my Dad to roam through an art exhibit. Taking in the beauty of art created from experiences of lives well lived. Thought about how we spend our time.
And something unexpected… messages trickled in all day. From friends who paused their celebrations to send love and acknowledge pain, to take a moment to comfort and walk alongside me.
I sat with my aching heart. Thought of so many who can’t breathe on this day. Felt profound gratitude for every single person who thought to reach out, remember my Mom and me.
And bitter. But also sweet.